road, only 60 or 70 feet ahead, when aimed to strike 100 yards ahead.
Here the Federal
cavalry waited for the wagon brigade, and knowing Cabell
's position, sent a strong force of infantry and artillery to attack him and drive him from the Poteau
's regiment and Harrell
's battalion engaged them beyond the bottom, and falling back, crossed and formed line of battle on the east side of the Poteau
, repulsing the enemy about dark.
By order of General Cabell
opened upon them effectively with grape and canister.
That night Cabell
determined to fall back to the mountains by the road to Waldron
, and terminate his Indian campaign, being separated from Steele
Early in the morning he started his baggage trains to Jenny Lind
, thence to cross the mountain.
sent Cloud with cavalry, 40 wagons loaded with infantry, and 6 pieces of artillery, on Cabell
's trail, and struck him at the foot of Backbone mountain
, while the train was not yet across, on September 1st.
But the Confederates
, having taken a position which had the enemy close under fire while unseen themselves, fired into the Federal
advance guard and killed the commander, Captain Lyon
, and 20, of his men. The enemy in force advanced against the strong position held by Cabell
, but after a three hours engagement was repulsed with considerable loss.
The Confederate loss was 5 killed and 12 wounded.
The Confederate infantry regiment and some of the mounted men refused to stand fire, and retreated into the ravines and behind the rocks.
But the train was protected, and the brigade that crossed the mountain southward to the valley of the Ouachita
numbered about 1,500.
The men that ran, deserted—but not to the enemy; they went back north of the Boston mountains
to their unprotected families, leaving word that as soon as they could do something to protect the folks at home they would return, which was regarded as a contemptuous farewell by the enraged commander.
But they did return, and, though