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[225] Ark., and about the 19th of October reached Huntsville, with McNeil in pursuit. He then crossed the headwaters of the Buffalo, Harrell's battalion, which had not yet crossed the Arkansas, covering his retreat to the head of Limestone valley, which has an outlet to shallow fords of the Arkansas river, near the mouth of Piney. While he was ascending the bluffs of the Buffalo crossing, with McNeil close on his trail, the enemy was fired upon in the defiles by divided detachments of Harrell's battalion and brought to a stand. Then McNeil, taking Harrell's force for Shelby's command, deployed in line of battle, with the view of flanking Shelby—an imposing array, extending a mile or more up and down the bluff, which he crossed in this manner, occupying hours. This, however, was not Shelby's army, but Harrell's detachment. On the 27th, McNeil, with his brigade, marched into Clarksville on the Arkansas, to learn that Shelby had made the crossing of the Arkansas river below there, and that Brooks had gone. He turned his course up the river toward Van Buren and Fort Smith. His force consisted of Hunt's First Arkansas cavalry, and Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin troops, forming a force of about 1,500 men, infantry, artillery and cavalry.

Colonel Brooks crossed the Arkansas soon afterward near the same place with 1,000 men or more, and on the south side encountered a force of Federal cavalry under Captain Gardner, which Harrell's battalion charged without orders, taking 20 prisoners and capturing twice as many horses. Moving through Caddo gap, Colonel Brooks crossed the Little Missouri and went into camp at Temperanceville, early in December, with about 1,000 men and horses. Plenty of subsistence for men and forage for horses was found in the neighborhood, but the weather became severe. Snow, sleet and rain fell upon the men and horses, who were without shelter except straw shacks made upon inclined scaffolding of rails, and much suffering followed. While there, Colonel

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