Banks] which has so long been menacing us, is about finally developing its plan of operations. From their position, an advance on either Alexandria or Sabine Pass is still practicable. Should the former course be adopted, and the Red river valley be made their line of advance, I shall concentrate your command on Taylor's, and drawing what support I can from Magruder [in Texas], risk a general engagement somewhere below this point [Shreveport]. Prepare your command for moving south with as little delay as possible. The smallest Arkansas brigade of infantry with the cavalry under Marmaduke, should be left in Arkansas. Your line of march will be either direct to Shreveport or by Minden to Campti, crossing the river at Grand Ecore.October 11th, Colonel Dobbin reported that he had been driven from Tulip to Dallas county, 80 miles southwest of Little Rock. On October 24th, Marmaduke, with his division, marched upon Pine Bluff, which the enemy had occupied a few days after Steele's entry into Little Rock. Having crossed the Saline, fordable at any point, by a night march from Princeton, he arrived at Pine Bluff on October 25th, and sent a flag to the commander at 9 a. m. demanding surrender. The place was occupied by the Fifth Kansas and First Indiana, numbering, the enemy claimed, 600 men only. Upon receiving the summons to surrender, the Federals employed 300 negroes in rolling cotton bales out of the warehouses where they were in storage for those who had influence to save them from the cotton burner. With the cotton bales the Federal commander, Colonel Clayton, fortified the streets leading to the public square in Pine Bluff, and planted six mountain howitzers and three steel rifled guns, so as to command every street leading into the square. His rear was protected by the Arkansas river The Confederates, with about 2,000 men and 8 pieces of artillery, speedily occupied the enemy's camp and the town, except the public square. The court house, built
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