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[231] back toward Camden. He returned a blood-and-thunder report of his men killing numerous Confederates with the saber, and wounding many more with that rarely-used implement. No one of the Confederate camp ‘stood’ to be reached by a saber, and none were made prisoners or ever exhibited wounds from that or any other weapon. They were simply dispersed without a fight of any description. The slaughter was ideal; the flight, a real test of horsemanship and woodcraft. It was, however, accepted as a veritable ‘battle’ at Little Rock, and heralded as a ‘famous victory.’

The Federals had augmented their forces at Fort Smith, by the 1st of December, to 5,000 whites and blacks and their Arkansas cavalry were pushed forward to Waldron, 50 miles south of Fort Smith. On October 24th Brig.-Gen. R. M. Gano was ordered to report to Brig.-Gen. William Steele, and on December 11th Steele was, at his own request, relieved from the command of Indian Territory and Brig.-Gen. S. B. Maxey assigned.

Gen. Kirby Smith, on December 20th, left Shreveport for Camden, with the purpose of making a forward movement to regain the Arkansas valley, in which he was to be aided by the forces in Louisiana under Maj.-Gen. Richard Taylor. He had prepared Taylor to make a simultaneous advance with General Holmes, but kept this secret, hoping to draw the Federals out of Little Rock by the maneuvers of Holmes' weaker force, and then overwhelm them with Taylor and Holmes combined.

But after reaching Camden, Smith wrote Taylor, on the 23d, that on investigation he found it would be madness to attempt to drive the enemy from Little Rock. Steele had prudently fortified his key points. At Pine Bluff were intrenchments inclosing the principal part of the town, with a deep ditch in front, and a second line of cotton bales. Four regiments and twelve cannon were in position. At Little Rock, two large forts had been completed, and other works, held by 6,000 men, and Benton

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