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[238] blacklands; the sixth at Fulton on Red river; the seventh near Texarkana, and there turning southerly, the eighth at Hughes Springs, Tex., and the ninth at Marshall, Tex., west of and behind Gen. Kirby Smith's army and depots near Red river. This route is almost an airline to Fulton. It is the line of the Iron Mountain & Southern railroad, which makes an arc south to avoid the hills of Antoine. From Little Rock to the Ouachita river the surface is hilly and rocky, the ridges between the streams sterile, and at the time the Seventh army corps made its southwestern movement from Little Rock, the route was practically a journey through the desert. At the end of a three-days' march of 30 miles each day, reaching Arkadelphia, an army might turn southeast and go down the banks of the Ouachita to Camden, or it might keep on to the four-days' camp at Okolona, and turn there southeast and go to Camden. If from Camden it should turn back to Little Rock, 90 miles by the shortest route, it would pass through Princeton, having the Saline river to cross again, a day's march northeast of that place, at Jenkins' ferry.

It will be instructive to follow the successive movements by which the well-equipped army of General Steele was impeded, surrounded, turned and put to flight by a few thousand ill-equipped Arkansas and Missouri cavalry. The strength of the Confederate cavalry is not preserved in the records, but counting the Indians which Maxey brought eventually to their assistance, it did not amount to 8,000 men, and not more than 18 pieces of artillery. They were inspired by one important fact—they had been provided with efficient arms and munitions, secured by General Smith and distributed in place of the shotguns, horse-pistols and old smooth-bores, with which they had been formerly provided. Virginia rifles with superior explosives had been placed in their hands and fully appreciated by them. They were, in fact, not cavalry, but mounted infantry, and could march day and

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Kirby Smith (2)
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