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[81] was high and confident; their conduct in battle admirable and worthy the highest praise—indeed in and out of battle it was noble. For the last six days we were assisted by other troops; during the remainder of the time we were opposed alone to the enemy, and General Steele's army of 13,000 men consumed twelve days in marching about as many miles.

The enemy was now encamped in and around Camden. On the 16th Shelby's brigade was ordered to Miller's Bluff to watch the river, and I then had only Greene's brigade of about 500 effective men with me. On the 16th Greene drove in the enemy's pickets on the Prairie d'anne road. They were driven in on the 17th on various roads by portions of that brigade. On the morning of the 17th Colonel Greene's scouts informed me that a large train, two hundred and twenty-five wagons, with a guard of three regiments, two of infantry and one of cavalry, and two pieces of artillery, had moved out on the Prairie d'anne road from Camden I wrote to General Fagan for assistance, as I had only five hundred men. He sent me immediately Cabell's and Crawford's brigades. That night I marched to attack this train, but was met with information that the guard had been reinforced by two regiments of infantry and two pieces of artillery, making their force now 2,500 and four pieces of artillery. With the reinforcement of Cabell and Crawford my force was but 1,500, and as I was certain the train could not return until next morning, I wrote to General Fagan for more assistance, and requested him to send my letter to General Price for his approval. The plan was for Greene, Cabell and Crawford to intersect the road ten miles from Camden, for the other troops to enter the road at Poison Springs, fifteen miles from Camden, at 8 o'clock next morning. This plan was agreed upon. With Greene's, Cabell's and Crawford's brigades I marched early, and about 10 o'clock met the enemy's advanced pickets at Poison Springs, drove it back with my escort and staff, and occupied an advantageous position on the brow of a hill, deployed my escort as skirmishers on the slope, and held the enemy in check until Cabell and Crawford came up, dismounted and deployed in front of the enemy. Greene was held in reserve dismounted. At this time General Maxey's troops, chiefly Indians, and Wood's battalion arrived. General Maxey being my senior in rank, I reported to him, asking his plan of battle and stating how I had disposed my troops. He answered that as I had planned the whole movement I should take charge and make the fight. This I did, requesting him to post his command at right angles with my line, enfilading the

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