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[312] determined to enter Little Rock, remain long enough to pick up all information of value that he could get, and report to Fagan as directed. Consequently, early in December, he went as a farmer's son to Little Rock, where everybody knew him, and pretended to be seeking business of some sort. He had spent the most of his school life in the city, and, of course, had no difficulty in getting lodging and accommodations without expense. He remained in the city three weeks, freely mingling with the Federal officers and soldiers in that garrison. Finally, he applied at General Steele's headquarters for a pass to go into the country. He was told to apply at the provost-marshal's office. He did so, and unhesitatingly and almost without question was granted a pass. He left the city on the military road, leading in a southwesterly direction, intending to cross Saline river just west of the village of Benton, the county seat of Saline county, twenty-six miles from Little Rock. Within a mile after leaving the city, he had to pass the infantry pickets, who examined his pass and permitted him to proceed. He knew that the cavalry videttes were stationed about three miles down the road, and might very easily have avoided them by taking the woods on either side of the road; but supposing that his pass would prove as safe a protection with the cavalry as it had with the infantry, he proceeded down the road till he reached the headquarters of the cavalry picket, when his pass was demanded, examined, and pronounced good. He was allowed to pass, but the officer in charge of the picket retained the pass, saying that orders had been issued that day to take up all passes as soon as the holder should pass the last station, and this was the last on that road. Thinking that he would not again be challenged, he still kept on the road leading to Benton. About ten miles from Little Rock the Hot Springs road branches off from the military road, and by mistake he took this road, and did not discover his mistake until he had proceeded some miles. He now thinking himself safe, started through the woods to intersect the road, he ought to have taken, near Benton. In his attempt to do this, he unexpectedly came upon a squad of cavalry that had gone into the country on a foraging expedition. Having no pass to show, he was at once arrested and examined carefully; and sewed up between the soles of his boots were found papers with unintelligible marks and dots on them. He was taken back to the city, and his papers proved to contain a complete and accurate description of Steele's positions, and some of his real intentions, (which he

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S. W. Steele (2)
James F. Fagan (1)
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