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 which up to that time was vastly superior to his own. He had about seven or eight thousand men with him; ten regiments, or nearly five thousand men, had been called back from Pea Ridge by Halleck, for the purpose of reinforcing the combined army, of which he had assumed the command at Pittsburg Landing. Curtis could not penetrate any farther into a country infested by guerillas without compromising his communications with Missouri, whence he derived all his supplies. He, therefore, marched parallel to the frontier of this State, reaching, on the 6th of May, Batesville, a large village situated on White River. This stream, which takes its source in the Ozark Mountains and waters all the northern section of the State, pursues at first a south-easterly course as far as Jacksonport, where it receives the waters of Big Black River; thence it runs due south to empty into the Arkansas at Wellington. The point of confluence of the latter river with the Mississippi, opposite the village of Napoleon, lies only a few kilometres lower down. Curtis hoped that Halleck's campaign against Beauregard would open a portion of this stream and its tributaries to the Federal flotilla, and that some friendly vessels would make their appearance in the waters of White River. He would then have had a new base of operations, at once shorter and surer; by resting upon this river he could have reopened the campaign, penetrated into the interior of the State, seized the capital, Little Rock, and in his turn opened the whole course of the Arkansas to the Federal gunboats. He, therefore, waited at Batesville for the issue of the siege of Corinth, subsisting with difficulty, because the terminus of the railroad through which he obtained his supplies was at Rolla, in Missouri, and thence all the transportation was effected by means of wagons. We have related how, on the 6th of June, after the capture of Corinth, the naval battle at Memphis delivered to the Federals the whole course of the Mississippi as far as Vicksburg. A few days after, several Federal gun-boats entered the Arkansas and proceeded up White River. Curtis, on being apprised of their movement, started on the 25th of June for Jacksonport to meet them. The waters in the river were so low that it would be impossible for the vessels to proceed beyond this town. Curtis reached the place on the same day with his vanguard, where he
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