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[431] dissatisfaction in Arkansas. General Randolph, to the misfortune of the cause he had most zealously served, retired from the cabinet, and Hindman determined to employ the forces he could put in motion for the invasion of Missouri.

He was master of that chain of hills called Ozark Mountains, among which the battle of Pea Ridge had been fought, and which seems destined at all times to play a decisive part in the campaigns of which Arkansas is the theatre. Amid the vast plains by which they are surrounded almost on every side, these hills form a rocky mass, the more easily defended because the communications are always open, owing to the mail route which runs along their base. They extend from north to south for a distance of nearly one hundred and twenty kilometres in length, from Cassville, in Missouri, to the vicinity of Evansville, a village situated thirty-five kilometres from Van Buren and the left bank of the Arkansas; at this point they turn westward, and under the name of Boston Mountains, which has already been met with in our narrative, slope down to the plain in the Creek Indian territory on the borders of the Neosho River. There are three principal passes in the Ozark Mountains, leading from the plains of White River on the east to the Neosho basin at the west. The first, beginning at the north, is that of Elkhorn, or Pea Ridge, on the road from Huntsville to Bentonville, where was fought the battle we have described elsewhere. The second is near the large village of Fayetteville, situated in the very centre of the chain; this is the most important of the three, for no less than six roads start from Fayetteville, running severally in the directions of Bentonville, Maysville and the western frontier, Cane Hill, Van Buren, Ozark and Huntsville. The third is a defile in the Boston Mountains which crosses the road from Van Buren to Cane Hill.

Hindman had divided his forces; Rains, with six thousand infantry, occupied the heights and encamped in the neighborhood of Pea Ridge; Cooper, with seven thousand horse and some artillery, had advanced into the valley of Neosho as far as Newtonia, thereby menacing from the west the Unionists who were stationed at Springfield, whilst a body of four thousand men, massed on the left bank of White River, seemed to be preparing to invade

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