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[433] for it. Rains, who was in the mountains, had been unable to form a junction with Cooper, and the latter, finding himself isolated, retired with the utmost haste toward Bentonville. He was hotly pursued; but his troops being all mounted, he was soon beyond reach.

It was evident that the Confederates had not expected this attack. Schofield, taking advantage of their surprise, sent for General Herron, with all the available troops remaining at Springfield, and taking the mail-road at Cassville proceeded toward Pea Ridge to seize at once the already celebrated defile of Cross Hollows. The Confederates did not venture to dispute it with him, and separated. Leaving two or three thousand horse behind him, so as to mask his movement, Rains had retired eastward toward Huntsville with his infantry and artillery, while the rest of the cavalry, under Cooper, proceeded westward down the valley of the Neosho toward Maysville, with a view of menacing the communications and right flank of the Federals. Schofield immediately started in pursuit of Rains with Herron's and Totten's divisions, but was unable to overtake him; and finding Huntsville deserted, he returned to the neighborhood of Pea Ridge.

In the mean while, Blunt with two brigades had followed Cooper, who was moving rapidly in the direction of Maysville to reach the Indian Territory. Continuing his route during the whole night, Blunt with his vanguard reached the outskirts of this village on the 22d of October before daylight. The enemy could not be very far; the Federal general determined at all hazards that they should not escape him, but did not wish to come upon them before his troops had all arrived. With a view of ascertaining his exact position, he disguised himself as a Confederate soldier, and entered into conversation with the inhabitants of the few houses in the vicinity of which Cooper had halted, being well aware that the sight of a Federal uniform would keep all mouths shut. Seven thousand of the enemy's cavalry were encamped in a large prairie surrounded by woods, in the vicinity of an old post called Fort Wayne, six kilometres beyond Maysville. Blunt's cavalry consisted of four Kansas regiments and two regiments of Cherokee Indians, accompanied

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