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[441] troops. Blunt, therefore, fully expected to be again attacked on the following day by Hindman, who had still the advantage over him in numbers. But the latter did not deem it expedient to renew the struggle. He had lost two fine opportunities; first in not fighting Blunt either on the 4th or 5th, when he had him alone in front of him; secondly, in not taking the offensive against Herron when he met him also alone on the borders of Illinois Creek. The better to conceal his retreat he had the wheels of his gun-carriages covered, and asked for a conference with the Federals during the night on pretence of burying the dead. On the morning of the 8th the Confederates had disappeared, and were moving with great speed along the Van Buren road. The Unionists were not in condition to pursue them; they contented themselves with a dearly-bought victory, which, however, secured them the possession of all the disputed territory and put an end to the campaign.

After the battle of Prairie Grove all the army of the frontier remained in the Ozark Mountains. It was no longer disturbed. In order to secure himself against any new surprise, Blunt, on the 28th of December, led in person an expedition of light troops as far as the borders of the Arkansas. He took possession of Van Buren without opposition, burnt several steamers, destroyed the Confederate depots, and then rejoined the main body of his army, which had gone into winter quarters. The year 1862 was thus closed west of the Mississippi with a success for the Federals. Missouri was quiet, the most important section of Arkansas occupied in force, and the superiority pf their army unquestionably established in many severe conflicts.

The war of which those distant regions had been the theatre presented some peculiar characteristics which the reader has undoubtedly noticed. Thus, for instance, the small armies that disputed the possession of the territory had generally a very large proportion of artillery, five or six pieces for every thousand men, and the infantry was much less numerous than the cavalry. The latter was, in fact, mounted infantry. Manoeuvring at times in bodies of five or six thousand horse, with several batteries of light artillery, they performed enormous marches; then, dismounting, they began firing with rifles, and carried the enemy's

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