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ton, and Halleck telegraphed to Cairo, directing A. J. Smith, then ascending the Mississippi with about six thousand troops, infantry and cavalry, destined to re-enforce Sherman in Northern Georgia, to be halted there, and, with his command, be sent to St. Louis to re-enforce Rosecrans.
This strengthening of the troops in Missouri was timely, for Price soon crossed the Arkansas River,
Sept. 21. joined Shelby, and, with nearly twenty thousand men, entered Southeastern Missouri between the Big Black and St. Francis rivers, and pushed on to Pilot Knob, more than half way to St. Louis from the Arkansas border, almost without a show of opposition.
Rosecrans had only about six thousand five hundred mounted men in his Department when this formidable invasion began, and these were scattered — over a country four hundred miles in length and three hundred in breadth, with only a partially organized infantry force and dismounted men, guarding from the swarming guerrillas the greater depots,