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Holmes was seized with an illness which grew so pronounced that he ordered General Price, then with his division at Des Arc, to assume command of the district.
Assuming this duty immediately, Price left his division under General Fagan, whose headquarters were at Searcy, near the Little Red, a branch of White river.
Being satisfied that the Federal army at Helena was about to advance against Little Rock, Price ordered Gen. D. M. Frost, commanding the defenses of the lower Arkansas near Pine Bluff, to move at once with his infantry and artillery to Little Rock, and Fagan's division, camped at Des Arc and Searcy, to take position upon Bayou Meto, 12 miles northeast of Little Rock, at the crossing of the Memphis & Little Rock road. General Marmaduke, near Jacksonport, was directed to dispose his command so as to retard as much as possible the advance of the enemy, and keep in his front until he should be compelled to fall back upon Bayou Meto. Brigadier-General Walker's division—brig