Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field eBook

Thomas W. Knox
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 458 pages of information about Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field.

DOVER, POPE CO., ARKANSAS, December 7, 1861.


I wish to obtain a situation as surgeon in your army. * * * Our men over the Boston Mountains are penning and hanging the mountain boys who oppose Southern men.  They have in camp thirty, and in the Burrowville jail seventy-two, and have sent twenty-seven to Little Rock.  We will kill all we get, certain:  every one is so many less.  I hope you will soon get help enough to clear out the last one in your State.  If you know them, they ought to be killed, as the older they grow the more stubborn they get.

Your most obedient servant,

In his departure, General Price had taken most of his personal property of any value.  He left a very good array of desks and other appurtenances of his adjutant-general’s office, which fell into General Curtis’s hands.  These articles were at once put into use by our officers, and remained in Springfield as trophies of our success.  There was some war materiel at the founderies and temporary arsenals which the Rebels had established.  One store full of supplies they left undisturbed.  It was soon appropriated by Captain Sheridan.

The winter-quarters for the soldiers were sufficiently commodious to contain ten thousand men, and the condition in which we found them showed how hastily they were evacuated.  Very little had been removed from the buildings, except those articles needed for the march.  We found cooking utensils containing the remains of the last meal, pans with freshly-mixed dough, on which the impression of the maker’s hand was visible, and sheep and hogs newly killed and half dressed.  In the officers’ quarters was a beggarly array of empty bottles, and a few cases that had contained cigars.  One of our soldiers was fortunate in finding a gold watch in the straw of a bunk.  There were cribs of corn, stacks of forage, and a considerable quantity of army supplies.  Every thing evinced a hasty departure.



From Springfield to Pea Ridge.—­Mark Tapley in Missouri.—­“The Arkansas Traveler.”—­Encountering the Rebel Army.—­A “Wonderful Spring.”—­The Cantonment at Cross Hollows.—­Game Chickens.—­Magruder vs.  Breckinridge.—­Rebel Generals in a Controversy.—­Its Result.—­An Expedition to Huntsville.—­Curiosities of Rebel Currency.—­Important Information.—­A Long and Weary March.—­Disposition of Forces before the Battle.—­Changing Front.—­What the Rebels lost by Ignorance.

When it became certain the army would continue its march into Arkansas, myself and the Democrat’s correspondent pushed forward to overtake it.  Along the road we learned of the rapid retreat of the Rebels, and the equally rapid pursuit by our own forces.  About twenty miles south of Springfield one of the natives came to his door to greet us.  Learning to which army we belonged, he was very voluble in his efforts to explain the consternation of the Rebels.  A half-dozen of his neighbors were by his side, and joined in the hilarity of the occasion.  I saw that something more than usual was the cause of their assembling, and inquired what it could be.

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Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.