CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.
and unaided. He did not ask for assistance and did not receive any, except that of some individual officers and some fragments of commands that went to him on the field of their own accord when the firing commenced and did what they could to aid him. The defeat of Blunt ended the pursuit, and was the last battle fought in the Trans-Mississippi department.
But the hardships and sufferings of the soldiers were not ended. It was the last of October, and the weather was getting cold and stormy. Before reaching the northern border of Arkansas there was protracted rain ending with snow. Provisions for the men were scarce and forage for the horses was scarcer. The army moved in a southwestern direction and crossed the Arkansas river in the Indian country on the 7th of November. The enemy it had to encounter after that was starvation. The Indian country was nearly depopulated and thoroughly desolated. Straggling parties set the dry prairie grass on fire, and horses died by thousands. The horses were led because they were too weak to be ridden. The men suffered too. First there was no bread and then no meat. Mules and horses were killed and eaten, generally without salt. Again Shelby came to the relief of the army. He took the advance to fight starvation, as he had taken the rear to fight the Federals. Far down the Canadian river he found thousands of fat cattle, as wild almost as deer. His men killed hundreds of them and made corrals and secured thousands, which were held under guard until the army came up. After that there was meat in abundance, but without bread or salt. Not until Boggy Depot was reached, two weeks later, did the worn, dispirited and starving soldiers have a meal of even scant army rations. As it was, hundreds of them fell behind from starvation and the weaknesses caused by starvation, and died before relief came. On crossing Red river the Missouri commands were camped in and around Clarksville, Tex.