and arms prevented me from taking my entire force. My intention was to attack Brigadier-General Blunt, on Cane Hill, reported to have between 7,000 and 8,000 men and 30 cannon. I expected, as stated at the time in dispatches to department headquarters, to return immediately after the engagement, having barely ammunition enough for one battle, and not sufficient subsistence and forage for seven days at half rations. These meager supplies had been accumulated with extreme difficulty by hauling in wagons of the general train and regiment 80 miles, my transportation being very limited, the country around me entirely exhausted, and the river too low for navigation. These facts had made it certain that I must soon retire the greater part of my force toward Little Rock; hence it seemed important for the security of what was to be left that Blunt was to be driven from his position.
Cane Hill is a ridge of perhaps 8 miles length and 5 miles width, in the southwest part of Washington County, Arkansas, just beyond the north base of the Boston Mountains. Three villages are built upon it (Russellville, Boonsborough, and Newburg), which almost blend with each other, covering a distance, as the road to Fayetteville runs, of 3 or 5 miles. The enemy's main body was about Newburg. The distance from Van Buren to Newburg is 45 miles. The intermediate country is a rugged and sterile range of mountains. The roads across it are gathered together at Van Berne, on the south side, and at Fayetteville, on the northern. These places are form 50 to 65 miles apart, according to the route traveled. There are four principal roads; one bends to the right and east with the valley of Frog Bayou, crosses the mountains, then follows the West Fork of White River and strikes Fayetteville form the southeast; another, known as the Telegraph road, proceeds for the most part upon ridges directly north, by Cincinnati and Mayesville, to Fort Scott; the fourth turns to the left from the Telegraph road at Oliver's, 19 miles above Van Buren, follows the valley of Cove Creek to the foot of the mountains, and, after crossing, passes through a succession of defiles, valleys, and prairies, reaching Fayetteville form a southwesterly direction. At Morrow's, 15 miles above Oliver's, the Cove Creek road sends a branch direct to Newburg, 7 miles distant. Eighth miles above Morrow's it is crossed by a road leading from Hog-eye, 5 miles east on the Telegraph road, to Newburg. Two miles beyond this it sends a branch to Rhea's Mills, to Mayesville, which crossed the Cane Hill and Fayetteville road at the distance of 2 miles from the Cove Creek road. This crossing is 7 1\2 miles from Newburg and 12 1\2 miles from Fayetteville. Two miles and a half above this crossing the Cove Creek road and the Cane Hill and Fayetteville unite. There is a road from Newburg, by Rhea's Mills, to this junction, the distance by that route make this description more intelligible.
Marmaduke's cavalry division formed my advance, moving on the Telegraph road, with detachments on those east and west of it. Colonel Watie's Cherokee regiment was ordered to the vicinity of Evansville, instructed, when the firing should commence, to move forward and occupy certain mills in the Cane Hill region, and to attack the enemy's train if retired toward Cincinnati. The balance of my force moved on the Telegraph road, and bivouacked at Oliver's on the night of the 4th.