About fifty years ago, a fellow - I think his name was Norman Potter Morrow - wrote a thesis or dissertation on Price's Missouri Expedition. He concluded that the effort was doomed from the start because the Federals could divert troops from other theaters and transport them quickly by rail and water in large enough numbers to defeat any Confederate force.
I agree with him. Consider the fact that A.J. Smith with two divisions of veteran infantry from Grant's old Army of the Tennessee were right behind Price by the time Price reached Westport. If Price had tried to remain in Missouri, Smith would have defeated him.
I should add that any troops from east of the Mississippi, -infantry or cavalry, were more than a match for Price's cavalry.
Let me give an example of what I mean here. One of Pleasonton's cavalry brigades came from the area around Memphis. These were the troops that drove Marmaduke from his position west of the Big Blue on Oct. 23rd and smashed Fagan at Mine Creek on October 25th. Without this brigade I don't think Pleasonton could have defeated Price.
Part of the superiority was in equipment. M. Jeff Thompson says that his cavalry - partly armed with enfield rifles - were no match for troops armed with carbines, sabres and pistols. He was right.
But I think these cis-Mississippi troops had big battle experience. They had learned the hard way by fighting people like Forrest.
Bryce A. Suderow