When the army of the West, as ours was called, reached the neighborhood of Van Buren, a reorganization of all the troops was effected. Capt. Walker, the Quartermaster of the 4th Ark. Regiment, having deserted whilst the Regiment was at Van Buren, Col. McNair appointed Wm. J. Ferguson in his stead. The destiny of Capt. Walker has never been known, and to this day remains a profound mystery, though it is generally supposed he went to England.
About the first of April Col. T. J. Churchill was ordered to march with about four thousand cavalry, composed of the 3d and 6th and 11th Texas Cavalry, the 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles, and a Missouri Regiment of Cavalry, with 15 days rations, and crossing White river somewhere near Forsyth, to go into Missouri; but finding the river very high changed his direction and marched to Duval’s Bluff, where all the cavalry were dismounted and sent on transports to Memphis and thence to Corinth. The other remaining cavalry were ordered direct to Duval’s Bluff on White river. The infantry took up the line of march from Van Buren Southeastward, no one knowing their destination unless it was the commanding officers. The 4th Arkansas Regiment, with the 17th and 14th Arkansas Regiments and McDonald’s Battery, all under the command of Col. McNair, marched to Clarksville, and then on to Little Rock, which place they reached alter a great many delays and hardships on the 20th day of April. During my absence with the wounded at Elk Horn, Dr. Carrington, of Washington county, Ark., acted as Surgeon.
From Little Rock, the command was sent on board of transports to Memphis, from where it has already been seen they took the cars and went to Corinth. The organization of a new Brigade under Gen. Churchill, the affair at Farmington and the inauguration of a retreat from Corinth have all been recorded in the preceding chapter.