The Indian Territory in the Civil War Message Board

Price's Retreat Through IT -- Nov 1864

This is portions of a current thread on the Missouri message board which began with a question about Hensley's Farm, apparently near Bonham, TX. The following is from M. Jeff Thompson's memiors at the State Historical Society of Missouri. Thanks Elmer!

After Newtonia

    The Army was now to scatter by order, and bring itself down to it's running weight, and Regiments, Battalions and Brigades filed left at every cross road.

    We pushed along at a good speed until we reached Cane Hill Arkansas on Nov 1st, and here we rested while Gen Fagan went to attack Fayetteville. He took with him a section of Collin's Battery and a portion of Elliot's Regiment but failed to effect anything. When we reached Cane hill it was very cold and the snow fell several inches deep, and as I had on the same summer clothes that I had come from the prison ship at Charleston with and they were literally in rags, I was nearly frozen.

Then Thompson tells a story about how Arthur McCoy stole a pair of pants for him

    There was a small ration of flour issued at Cane Hill and from this point to Perryville there was no bread of any kind for the Army and very few of the Officers could obtain a single ration.

    Much dissatisfaction had existed after the burning of the train on the Marmiton, by the wagons filled with Negro's that were being carried out by different persons, and as these wagons were also used to haul the few pounds of flour that these persons secured on the road, or from the commissaries, the Negro's would sometimes have bread when the soldiers did not, and many hard things were said, and as in some instances sick and wounded men were left behind for want of transportation.

Skip a line or two here - not important.

The night after crossing the Arkansas Thompson's horse was stolen and then he had to walk.

They were trying to save the battery as it was the only one left and it required fresh horses every day.

Ten days after leaving Cane hill they turned off on Canadian Fork.

    On this night Gen shelby received permission to leave the column and turn westward to the Canadian Fork to hunt provisions. I took the lead on foot and in an hour or 5 hours, I walked into a perfect hunter's Arcadia and to us a real heaven.

    Following an Indian trail, it lead me into a bend of the Canadian Fork, where the woods were filled with turkeys, the little prairie bottom in the valley had at least a hundred fat cattle and deer were nearly as plenty. The ground was covered with rushes and good grass and in an hour afterwords, the cracking of the guns represented a good fight. By the time Gen Shelby and Gov Reynolds came up there had been more than twenty beeves killed and a perfect feast began. The woods were full of Haw trees and the men eat them for bread. We remained here three days to strengthen the horses, feed the men, jerk beef for the rest of our trip. When we had prepared, we made another start and crossed a terrible steep hill, over into the valley of the river again. We found a pleasant camp at an abandoned Indian's Plantation. The next day we started on a splendid road to push to a point called Perryville, where we expected to find some bread. As soon as the column was in motion I stepped off at my Nebraska stride, and long before dark, I had reached the place, found a portion of three wagon loads of provisions for us, and soon I had several pounds of flap jacks and stick bread under my belt, when I walked back on the road to encourage the others, for now starvation was gone and hope returned.

    After five more days they broke bread with Chief Stand Watie and reached Boggy Depot.

Thompson ate with General Stand Watie and then a few hours later Thompson reached Boggy Depot and ate with General Cooper.

Stayed three days at Boggy Depot.

Gen. cooper loaned Thompson an ambulance to take him to Red river.

At Boggy Depot Gen. Shelby contracted for oxen to haul the battery.

Thompson moves on with the command and leaves Shelby at Boggy Depot but when Thompson reached Red River Shelby overtook them and preceeded Thompson into Bonham Texas.
When Thompson received orders to move he walks into Bonham Texas, met some old friends there, passed through the town and camped a few miles from town. This night is when Thompson received orders to take command because of Shelby and Staff's furlough. This is where I think Hensley's farm was and John Russell is probably right on the money.


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Price's Retreat Through IT -- Nov 1864
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