One hundred and fifty years ago Brigadier General W.L. Cabell notified General Marmaduke’s headquarters of a large number of Federal forces building up at Benton. He noted in a dispatch that, “that the Federals re-enforced that place last Saturday with at least 4,000 cavalry and 500 infantry, as they were under the impression that our troops were advancing. He says that their main force is evidently at that place. He also thinks that they have only 2,500 infantry, all told.” After reviewing scoutng reports, Cabell urged Marmaduke that “they will make a strong stand there, and, if driven from there, will evacuate Little Rock.”
As Confederate and Union forces continued scouting each other’s respective armies between Benton and Princeton, several military actions were going on simultaneously in Arkansas. On December 4, there was a skirmish at Caddo Gap; a reconnaissance mission from Little Rock between December 5-13; a skirmish in Princeton on December 8; a scout from Walron down Dutch Creek; a scout left from Waldron to Dallas County from December 11-13; Skirmishing at Devalls Bluff from December 11-13;a skirmish at Caddo Mill on December 14; and a skirmish at Clarksville on December 15.