Gen. J.R. West led 3,094 U.S. cavalrymen in pursuit of 4,000 Confederate horsemen under Col. T.H. McCray and Gen. J.O. Shelby on Aug. 6, 1864. The U.S. troops rode to Austin, Stony Point, Searcy, and Augusta. On Aug. 11, troops of the 10th Illinois Cavalry destroyed a salt works 5 miles SE of modern Bald Knob, ruining 11 kettles and 60 vats while capturing 8 men and depriving the Confederates of salt needed to preserve meat supplies. West's expedition returned to Little Rock Aug. 16, having driven the Confederates east of the White River.