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VAN DORN RETIRES FROM PEA RIDGE.
31 fire, the infantry moving steadily to mistakably ours, but the trophies their support, while the left wing were not abundant. No cannon, nor was pushed rapidly forward, climb- caissons, nor prisoners of any account, ing a low cliff from which the Rebels save a few too severely wounded to had been driven by our guns, and hobble off, were taken; and, though crowding them back into the deep a letter to The New York Herald, ravines of Cross-Timber Hollow. written from the battle-field on the The 36th Illinois was prominent in 9th, speaks of “a considerable quanthis movement; while the 12th Mis-tity of wagons, supplies, etc., a load souri, pushing into the enemy's lines, of powder, and nearly a thousand captured a flag and two guns. stand of arms," as captured by Sigel
The flight of the Rebels was so sud- during his pursuit of the fugitives den and swift, and the ravines where- upon the Keytesville road, they do in they disappeared so impracticable not figure in either of Sigel's official for cavalry, that our commanders reports of the battle, nor yet in those were for some time at fault in the of Curtis. The beaten Confederates, pursuit. Gen. Sigel pushed north on fleeing with celerity in different dithe Keytesville road, where but few rections and by many paths, finally of them had gone; and it was not came together in the direction of till afternoon that Gen. Curtis ascer- Bentonville, some 8 miles from the tained that, after entering the Hol- Elkhorn Tavern, whence Van Dorn low, the main Rebel force had turn- dispatched a flag of truce to Curtis, ed to the right, following obscure soliciting an arrangement for buryravines which led into the Hunts-ing the dead, which was accorded. ville road, on which they escaped. Pollard makes a scarcity of ammuCol. Bussey, with our cavalry and nition a main reason for Van Dorn's howitzers, followed them beyond retreat, and it is probable that neither Bentonville."
army was well supplied with carGen. Curtis reports his entire loss tridges at the close of this protracted in the battle at 1,351, of whom 701 though desultory struggle. He adds -more than half-were of Col. that “Gen. Curtis was forced to fall Carr's division. The Rebel loss can back into Missouri,” and that the hardly have been less; since, in ad-“ total abandonment of their enterdition to Gens. Ben McCulloch and prise of subjugation in Arkansas is McIntosh killed, Gens. Price and the most conclusive evidence in the Slack were wounded.
world that the Federals were worsted The victory at Pea Ridge was un- by Gen. Van Dorn;" but fails to
in the bathan
vision was placed in position to follow; while "About 94 o'clock, Van Dorn had completed | Gen. Van Dorn 80 disposed of his remaining his arrangements to withdraw his forces. Find force as best to deceive the enemy as to his ining that his right wing was much disorganized. tention, and to hold him in check while execu. and that the batteries were, one after another, ting it. An attempt was made by the enemy to retiring from the field, with every shot expend. follow the retreating column. It was effectually ed, he had determined to withdraw his forces in
checked, however; and, about 2 P.M., the Conthe direction of their supplies. This was ac
federates encamped about six miles from the complished with almost perfect success. The
field of battle, all the artillery and baggage ambulances, crowded with the wounded, were joining the army in safety. They brought away sent in advance: a portion of McCulloch's dis from the field of battlo 300 prisoners, 4 canuon,
and 3 baggage-wagons."
mention the fact that the Confederate century, it is certain that the mass of army was also compelled to fall back the Indians there collected still reto a region less wasted and exhaust- garded with just indignation the ed than that which for many miles wrongs they had experienced, rememsurrounded the well-fought field of bering fondly the pleasant streams Pea Ridge.
and valleys of the lower Alleghanies,
from which they had been forcibly As this was the only important and wrongfully expelled. But their battle in which ‘Indians' in consid- Chiefs had been early corrupted in erable numbers took part, and as their old homes, by the example and they were all found fighting—or, practice among their White neighmore strictly, yelling on the side of bors of slaveholding a practice novel the Confederacy, a few words of ex- indeed, but eminently congenial to planation may be pertinent.
the natural indolence and pride of We have seen " that the important the savage character. They, conseaboriginal tribes known to us as quently, adhered to it in their new Creeks and Cherokees, holding from location; and, since to hold slaves time immemorial extensive and de- was a proof of wealth and importsirable territories, mainly within the ance, nearly erery one who by any States of North Carolina and Georgia, means obtained property, exchanged but extending also into Tennessee a part of it for one or more negroes; and Alabama, were constrained to who, if they did not by labor increase surrender those lands to the lust of his wealth, were certain, by flattery the neighboring Whites, and migrate and servility, to magnify his conscious across the Mississippi, at the in- importance. Thus thoroughly satustance of the State authorities, re- rated with the virus of slaveholding, sisted, in obedience to treaties, by the most civilized Indian tribes fell President John Quincy Adams, and an easy prey to the arts of the Consuccumbed to, in defiance of treaties federate emissaries. The agents and repeated judgments of the Su- through whom they received their preme Court, by President Andrew annuities and transacted most of their Jackson. They were located, with business with the Federal Governsome smaller tribes, in a region lying ment, had nearly always been Demodirectly westward of Arkansas and cratic politicians—of course, pro-Slanorth of the Red river, to which the very, and generally Southern-and name of Indian Territory was given, for the last eight years emphatically so. and which, lying between the 34th These agents had little difficulty, at and 37th parallels of North latitude, the outset of the Rebellion, in perand well watered by the Arkansas suading their Chiefs that the old and several affluents of that and of Union was irrecoverably destroyed; Red river, was probably as genial that it was scarcely probable that an and inviting as any new region to effort would be made to restore it; which they could have been transfer- and that, at all events, their interests red. Yet, though their removal had and their safety dictated an alliance been effected nearly a quarter of a with that Confederacy which was
18 See Vol. I., pages 102-6.
THE WAR AMONG THE INDIANS.
their immediate neighbor, and of , ocrat" called loudly for röenforcewhich the conservation and perpetu- ments to the Rebel array in the Inity of slaveholding was the most dian Territory, and expressed apprecherished idea. Some of those Chiefs hension that the Northern party have since insisted that they were might prove the stronger. A battle deceived by the Confederate emissa- between the antagonistic Indian ries, and especially by Gen. Albert forces took place Dec. 9th, 1861, on Pike, chief Commissioner for Indian Bushy creek, near the Verdigris Affairs of the Confederacy, who had river, 180 miles west of Fort Smith, led them to confonnd that concern the Confederates being led by Col. with the Union. What is certain is, Cooper, the Unionists by Opothleyolo. that, directly after tidings reached The result was not decisive, but the them of the battles of Bull Run and advantage appears to have been with Wilson's creek-the latter reported the Rebel party, the Unionists being to them from that side as a complete constrained soon after to make their discomfiture of the North, which way northward to Kansas, where they view the undoubted death of Lyon received the supplies they so much and abandonment of Springfield tend- needed, and where a treaty of close ed strongly to corroborate—the Chiefs alliance was negotiated" between of most of the tribes very generally Opothleyolo and his followers on one entered into a close offensive and de- side, and Col. Dole, U. S. Commisfensive alliance with the Confeder- sioner of Indian Affairs, on the other. acy; even so cautious and politic a The Rebels were thus left in undiplomatist as John Ross throwing disputed possession of the Indian his weight into that scale. It is said Territory, from which they collected that, after the death of Lyon, Ben the four or five thousand warriors McCulloch's brigade of Texans was who appeared at Pea Ridge; but, marched back to the Indian border, though the ground was mainly broand that the Creeks and Cherokees ken and wooded, affording every fawere impressively required to decide cility for irregular warfare, they do quickly between the North and the not seem to have proved of much South; else, betwixt Texas on the one account, save in the consumption side and Arkansas on the other, a of rations and massacre of the force of 20,000 Confederates would Union wounded, of whom at least speedily ravage and lay waste their a score fell victims to their barbarcountry. They decided accordingly. ities. Their war-whoop was overYet a very large minority of both borne by the roar of our heavy Creeks and Cherokees rallied around guns; they were displeased with the the Chief Opothleyolo, made head frequent falling on their heads of against the current, and stood firm great branches and tops of the trees for the Union. Assembling near the behind which they had sought shelter; Creek Agency, they tore down the and, in fact, the whole conduct of Rebel flag there fying and replanted the battle on our part was, to their apthe Stars and Stripes; and a letter"? | prehension disgusting. The amount from Col. McIntosh to the True Dem- of effort and of profanity expended » Oct. 17, 1861. 8 Little Rock, Arkansas. At Leavenworth, Feb. 1. 1862.
by their White officers in trying to generally swampy, wooded, and thinkeep them in line at the front, prob- ly settled country, where none but ably overbalanced the total value of negroes made any professions of their services; so that, if they chose Unionism, and, being joined at Jackto depart for their homes soon after sonport" by Gen. C. C. Washburne, the close of the battle, it is not prob- with the 3d Wisconsin cavalry, which able that any strenuous efforts were had come through from Springfield made to detain them.”
alone and unassailed, proceeded to
Augusta, where he took leave” of the Gen. Curtis, after resting and re- White, and, assuming a generally S. fitting his army, finding no enemy in W. direction, took his way across the its vicinity, again put his column in cypress swamps and canebrakes of motion, proceeding S. S. E. through the Cache, where his advance (the north-western Arkansas to Bates- 33d Illinois, Col. Hovey), which had ville," on White river, near which been struggling over roads heavily point he had expected to meet gun- obstructed by fallen trees, was atboats with supplies from below. He tacked by some 1,500 Rebel cavalry, found the river, however, at an un- mainly Texans, led by Gen. Albert usually low stage for the season- Rust, who held him in check for an barely four feet; while the gunboats hour, until he was joined by the 1st required six or seven; beside which, Indiana cavalry, Lt.-Col. Wood, with the Mound City, which attempted two howitzers, when an impetuous the ascent, had been resisted and charge was made by the Indianians, blown up in a fight with the Rebel whereby the enemy were routed and battery at St. Charles some days be- put to flight. The bodies of 110 dead fore. Being compelled, therefore, to Rebels were buried by our soldiers, depend for all his supplies on wagon- whose loss was but 8 killed and 45 trains from Rolla, Mo., now several wounded, including Maj. Glendenhundred miles distant, he did not feel nin, who led the charge, receiving a strong enough to advance on Little shot in the breast, which prored morRock, the capital of Arkansas, nearly tal. The Rebels were satisfied with 100 miles S. S. W. from his present this experiment, and gave no further position. Ilaving halted seven weeks, trouble. wholly unmolested, at Batesville, he | Gen. Curtis again struck” White again set forth,“ crossing the Big river at Clarendon, just below the Black by a pontoon-bridge, and pur- mouth of the Cache, only to learn, suing a southerly course through a with intense chagrin, that Col. Fitch,
20 Pollard says:
simple children of the forest may be imagined at " The Indian regiments, under Gen. Pike, liad
the sight of such roaring, deafening, crashing not come up in time to take any important part
monsters as 12-pounders running around on in the battle. Some of the red men behaved
wheels. Gen. Van Dorn, in his official report well, and a portion of them assisted in taking a
of the battle, does not mention that any assistbattery; but they were difficult to manage in
ance was derived from the Indians-an ally that the deafening roar of artillery, to which they
had, perhaps, cost us much more trouble, er. were inaccustomed, and were naturally amazed
pense, and annoyance than their services in at the sight of guns that ran on wheels. They
modern warfare could, under any circumstances, knew what to do with the rifle; they were ac
be worth." customed to the sounds of battle as loud as their | Arriving there May 6.
» June 24. own war-whoop; and the amazement of these 23 June 25. 24 July 4. 25 July 7. 24 July 9.
with the expected gunboats and field persisted in enrolling and organtransports, had gone down the river izing militia until he had 50,900 men barely 24 hours previous. Being on his lists, of whom about 30,000 short of provisions, in a thoroughly were armed. Upon full considerainhospitable country, he had no choice tion, he decided to enroll only loyal but to make his way to the most ac- men, since passive were often concessible point on the Mississippi. verted into active Rebels by a reThis was Helena, 65 miles S. E., quirement to serve in the Union which was made" by Gen. Wash- forces. He had 20,000 men ready burne, with 2,500 cavalry and 5 how for service, when, late in July, 1862, itzers, in a march of 24 hours, the the tidings of McClellan's disastrous infantry coming through during the failure before Richmond combined two following days, bringing about with other influences to fill the half a regiment of white Arkansas interior of the State with formidvolunteers, with a large number of able bands of Rebel partisans. Of negroes, who, having been employed these, Col. Porter's, two or three to block the roads in our front by thousand strong, was attacked" at felling trees across them, were entitled Kirksville, Adair County, by Col. to liberty and protection under the John McNeil, with 1,000 cavalry regnant military policy. A single and a battery of 6 guns, and, after a train of 40 wagons, laden with sup- desperate fight of four hours, utterly plies, being wholly unguarded, was defeated, with a loss of 180 killed captured by Rebel guerrillas in Mis- and 500 wounded. Several wagonsouri, within 30 miles of Rolla, its loads of arms were among the spoils starting-point.
of victory, and Porter's force was
by this defeat practically destroyed. Gen. John M. Schofield had at an McNeil's loss was reported at 28 early day” been placed by Gen. Hal- killed and 60 wounded. leck in command of all the Missouri Four days thereafter, Col. Poinmilitia—a force then visible only to dexter's band of about 1,200 Rebels the eye of faith. By the middle of was attacked, while crossing the April following, he had an array of Chariton river, by Col. Odin Guitar, 13,800 men in the field, mainly cav- 9th militia cavalry, 600 men, with 2 alry; to which was intrusted the de- guns, and thoroughly routed; many fense of the State, while our other of the Rebels being driven into the troops were drawn away to Arkan- river and drowned. “Many horses sas and the Tennessee. Gen. Curtis's and arms, and all their spare ammumovements eastward toward the Mis- nition and other supplies, were capsissippi opened the State to incur-tured.” 30 Poindexter, with what resions from the Rebels, still in force mained of his force, fled northward in western Arkansas; while consider- to join Porter; but was intercepted ble numbers of Price's men were and driven back by another Union clandestinely sent home to enlist re- force under Gen. Ben. Loan, and cruits and organize guerrilla bands for again struck by Guitar; who, in a activity during the summer Scho- running fight of nearly 48 hours, ** July 11. 29 Nov. 27, 1861. - Aug 6, 1862. 0 Gen. Schofield's official report.