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by General Albert Pike. In addition, dier-General, had moved and taken poalso, to these regularly organized troops sition at Sugar Creek, under orders to there were many companies and regi- make some preparatory arrangements ments of Arkansas volunteers—most of and examinations for a stand against the the country people being required to take enemy. The Fourth Division was at up arms. From these data and the gen- Cross Hollows, under command of Coloeral opinion of the country General Cur- nel E. A. Carr, Acting Brigadier-General. tis estimated the force of the enemy to General Curtis' headquarters were also at have been at least 30,000 to 40,000. this place, within about twelve miles “This," he adds, " was the force in and from Sugar Creek, on the main telegraph near Boston Mountains, rallying to drive road from Springfield to Fayetteville. us from Arkansas and Missouri.” His Large detachments had been sent out own force in the face of the enemy in from those several camps for forage and these early days of March, deducting the information-one from Cross Hollows to troops required for garrison duty at Huntsville, under command of Colonel Marshfield, Springfield, Cassville, and Vandever, and three from Cooper's Farm Keitsville, along his extended line of com- to Maysville and Pinesville. One of munications, besides a constant moving these, under Major Conrad, with a piece force to guard his train, left him ready of artillery and two hundred and fifty for the field, surrounding or in the vicini- men, did not reach the main army till afty of his headquarters at Sugar Creek, ter the battle. All the others came in not more than ten thousand five hundred safe, and joined in the engagement. The cavalry and infantry, with forty-nine two armies were within hearing of each pieces of artillery, including a mountain other's cannon, about thirty miles apart. huwitzer. Owing to the scarcity of for- “The arrival of Major-General Van age and other supplies, it was necessary Dorn, on the 2d of March, in the camp to spread out this force over a consider- of the enemy," continues General Curtis, able distance of country. The troops, in his second official report of the engageGeneral Curtis informs us, though weary ment which ensued, “was the occasion of and somewhat exhausted in their long great rejoicing, and the firing of forty forced marches and frequent conflicts, the guns. The rebel force was harangued by cavalry in especial having suffered in the their chiefs with boastful and passionate breaking down and loss of horses, were, appeals, assuring them of their superior upon the whole, “well armed, drilled, numbers and the certainty of an easy and anxious to encounter the enemy at victory. Dispatches were published, any reasonable, bazard. They were all falsely announcing a great battle at Cointelligent, ardent, flushed with our re- lumbus, Kentucky, in which we had lost peated successes on our way, and all three gunboats and twenty thousand men. conscious of the righteousness of their And thus the rebel hordes were assemcountry's cause."

bled: the occasion was now open to On the 4th of March, immediately drive the invaders from the soil of Arbefore the battle of Pea Ridge, General kansas, and give a final and successful Curtis' force was located as follows :- blow for a Southern Confederacy. The First and Second Divisions, under "The 5th of March was cold and blusGenerals Sigel and Asboth, were four tering. The snow fell so as to cover the miles south-west of Bentonville, at Coop- ground. No immediate attack was appreer's Farm, under general orders to move hended, and I was engaged writing. round to Sugar Creek, about fourteen About 2 o'clock P. M. scouts and fugitive miles east. The Third Division, under citizens came, informing me of the rapid Colonel Jefferson C. Davis, Acting Briga- approach of the enemy to give battle. PREPARATIONS FOR BATTLE.


His cavalry would be at Elm Springs, lines, cut down a great number of trees, some twelve miles distant, that night, and which thoroughly blockaded the roads on his artillery had already passed Fayette- the left. Later in the day I directed ville. Satisfied of the truth of this re- some of the same work to be done on the port, I immediately sent couriers to Gen- right. This work was in charge of Coloeral Sigel and Colonel Vandever, and nel Dodge,.who felled trees on the road ordered them to move immediately to which run parallel to the main road, to Sugar Creek, where I also ordered Colo- which I have before referred. This nel Carr to move with his division. All proved of great advantage, as it retarded my messengers were successful in deliv- the enemy some two hours in their flank ering their orders. Colonel Carr's divis- | movement. Breastworks of considerable ion moved about 6 o'clock P. M. Colonel length were erected by the troops on the Vandever had intelligence of the move- headlands of Sugar Creek as if by magic, ment of the enemy before my messenger and a battery near the road-crossing was reached him, and made immediate change completely shielded by an extensive in his march, so that with great exertion earthwork erected under the direction of he arrived on the 6th General Sigel Colonel Davis, by a pioneer company deferred his march from Cooper's Farm commanded by Captain Snyder. About till 2 o'clock in the morning of the 6th, 2 o'clock P. M., General Asboth and Coloand at Bentonville tarried himself, with nel Osterhaus reported the arrival of the a regiment and battery, till he was at- First and Second Divisions. This good tacked about 9 o'clock A. M. I arrived news was followed immediately by anothat Sugar Creek at 2 o'clock A. M. on the er report that General Sigel, who had 6th, and immediately detailed parties for remained behind with a detachment, had early morning work in felling timber to been attacked near Bentonville, and was obstruct certain roads, to prevent the quite surrounded by the enemy's advance enemy having too many approaches, and forces. I immediately directed some of to erect field-works to increase the the troops to return to his relief. In the strength of my forces. Colonel Davis meantime, he had advanced with his galand Colonel Carr, early in the day, took lant little band, fighting its way within their positions on the high projecting hills three or four miles of our main forces. commanding the valley of the creek, leav- The two divisions turned back in double ing the right of the line to be occupied quick, and a large cavalry force also by the First and Second Divisions, which started, all being anxious to join in a reswere anxiously expected. The valley of cue of their comrades in peril. Part of the creek is low, and from a quarter to a the First Division, under Colonel Osterhalf-mile wide. The hills are high on haus, soon met the retreating detachment both sides, and the main road from Fay- and immediately opened with artillery etteville, by Cross Hollows to Keitsville, and infantry, which checked the further intercepts the valley nearly at right advance and terminated the action for the angles. The road from Fayetteville by day. In the retreat and final repulse, Bentonville to Keitsville is quite a detour, which occupied several hours, our loss but it also comes up the Sugar Creek was some twenty-five killed and woundvalley; a branch, however, takes off and ed. The enemy must have suffered more, runs nearly parallel to the main or tele- as our artillery had telling effect along graph road, some three miles from it. the road, and the rebel graves in considThe Sugar Creek valley, therefore, inter- erable numbers bear witness of the enecepts all these roads.

my's loss. The firing having ceased, I "The Third and Fourth Divisions had, sent back other troops that had joined the before noon of the 6th, deployed their movement, and designated the positions on the right, which were promptly occu-to rally and move forward his attacking pied by the First and Second Divisions. column, a messenger brought me intelliOur men rested on their arms, confident gence that my pickets, commanded by of hard work before them on the coming Major Weston, of the 24th Missouri, had day.

been attacked by infantry. This was at “On my front was the deep, broad Elkhorn Tavern, where the new right valley of Sugar Creek, forming the prob- was to rest. Colonel Carr being present, able approaches of the enemy-our troops he was ordered to move into position and extending for miles, and generally occu- support the Major as soon as possible. pying the summits of headlands on Sugar "This was the commencement of the Creek. In my rear was a broken plateau, second day's fight. It was about half called Pea Ridge, and still further in past ten o'clock, and the officers separated my rear the deep valley of Big.Sugar to direct their respective commands. Creek, or Cross Timbers. My own The fire increased rapidly on the right, headquarters and those of Generals Si- and very soon opened in the center. gel, Asboth, and other commanders of After visiting the right, where I perdivisions, were near Pratt's House. ceived the enemy was making a vigorous The approach by Bentonville brought the attack, and finding Colonel Carr under a enemy to my extreme right, and during brisk fire of shot and shell, coolly locatthe night of the 5th and 6th he began a ing and directing the deployment, I removement round my flank by the road turned to my central position, near above mentioned, which crosses Pea Pratt's house, and sent orders to Colonel Ridge some three miles north-west of Davis to move near to Colonel Carr, to the main telegraph road. I ascertained support him. In the meantime, Colonel in the morning this flank movement of Osterhaus had attacked the enemy and the enemy, which I perceived was to divided his forces, but he was soon attack my right flank and rear. I there-pressed with greatly superior numbers, fore called my commanders of divisions that drove back our cavalry and took our together at General Asboth's tent, and flying battery, which had advanced with directed a change of front to the rear, so it. The Colonel, however, was well supas to face the road, upon which the enemy ported by his infantry, and soon checked was still moving. At the same time, I a movement that threatened to intercept directed the organization of a detachment the deployment of other forces. I conof cavalry and light artillery, supported sidered the affair so imminent I changed by infantry, to open the battle by an my order to Colonel Davis, and directed attack from my new center on the prob- him to move to the support of the center, able center of the enemy before he could which was his proper place according to fully form. I selected Colonel Osterhaus my order for the change of front. My to lead this central column-an officer new line was thus formed under the enewho displayed great skill, energy, and my's fire, the troops generally moving in gallantry each day of the battle. The good order and gallant bearing. Thus change of front thus directed reversed formed, the line was not continuous, but the order of the troops, placing the First extended entirely across Pea Ridge, the and Second Divisions on the left, their divisions in numerical order, from left to left still resting on Sugar Creek ; Colonel right, Colonel Osterhaus remaining in Osterhaus and the Third Division in the command of a detachment, and operating center, and the Fourth Division became with Colonel Davis in resisting McCulthe extreme right. While I was explain- loch and McIntosh, who commanded the ing the proposed movement to command-enemy's forces in the center. I did not ers, and Colonel Osterhaus was beginning err in sending Colonel Davis to this point, BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.


although Colonel Carr on the right need-cated with that wing, informed me that ed reinforcements. The battle raged in he bad just seen Generals Sigel and the center with terrible fury. Colonel Asbot, on Sugar Creek, and there was no Davis held the position against fearful attack in that quarter, and no appearnumbers, and our brave troops nobly ance of an enemy. About this time the stood or charged in steady lines. The enemy's forces melted away in the fate of the battle depended on success brushy center, and the fire gradually against the flank movement of the enemy, ceased. Believing the left and center no and here near Leetown was the place to longer menaced, and the enemy was conbreak it down. The fall of Generals centrating on the right, I again sent word McCulloch, McIntosh, and other officers to Colonel Carr that he would soon be of the enemy, who fell early in the day, reinforced. I had now resolved to bring aided us in our final success, at this most up the left and center to meet the gathercritical point; and the steady courage of ing hordes near Elkhorn Tavern. To inofficers and men in our lines chilled and form myself of the condition of the broke down the hordes of Indian cavalry extreme left, I went in person to that and infantry that were arrayed against point. On my way I ordered forward us. While the battle thus raged in the the remainder of Colonel Benton's comcenter, the right wing was sorely pressed, mand, three pieces and a battalion, which and the dead and wounded were scat- had remained guarding the crossing of tered over the field. Colonel Carr sent the main telegraph road. for reinforcements, and I sent him a few “I found Generals Sigel and Asboth cavalry and my body-guard, with the with the troops on the hill near the little mountain howitzers, under Major extreme left, where all was quiet, and Bowen. These did good service at a the men, not having been under fire, most critical period. I urged Colonel fresh and anxious to participate in the Carr to stand firm, that more forces fight. It was was now safe to make a could be expected soon. Subsequently new change of front, so as to face Sugar Colonel Carr sent me word that he could Creek. I therefore ordered this force not hold his position much longer. I forward. General Asboth moved by the could then only reply by sending him the direct road to Elkhorn Tavern, and Genorder to 'persevere.' He did perse- eral Sigel went by Leetown to reinforce vere, and the sad havoc in the 9th and Colonel Davis, if need be, but to press 4th Iowa, and Phelps' Missouri, and on to reinforce Colonel Carr, if not needMajor Weston's 24th Missouri, and alled in the center. Both generals moved the troops in that division, will show how promptly. I accompanied General Asearnest and continuous was their perse-both, collecting and moviug forward some verance. Seeing no signs of approach- straggling commands that I found by the ing foes by the telegraph road, I sent him way. It must have been nearly 5 three pieces of artillery and a battalion o'clock when I brought the force to the of infantry, of Colonel Benton's com- aid of Colonel Carr. He had received mand, (part of the Third Division,) which three or four shots-one a severe wound had been located at Sugar Creek, to in the arm. Many of his field officers guard the approaches. Each small ac- had fallen, and the dead and wounded cession to the Fourth Division seemed to bad greatly reduced his force. He had compensate an overpowering force. As been slowly forced back near half a mile, to the left, I was repeatedly informed it and had been seven hours under constant stood safe and firm, although threatened fire. His troops were still fiercely conby the foe. About 2 o'clock P. M. my testing every inch of ground. As I aid, Captain Adams, who had communi- came up, the 4th Iowa was falling back for cartridges, in line, dressing on their foe, with their dead and wounded comcolors in perfect order. Supposing, with rades scattered around them. Darkness, my reinforcements, I could easily recover silence, and fatigue soon secured for the my lost ground, I ordered the regiment weary broken slumbers and gloomy reto face about. Colonel Dodge came up, pose. The day had closed on some reexplaining the want of cartridges ; but, verses on the right, but the left had been informed of my purpose, I ordered a unassailed, and the center had driven the bayonet charge, and they moved again, foe from the field. My only anxiety for with steady nerve, to their former posi- the fate of the next day was the new tion, where the gallant 9th was ready to front which it was necessary to form by support them. These two regiments my weary troops. I directed Colonel won imperishable honors. General As- Davis to withdraw all the remainder of both had planted his artillery in the road his reserve from the center, and move and opened a tremendous fire on the ene- forward so as to occupy the ground on my at short range. The 2d Missouri Colonel Carr's immediate left. Although Infantry also deployed, and earnestly his troops had been fighting hard most of engaged the enemy. About this time the day, and displayed great energy and the shades of night began to gather courage, at twelve o'clock at night they around us, but the fire on both sides commenced their movement to the new seemed to grow fierce and more deadly. position on the battle-field, and they too One of my body-guard fell dead, my soon rested on their arms. Nothing furOrderly received a shot, and General ther had been heard from General Sigel's Asboth was severely wounded in the command after the message at dark that arm. A messenger came from General | he was on or near the left. His detour Sigel, saying he was close on the left, and carried him around a bushy portion of would soon open fire. The battery of the battle-field that could not be explored General Asbotb ran out of ammunition, in the night. About two o'clock he reand fell back. This caused another bat ported at my headquarters with his tery, that I had located on the other side troops, who, he said, were going to their of the road, to follow—this latter fearing former camps for provisions. The disa want of support. The infantry, how- tance to his camp, some two miles further, ever, stood firm, or fell back in good was so great that I apprehended tardiorder, and the batteries were soon re- ness in the morning, and urged the Genstored, but the caissons got quite out of eral to rest the troops where they then reach. The artillery firing was renewed, were, at my headquarters, and send for however, and kept up till dark—the provisions, as the other troops were enemy firing the last shot, for I could not doing. This was readily concurred in, find another cartridge to give them a and these troops bivouaced also for the final round; even the little howitzer re- night. The arrangement thus completed sponded No cartridges!' The enemy to bring all four of my divisions to face ceased firing, and I hurried men after the a position which had been held in check caissons and more ammunition ; mean- all the previous day by one, I rested, time I arranged the infantry in the edge confident of final success on the coming of the timber, with fields in front, where day. they lay on their arms and held the “The sun rose above the horizon beposition for the night. I directed a de- fore our troops were all in position, and tail from each company to bring water yet the enemy had not renewed the and provisions, and thus, without a mur-attack. I was hardly ready to open fire mur, these weary soldiers lay, and many on him, as the First and Second Divisof them slept within a few yards of the lions had not yet moved into position,

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