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GEN. STERLING PRICE was a good | thereupon issued an order, threatendeal less indignant than any Union- ing to shoot any Rebel caught bridgeist at the unaccountable desertion' of burning within the Union lines-south-western Missouri by the new threat which the guerrillas habitually Union commander, directly on the defied, and President Lincoln declined heels of Fremont's triumphant and to make good. unresisted advance, when assured Gen. John Pope, commanding the that his scouts were not mistaken in district of Central Missouri, having reporting the evacuation of Spring- collected and equipped an adequate field and retreat to Rolla, by an army force, at length demonstrated against which he would not have dared to the Rebels occupying Lexington, unattack. He gradually retraced his der Rains and Stein, compelling them steps from the Arkansas border, en- to abandon the line of the Missouri, , tering Springfield in triumph, and and retreat southward. Having, by subsequently advancing to Osceola, forced marches and his strength in on the Osage, thence pushing forward cavalry, gained a position between his forces unresisted over the greater them and their base at Osceola, he, part of southern and western Mis- forced them to a hurried flight, with souri, occupying in force Lexington the loss of nearly 300 prisoners and and other points on the great river, most of their baggage, including 70 where Slavery and Rebellion were wagons laden with clothing and supstrong, and subsisting his army on plies for Price, who lay at Osceola the State from which they might and with 8,000 men. Meantime, a deshould have been excluded. The tachment of Pope's forces, under Col. village of Warsaw was burned,' and Jeff. C. Davis, surprised' a Rebel Platte City partially so,' by Rebel camp at Milford, not far from Warincendiaries or guerrillas; and there rensburg, and compelled its surrender were insignificant combats at Salem, at discretion. Three colonels, 17 Rogers' Mill,' near Glasgow, Potosi, captains, over 1,000 prisoners, 1,000 Lexington, Mount Zion, near Stur- stand of arms, 1,000 horses, and an geon, and some other points, at which abundance of tents, baggage, and the preponderance of advantage was supplies, were among the trophies of generally on the side of the Unionists. this easy triumph. Pope's losses in Even in North Missouri, nearly a these operations scarcely exceeded hundred miles of the railroad crossing 100 men; while his prisoners alone that section was disabled and in good were said to be 2,500. Among them part destroyed' by a concerted night was Col. Magoffin, brother of the foray of guerrillas. Gen. Halleck late Governor of Kentucky.
Nov. 2–15, 1861. See Vol. I., pages 593-4. Nov. 19, 1861.
* Dec. 16.
Dec. 28. • Dec. 18.
SIGEL'S RETREAT FROM BENTONVILLE.
Price, thus roughly handled before that general. Sending his train he had been able to concentrate his ahead under escort, he covered its forces, did not choose to risk a general retreat with his best battery and inengagement. He retreated rapidly fantry, planting his guns on each through Springfield and Cassville, favorable position, and pouring grape closely pursued, and fighting at inter- and shell into the pursuing masses, vals, until he had crossed the Arkan- until their advance was arrested and sas line, forming a junction, soon disorganized, when he would limber afterward, near Boston Mountains, up and fall back to the next elevawith Gen. Ben McCulloch, command- tion or turn in the road, where he ing a division of Texas and Arkansas would renew the dispensation of Confederates, thus raising his entire grape with like results, then conforce to a number fully equal with cede another half-mile, and repeat the that which had so keenly pursued operation. Thus fighting and falling him, which was now commanded back, he wore out the day and the by Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, of Iowa, distance, repelling his foes, who at and which, after continuing the pur- times enveloped his flanks as well as suit down to Fayetteville, Arkansas, his rear, with a loss of less than 100 had retraced its steps to and halted men, a good part of these from the at Sugar creek, not far over the 2d Missouri, Col. Schaefer, who, misState line. Meantime, Price was taking an order, had left Bentonville joined" and backed by Earl Van considerably in advance, and who Dorn, late a captain " of U. S. regu- fell into an ambuscade by the way. lars, now Confederate major-general, Before 4 P. M., Sigel was met by recommanding the Trans-Mississippi enforcements sent him by Gen. Curdepartment, and by Gen. Albert tis, when the pursuit was arrested, Pike, of Arkansas, heading a consid- and he deliberately encamped near erable brigade of Indians, swelling Leetown, across Sugar creek, and in the numbers of the Rebels to about close proximity to General Curtis's 20,000.
center position. Pea RIDGE is the Van Dorn promptly resolved to designation of the elevated table-land, give battle, and to fight it in such broken by ravines, and filling a large manner that the defeat of the Union- bend of Sugar creek, on which the ists should involve their destruction. ensuing battle was fought. Advancing rapidly from his camp at Gen. Curtis, knowing himself Cross Hollows, covering Fayetteville, largely outnumbered by the motley he struck at the division of Gen. host collected to overwhelm him, Franz Sigel, holding Bentonville, the had chosen a very strong position on extreme advance of the Union posi- which to concentrate his retreating tion, 8 or 10 miles southwest from force, provided the Rebels would atGen. Curtis's center, near Mottsville, tack it in front, as he expected. The on the direct road from Fayetteville country being generally wooded, he to Springfield. This attempt to iso- had obstructed most of the lateral late, overwhelm, and crush Sigel was roads with fallen trees; while his arbaffled by the coolness and skill of tillery and infantry, well posted and 10 March 3, 1862.
11 See page 18.
12 March 6.
strongly intrenched, were prepared Price, with his Missourians, formed to give the foe the warmest kind of re the right; McIntosh was in the cenception as he advanced against them ter, and McCulloch on the left. up the main road, leading from Texas The dispositions being made, at 104 through Fayetteville northward to o'clock, Osterhaus was directed by Keytesville and Springfield. But Curtis to advance, supporting his Van Dorn perceived neither the ne- cavalry and light artillery, and open cessity nor the wisdom of running the ball; while, at nearly the same into such a trap. Advancing from moment, McCulloch fell with overFayetteville obliquely by way of whelming force upon Carr's division Bentonville, and chasing Sigel off at and near Elkhorn Tavern. A the direct road from the latter to broad, deep ravine, known as CrossKeytesville upon the cross-road that Timber Hollow, but termed in some passes through the little village of reports Big Sugar creek, rendered Leetown and intersects the Fayette- almost impassable by a windfall of ville road at Elkhorn Tavern, he dili- heavy timber, crossed the battle-field, gently improved the night following severing the lines of either army, but Sigel's retreat in placing his entire especially those of the Rebels. army along the road from Benton- Osterhaus advanced with great galville toward Keytesville, on the flank lantry from Leetown nearly to the and in the rear of his foe; so that Bentonville road, on which he found all Curtis's elaborate preparations to the enemy moving rapidly in great receive him on the Fayetteville road force toward Elkhorn Tavern, where went for nothing.
McCulloch's attack upon Carr was Curtis woke late on the morning already in progress. Assailed in turn of the 7th to a realizing sense of his by greatly superior numbers, he was critical condition, with a far more soon driven back in disorder, with numerous foe practically between the loss of his battery. Col. Davis, him and his resources, rendering re- who had been ordered by Curtis to treat ruinous, and compelling him to support Carr, was now directed to fight the Rebels on the ground they advance through Leetown to the reshad chosen, which proffered him no cue of Osterhaus, which he did with advantage, and with which their such vigor and determination that, guides were far more familiar than though largely outnumbered and re
But every moment's delay must peatedly compelled to recoil, his divinecessarily be improved by Van Dorn sion held the ground assigned them, in making matters worse; so Curtis losing two guns of Davidson's batpromptly changed front to rear, mak- tery by the sudden advance of the ing the first and second divisions, un- enemy when their horses were disader Sigel and Asboth, his left, the bled, but regaining them by a desthird, under Jeff. C. Davis, his center, perate charge of the 18th Indiana, and the fourth, Col. Carr, his right. which, with the 22d, was honorably The line thus formed stretched about conspicuous throughout the day. Col. three miles from Sugar creek, Hendricks, of the 22d, was killed through Leetown, to Elkhorn Tav- while leading a charge of his regiern; of the Rebel line confronting it, ment. Night closed on this division,
THE BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
sinking weary but undaunted on the found Carr still fiercely fighting, havfield it had so nobly won—a field red- ing received three or four shots, one dened by the blood of many of their of which inflicted a severe wound. foes, including Gens. McCulloch and Many of his field officers had fallen, McIntosh, both mortally wounded. with about one-fourth of his entire
Carr was so fearfully overmatched command. He had been seven hours throughout the day that, though al- under fire, during which he had been ways presenting a bold front to the forced back about half a mile. As enemy, he was compelled to give Curtis came up, he saw the 4th Iowa ground, sending repeated and urgent falling back in perfect order, dressing representations to Gen. Curtis that on their colors as if on parade, and he could hold out but little longer ordered it to face about. Col. Dodge unless rëenforced. Curtis sent him explained that it was entirely out of from time to time a battalion or a ammunition, and was only retiring to few light guns, with orders to perse refill its cartridge-boxes. Curtis orvere; and at length, at 2 P. M., find- dered a bayonet-charge, and the regiing his left wholly unassailed, ordered ment at once moved steadily back to Gen. Asboth to move to the right its former position. by the Fayetteville road to Elkhorn Meantime, Gen. Asboth had plantTavern, to support Carr, while Gen. ed his artillery in the road and openSigel should rëenforce Davis at Lee- ed a heavy fire on the Rebel masses town, pushing on to Elkhorn if not just at hand, while, of his infantry, needed in the center.
the 2d Missouri plunged into the Gen. Curtis, with Asboth's divi- fight. The fire on both sides was sion, reached Elkhorn at 5 P. M. He close and deadly. Gen. Asboth was
sevcrely wounded, Gen. Curtis's or- | in hand, while at least a third of it derly was hit, and one of his body had not yet fired a shot. Not a man guard fell dead. As the shades of in our ranks doubted that our vicnight fell, a messenger from Sigel tory must be speedy as well as de gave tidings that he was coming up cisive. . on the left, and would soon open fire. The sun rose; Gen. Curtis awaited Asboth’s batteries fell back, being the completion of his line of battle out of ammunition, and the Rebels by Asboth’s and Sigel's divisions getwere enabled to fire the last shot. A ting into position; but no shot was little after dark, both armies sank fired by the enemy. At length, Curdown on the battle-field, and slept tis ordered Col. Davis, in our center, amid the dead and the dying. to begin the day's work. He was
Curtis, finding that Van Dorn had instantly replied to from new batconcentrated all his forces on this teries and lines which the Rebels had point, directed Davis to withdraw all prepared during the night, some of his reserve from the center, and move the batteries raking our right wing forward to the ground on Carr's left, so that it was constrained to fall back which was effected by midnight. a little, but without slackening its Sigel, though he had reported him- fire. Asboth's and Sigel's divisions self just at hand at dark, was obliged were soon in position, completing our to make a detour, and did not reach line of battle a little to the rear of headquarters till 2 A. M.
the first, but without a break, and Van Dorn slept that night at the much of it on open ground, our left Elkhorn Tavern, from which he had wing extended so that it could not be dislodged Davis by such desperate flanked. Gen. Curtis ordered his efforts." He had thus far been fight- right to advance to the positions held ing a part of our forces with all of his the night before, and, finding himown, and had only gained ground self an elevation on the extreme where his preponderance of numbers right, considerably in advance, which was overwhelming. Curtis reports commanded the enemy's center and his entire command in Arkansas at left, here posted the Dubuque bat10,500, cavalry and infantry—of tery, directing the right wing to adwhom 250 were absent after forage vance to its support, while Capt. throughout the battle—and 48 pieces Hayden opened from it a most gallof artillery. IIe estimates the Rebel / ing fire. Returning to the center, force in battle at 30,000, including he directed the 1st Iowa battery, 5,000 Indians." Pollard says, “Van Capt. David, to take position in an Dorn's whole force was about 16,000 open field and commence operations; men.” But now our whole army was and so battery after battery opened
“We had taken during the least camp-talk amongst officers high in comday 7 cannon and about 200 prisoners.”
mand so represented—that our united forces 14 The Richmond Whig of April 9th, 1862, has
would carry into action nearly 30,000 men,
more frequently estimated at 35,000 than a lower a Rebel letter from one present to Hon. G. G. figure. I believe Gen. Van Dorn was confident Vest, which says:
that not a man less than 25,000 were panting to "When the enemy left Cove creek, which is follow his victorious plume to a field where south of Boston Mountain, Gens. Price, McCul- prouder honors awaited them than any he had loch, Pike, and McIntosh seemed to think-at 'yet gathered."