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[253] miles, fought three battles, took not only a battery and a flag from the enemy, but more than one hundred and fifty prisoners--among them Acting Brig.-Gen. Herbert, the commander of the Louisiana forces, and his major; Col. Mitchell, of the Fourteenth Arkansas; Col. Stone, Adjutant-General of Price's forces, and Lieut.-Colonel John H. Price, whose life was twice spared, and who has now for the second time violated his parole, and was arrested with arms in his hands.

You have done your duty, and you can justly claim your share in the common glory of this victory. But let us not be partial, unjust or haughty. Let us not forget that alone we were too weak to perform the great work before us. Let us acknowledge the great services done by all the brave soldiers of the Third and Fourth divisions, and always keep in mind that “united we stand, divided we fall.” Let us hold out and push the work through — not by mere words and great clamor, but by good marches, by hardships and fatigues, by strict discipline and effective battles.

Columbus has fallen — Memphis will follow — and if you do in future as you have done in these past days of trial, the time will soon come when you will pitch your tents on the beautiful shores of the Arkansas River, and there meet our ironclad propellers at Little Rock and Fort Smith. Therefore, keep alert, my friends, and look forward with confidence.

F. Sigel, Brig.-Gen. Commanding First and Second Divisions.


New-York Herald narrative.

The first battle in Arkansas since the outbreak of the rebellion has terminated favorably to the Union arms. After an engagement of fifteen hours, extending through the larger portion of two consecutive days; the rebel forces have been driven from the field, and the Stars and Stripes hoisted in triumph over the contested ground. Defeated and demoralized, tile confederate troops are in full retreat, and have been hotly pursued by a portion of our gallant army far beyond the confines of the State.

Early in the past week, several small expeditions were sent out in various directions, for the purpose of capturing rebel bands said to be gathered in South-western Missouri and Northern Arkansas. One that proceeded to Pineville, Mo., arrived within a half-mile of the object of its pursuit, but failed to bring on an engagement. The expedition returned safe to the camp of the army, crossing the route of the rebel forces but an hour before the latter reached the point of the roads' intersection. Another expedition, under Major Coonrad, consisting of six hundred infantry, with a section of artillery, and one battalion of cavalry, proceeded to Maysville, near the line of the Indian nation, and failed to return in due season. At last accounts it was marching northward from Maysville, to escape the rebel army, and was considered out of immediate danger. Still another, under Col. Vandever, and accompanied by your correspondent, was sent to Huntsville, Madison County, with the object of capturing a portion of an Arkansas regiment, said to be encamped there. The rebel troops had left two days before our arrival, and the only prizes of importance were several men just returned from the rebel army. Two of these had been sent away on the previous morning, and gave the exciting intelligence that the whole rebel force under Gen. Van Dorn, about thirty thousand, was then marching to attack the Union camp. A messenger was at once sent to Headquarters with this information, but he had scarcely left town before a despatch-bearer arrived from Gen. Curtis making the same announcement, and ordering our immediate return. A forced march of forty-one miles was made to the camp of the main army, with but three halts of fifteen minutes each, during the entire distance. The infantry, consisting of portions of the Ninth Iowa and Phelps's Twenty-fifth Missouri, were much fatigued by the long journey, but awoke on the morning of the battle refreshed and ready for the encounter. No troops ever fought better.

the enemy attack Gen. Sigel's rear-guard.

On the first inst., Gen. Sigel moved his camp from Osage Springs to a point near Bentonville, in order to secure a better region for foraging purposes. About the same time Col. Davis moved to Sugar Creek, while Colonel Carr remained at Cross Hollows. On receiving intelligence of the rebel advance, Gen. Curtis decided to concentrate his forces at Sugar Creek, a short distance south of Pea Ridge, a good point of defence and abundantly supplied with water. On the fifth, General Sigel received orders from Gen. Curtis to join him at Pea Ridge, and on the sixth marched from Bentonville in obedience to those orders. His rear-guard consisted of the Thirty-sixth Illinois infantry, and a portion of the Second Missouri. Four rebel regiments of infantry and cavalry surrounded this rear-guard, and engaged it vigorously, but Gen. Sigel, who had remained behind, succeeded in cutting his way through, with a loss of twenty-eight killed and wounded. A portion of company B, of the Thirty-sixth Illinois, were captured during the encounter.

The camp whence the rebels marched upon General Curtis, was situated on and near the Boston Mountains, about fifty miles from Pea Ridge. The rebel commander, Gen. Van Dorn, ordered the men to take four days cooked rations on the morning of the fifth and move forward to the encounter. As our camp near Sugar Creek was in its front a strong natural position and difficult of access on either flank, Gen. Van Dorn decided to make his attack in our rear, thus cutting off our base of supply and reinforcement. The Union position was on the main road from Springfield to Fayetteville, and Gen. Van Dorn, in marching northward, left that road near the latter town, and turned to the westward, passing through Bentonville and entering the main road again near the State boundary, about eight miles north of Sugar Creek. A small force was left to make a feint upon our front, and a considerable body of Indians, under Gen. Albert Pike, took position


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