body under Curtis
being at Elkhorn Tavern
's design was to throw his force, by a rapid movement, between Sigel
, who was at Fayetteville
, and Curtis
To do this he had to reach Bentonville
did. But Sigel
was too fast for him. When Van Dorn
's column debouched from the mountains, three miles from Bentonville
's column could be seen entering the town.
and his mounted men were ordered to get in Sigel
's front and delay him, but McIntosh
, instead of attempting to check him, attacked, and he and his men—wild men on wilder horses—were speedily dispersed by Sigel
's infantry and artillery.
tried the same experiment and also failed, but inflicted considerable damage and captured a number of prisoners.
pushed on in pursuit, but before night Sigel
had formed a junction with Curtis
, and the Federals
were concentrated at Elkhorn Tavern
moved up to within almost cannon range of the enemy and camped for the night.
But during the night he learned of an old road, by following which and making a detour of eight miles he could get in Curtis
' rear, and he determined to make the movement with Price
The road was rough and had been obstructed by the enemy, but by eight o'clock the next morning he reached the main road—the only one by which Curtis
could retire northward.
By ten o'clock Price
had driven in all the outlying forces of the enemy, and was prepared to open the battle.
The enemy was surrounded—the larger force by the smaller.
's order of battle was: Slack
's brigade, with 350 of the State Guard and a battery, was posted on a ridge on the right; Little
's brigade with a battery was in reserve, while the left was held by the troops of the Second, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth divisions of the State Guard and a number of unattached batteries.
Gen. D. M. Frost
was assigned to the command of General McBride
's division, but he declined so small a command, and