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[79] body under Curtis being at Elkhorn Tavern. Van Dorn'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 before Sigel did. But Sigel was too fast for him. When Van Dorn's column debouched from the mountains, three miles from Bentonville, Sigel's column could be seen entering the town. McIntosh 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. The Missourians tried the same experiment and also failed, but inflicted considerable damage and captured a number of prisoners. Van Dorn pushed on in pursuit, but before night Sigel had formed a junction with Curtis, and the Federals were concentrated at Elkhorn Tavern.

Van Dorn 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's corps. 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. Price'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

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Elkhorn Tavern (Arkansas, United States) (2)
Bentonville (North Carolina, United States) (2)
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Sigel (7)
Samuel R. Curtis (5)
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William Y. Slack (1)
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Henry Little (1)
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