to make a formidable demonstration in front, while he should lead his main attack against the enemy's left (northeast) flank, marching around on the north of the Federal
Camping with his whole force within a mile of the enemy's front, he lighted the snowclad hills with the fires of an army, as if in position to give battle next day from the alignment then occupied.
After the men had eaten supper, Van Dorn
, with the Missouri division, leaving their campfires burning, resumed the march in the night, moving on the parallel road which would lead them into the Telegraph
road, by a long and toilsome circuit, it is true, but well in the enemy's rear, and in an equal position on Pea ridge
near Elkhorn tavern
, to the north of the enemy.
The large trees felled across the roads by Curtis
, to block up the approaches on his left and rear, proved formidable obstacles to cut away for the passage of the Confederate artillery and ordnance wagons, and the flanking column did not reach the ridge in the enemy's rear until 10 o'clock a. m. of the 7th.
Its march had not been molested and it took the desired position unopposed.
The roar of artillery and rattle of small arms came from the distant front and center as this line of attack was formed in the rear of the carefully-established lines of the enemy.
Completely surprised, Curtis
had necessarily to reverse his front at the place of attack, which was his extreme left, and now became his right, at the same time that his established right center was engaged from the front.
's division ascended to the plateau of Pea ridge
, there ensued an artillery duel of more than an hour's duration, between the batteries of Captains Wade
, and the enemy's batteries commanded by Colonel Carr
The guns of the enemy first ceased firing.
' Missouri cavalry charged the position occupied by the batteries, but was repulsed; then, dismounting, went into line under General Little
The enemy charged Little
's brigade twice and were repulsed.