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Doc. 81.-battle of Pea Ridge, Ark.

Official report of Gen. Curtis.

Headquarters army of the South-West, Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 9.
General: On Thursday, the sixth instant, the enemy commenced an attack on my right, assailing and following the rear guard of a detachment, under General Sigel, to my main lines on Sugar Creek Hollow, but ceased firing when he met my reenforcement, at about four P. M. During the night I became convinced he had moved on so as to attack my right or rear. Therefore, early on the seventh, I ordered a change of front to right, on my right, which, thus becoming my left, still rested on Sugar Creek Hollow. This brought my line across Pea Ridge, with my new right resting on the head of Cross Timber Hollow, [244] which is the head of Big Sugar Creek. I also ordered an immediate advance of cavalry and light artillery, under Col. Osterhaus, with orders to attack and break what I supposed would be the reinforced line of the enemy.

This movement was in progress, when the enemy, at eleven A. M., commenced an attack on my right. The fight continued mainly at these points during the day, the enemy having gained a point, hotly contested by Col. Carr, at Cross Timber Hollow, but were entirely repulsed with the fall of their commander, McCulloch, in the centre, by the forces of Col. Davis.

The plan of attack on the centre was gallantly carried forward by Col. Osterhaus, who was immediately sustained and superseded by Col. Davis's entire division, supported also by Gen. Sigel's command, which had remained till near the close of the day on the left. Col. Carr's division held the right under a galling and continuous fire all day.

In the evening the fire having entirely ceased on the centre, and there having been none on the left, I reinforced the right by a portion of the Second division, under Gen. Asboth. Before the day closed I was convinced that the enemy had concentrated his main force on the right. I therefore commenced another change of front, forward, so as to face the enemy, where he had deployed on my right flank, in strong position. The change had been only partially effected, but was fully in progress, when, at sunrise on the eighth, my right and centre renewed the firing, which was immediately answered by the enemy, with renewed energy, all along the whole extent of the line. My left, under Sigel, moved close to the hills occupied by the enemy, driving him from the heights, and advancing steadily toward the head of the Hollows. I immediately ordered the centre and right wing forward, the right turning the left of the enemy and cross — firing on his centre. This final position enclosed the enemy in the arc of a circle. A charge of infantry, extending throughout the whole line, completely routed the whole rebel force, which retired in great confusion, but rather safely, through a deep and impassable defile of cross timber.

Our loss is heavy, the enemy's can never be ascertained, for the dead are scattered over a large field, and their wounded, too, may, many of them, be lost and perish. The foe is scattered in all directions, but I think his main force has returned to the Boston Mountains. Sigel follows towards Keitsville, while my cavalry is pursuing him towards the mountains, scouring the country, bringing in prisoners, and trying to find the rebel Major-Gen. Van Dorn, who had command of the entire force.

I have not as yet the statements of the dead and wounded, so as to justify a report, but I will refer you to a despatch I will forward very soon. Officers and soldiers have displayed such unusual gallantry, that I hardly dare to make distinctions. I must, however, name the commanders of divisions. Gen. Sigel gallantly carried the heights, and drove back the left wing of the enemy. Asboth, who is wounded in the arm, in his gallant effort to reinforce the right. Colonel and Acting Brig.-Gen. Davis, who commanded the centre where McCulloch fell on the seventh, and pressed forward the centre on the eighth. Col. and Acting Brig.-Gen. Carr is also wounded in the arm, and was under the continuous fire of the enemy, during the two hardest days of the struggle. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri, may proudly share the honors of the victory, which their gallant heroes won over the combined forces of Van Dorn, Price and McCulloch, at Pea Ridge, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

I have the honor to be, General,

Your obedient servant,

Samuel R. Curtis, Brigadier-General.

Report of Acting Major-Gen. Col. Jeff. C. Davis.

headquarters, Third division, Pea Ridge, Ark., March--, 1862.
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third division, under my command, in the recent engagement with the rebel forces at this place.

On the morning of the first inst., in obedience to instructions from the General, I broke up my camp near Cross Hollows, and took position on the heights of Pea Ridge, on the north side of Sugar Creek, commanding the main road.

On the night of the fifth, I received intelligence of the approach of the enemy, from the General, and of his intention to concentrate his forces on my right and left, and give battle at this point. On the morning of the sixth, I deployed the First brigade of my division, consisting of the Eighth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-second Indiana, with Klaus's Indiana battery, commanded by Col. Thomas Pattison, on the right of the Fayetteville road, so as to command the approach completely. The Second brigade, consisting of the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois, (formerly Ninth Missouri,) with Davidson's Illinois battery, commanded by Col. Julius White, I ordered to take position on the left of this road. This battery commanded the valley of Sugar Creek, east and west, and strongly supporting Klaus's battery on the right. This battery was well posted, and protected by a small earthwork, which I had ordered to be thrown up during the night. The Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, under Cols. Benton and Washburn, strengthened their positions by falling timber and throwing up some small intrenchments.

During the night the General himself arrived, followed by a part of Col. Carr's division from Cross Hollows, which took position on the left.

On the afternoon of the sixth, Gen. Sigel's column arrived from Bentonville, and took position on the right. During the night my troops bivouacked on the ground, anxiously awaiting the enemy's approach. On the morning of the seventh, it was ascertained that the enemy was making an effort to turn our right flank, and to attack us in the rear. In order to prevent this, Col. Osterhaus was ordered, with some cavalry and artillery, to make a demonstration in the direction [245] of Leetown. The First Missouri cavalry, under Col. Ellis, and the Twenty-second Indiana, under Col. Hendricks, were ordered to support this movement. Col. Osterhaus advanced about a mile beyond Leetown, and found the enemy in force, moving rapidly along the road leading from Bentonville to Elkhorn Tavern, where Col. Carr's division had already sharply engaged him. At this time the unexpected appearance of the Third Iowa cavalry from the field, gave proof of the necessity of reinforcements being sent at once in the direction of Leetown, and an order to that effect was timely received. Passing through Leetown a few hundred yards, I found Col. Osterhaus with the Forty-fourth Illinois, Twenty-second Indiana and some artillery, had taken position on the left of the road, and was contesting the approach of the enemy over a large open field in his front. In the mean time the enemy was rapidly approaching and advancing his forces on the right of the road, and had already lodged himself in large numbers in a thick oak scrub, extending to our camp. I immediately ordered the Second brigade to deploy to the right and engage him. This was done in a vigorous manner by the Thirty-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois, assisted by Davidson's battery, which I had put in position for that purpose.

I soon became satisfied, from the increasing and excessive fire of the enemy, that he was being rapidly reinforced, and ordered the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Indiana to make a flank movement to the right and perpendicular to the enemy, and then to move forward and attack him. This was accomplished with alacrity, but not, however, until the Second brigade had begun to recede before the excessive fire of the enemy, who had now concentrated his forces to the number of several thousand, under

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