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Battle of Pea Ridge.


March/April 1862

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 17, 1862.


Further Particulars of the Action.


Rout and Pursuit of the Enemy.

The Chivalry Whipped at Great Odds.


Federal Soldiers Tomahawked and Scalped.


Price Among the Wounded.

The Poet Pike Commands the Indians.



During the past three days we have had some terrible fighting against fearful odds.

On Wednesday, General Curtis, Commander-in-Chief, whose headquarters was at Camp Halleck, received reliable information that the rebels, under Van Dorn, McIntosh, McCulloch, Price and Pike, were marching on us with a large force of confederate rebels and confederate Indians. All prisoners taken give the rebel force at from 35,000 to 40,000. Gen. Curtis then ordered Carr’s division to move from Cross Hollows to Sugar Creek to take a stronger position, which he had previously selected in case of attack. Col. Carr marched in the night and joined Gen. Davis, who had previously taken position, before break of day, in good order.

Gen. Sigel, at Bentonville, was also ordered to rejoin Gen. Curtis at the same point. Sigel’s rear cut their way through the enemy at the latter place, and kept up the fight for six miles.

The rebels on Friday morning having made a detour from Bentonville, got a heavy force directly on our rear and right, occupying the heights and brush on both sides of the Fayetteville road.

Col. Carr’s division was sent to dislodge them.

The battle commenced at half past 10 A. M., and raged for eight hours, until darkness put an end to the contest. They played on us from masked batteries.

At night we occupied a position nearer our camp. The carnage was dreadful on both sides.

Simultaneously with the action on our right, fighting took place opposite our front near Leetown, between Gen. Davis and another large body of the enemy. The latter were forced from the field, and hastened to form a junction with the rebels on our right.

The numerous instances of gallantry and heroic devotion which occurred, cannot be mentioned in this communication.

The movement of the enemy caused a change in our line.

The battle was resumed next morning, (Saturday) about half past six o’clock, our guns opening on the enemy.

Gen. Carr formed in the center, with Davis on the right and Sigel on the left.

The line of battle, which extended over two miles, was a magnificent sight. The enemy occupied an open wood directly in front, a perfect hive of them. They also covered a high bluff more to the left where a battery was planted. They had another battery playing on us from a more central position, and also a battery of 12 rifled pieces on the Fayetteville road. We opened upon them with five batteries planted at different points along our whole line, the cross fire producing such tremendous effect as caused the enemy to falter in dismay.

Soon after 10 A. M. Gen. Curtis gave the order to advance, and the infantry becoming engaged, poured in such a murderous fire of musketry that the enemy fled from the field in all directions. The victory was decisive.

Under the eye of Gen. Curtis, Commander-in-Chief, Gen. Sigel followed the flying enemy for several miles. Col. Bussy, with a cavalry force, is in pursuit towards Boston Mountains, after the main body.

We captured five (5) cannons.

It is impossible to give our loss at this time, or any reliable estimate of the enemy’s loss. We have taken prisoners, Acting Brig. Gen. Hebert, the commander at Cross Hollows; also, Col. Mitchell, Adj’t Gen. Stone, Col. Price, and Majors and Captains in abundance.

The loss of valuable officers on our side is deeply deplored. We have four general hospitals established for the relief of the wounded.

The rebel McIntosh is reported dead, and also McCulloch, who was known to be mortally wounded.