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loch and Price quarreling with each other, and unable to agree upon a plan for their campaign, the former returned to Arkansas, the latter advanced from Springfield toward Lexington. Here he found a national force of about three thousand (2780) under Colonel Mulligan.
Quarrel of the Confederate generals.
CAPTURE OF LEXINGTON.
Attempts were made by General Fremont to re-enforce Mulligan, but they did not succeed. Meantime the assailing forces were steadily increasing in number, until they eventually reached 28,000, with 13 pieces of artillery. They surrounded the position, and cut off the beleaguer ed troops from water. They made repeated assaults without success until August 20th, when they contrived a movable breastwork of hemp-bales, which they rolled be Capture of Lexing fore them as they advanced, and compelled Mulligan, who had been twice wounded, to surrender unconditionally.
On receiving the news of this disaster, Fremont at once left St. Louis with the intention of attacking
against the Confed- Price, but that general instantly retreated, making his way back to the southwest corner of the state, where he rejoined McCulloch and his Confederate troops. Fremont continued the pursuit, his army amounting to 30,000 men, of whom 5000 were cav alry; he had 86 guns. But, on reaching Tipton, he was overtaken by the Secretary of War, who had come from Washington for the purpose of having an interview with him. On November 2d an order was received at Springfield removing Fremont from his command. He was directed to turn it over to General Hunter, who was soon after superseded by General Halleck.
He is suddenly relieved.
Among the avowed reasons for the removal of Fremont, thus checked in the outset of his career, were his permitting the disaster that had befallen
Causes of his removal.
CHAP. XLVII.] FREMONT REMOVED FROM COMMAND.
Colonel Mulligan, and the extravagance of his military preparations at St. Louis; but from his correspondence with President Lincoln it may be seen that the true reason lay in the view he took of the general policy on which the war should be conducted. At that time the administration was extremely solicitous to do nothing that might alienate the Border Slave States; the President, as he himself has told us, was not unwilling to spare slavery, if by that means the Union could be saved; and McClellan, who had now the chief military command, was perhaps ready to go even farther than that. Such being the intention of the authorities at Washington, it was plain that the general order issued by Fremont immediately on taking command of the Western Department was incompatible therewith. In this he had declared that "the property, real and personal, of all persons in the State of Missouri who shall take up arms against the United States, or shall be di rectly proven to have taken active part with their ene mies in the field, is declared to be confiscated to the public use, and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared to be free men."
Causes of his removal.
After the removal of Fremont the national army was ordered to retire upon Rolla. There had, therefore, been two military advances from St. Louis across the state toward its southwest corner, the first under Lyon, the second under Fremont. In each case the subsequent retreat was followed by unhappy consequences, in exposing those individuals and families who had ventured to sustain the national cause to the vengeance of their opponents.
On the 18th of November General Halleck arrived at St. Louis, and took command of the Westmand of the departern Department. At this time the Confed
Halleck takes com
erates under Price were intending to ap
Retreat of the national army.
proach Kansas and destroy the Northern Railroad. But before Christmas Halleck had compelled him to retreat into Arkansas, and for a short time military operations closed during the severity of the winter. Price had dis played no small skill in his movements, and it was be lieved in Richmond that if he had been properly sup ported he would have secured Missouri to the Confederacy.
Price himself attributed his want of success to the failure of McCulloch to sustain him. These officers were on such bad terms with each other that it became necessary to put a superior over them. Accordingly (January 29th, 1862), General Van Dorn was ordered to take command of the Mississippi District. He had his headquarters at Little Rock.
Van Dorn takes command of the Confederates.
HALLECK TAKES COMMAND.
Three days after General Halleck had taken command of the Western Department, he issued an order (November 21st) that no fugitive slaves should be permitted to enter the lines of any camp, nor of any forces on the march. The reason assigned for this measure was that such persons had conveyed to the enemy important information respecting the numbers and condition of his forces. He thus brought the slave policy of his department more nearly into correspondence with the slave policy of the administration, and corrected the error into which it was assumed that General Fremont had fallen.
General Halleck's slave order.
The national forces were now combined under General Curtis, who (February 11th) moved forward from Lebanon with the intention of operat ing against Price. As he advanced the Confederates retired into Arkansas, falling back fifty miles beyond the Boston Mountain. This retreat, if such it could be called, was a falling back on re-enforcements, which were
daily increased in strength; the national advance was attended by a continual enfeeblement.
Under these circumstances, Curtis, foreseeing that he would soon be attacked at a disadvantage, took post on Sugar Creek. His first and second divisons, under General Sigel, were four miles
Battle of Pea Ridge.
BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
CROSS TIMBER HOLLOW
southwest of Bentonville; his third, under Colonel J. C. Davis, was on Pea Ridge, north of Sugar Creek; his fourth, under Colonel Carr, was at Cross Hollows. The entire force was 10,500, with 49 guns. The enemy, under General Van Dorn, now advancing upon him, numbered more than 20,000 men.
On March 5th, a cold, snowy day, Curtis received notice that the Confederates were approaching. He thereupon sent orders to Sigel and Carr to fall back at once on Sugar Creek; the former accomplished that movement with considerable difficulty, but with very great skill, incessantly fighting and repelling the enemy; but, in spite of the weather and the dreadful condition of the roads,
BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
he made good his junction with Curtis on the west end of Pea Ridge.
Meantime General Curtis had made preparations for receiving the enemy on the southwest, along the Fayetteville Road. They, however, passed round to the north of Pea Ridge, and on the morning of the 7th Curtis found them prepared to attack him from that quarter; he was thus compelled to make a corresponding change of front, his position being perilous; for, if he were defeated, the enemy would оссиру his line of retreat. Sigel held his left, Davis his centre, Carr his right. The attack commenced on the 7th, and was chiefly directed by the Confederates against Carr's division, which was forced back in the course of the day nearly a mile, though not disorganized.
McCulloch, who confronted Sigel on Curtis's left, attempted, by a movement of his force to the east, to join Van Dorn and Price in their attack on Curtis's right. To arrest this, Sigel sent forward three pieces of artillery, with a supporting force of cavalry, but they were speedily overwhelmed and the guns captured. Sigel, however, being re-enforced by Davis, a desperate struggle ensued, which ended in a complete rout of the Confederate right, its generals, McCulloch and McIntosh, being killed.
At the close of the day Price was on the Fayetteville Road, in Curtis's rear. Elkhorn Tavern was Van Dorn's head-quarters. The national army had been defeated on the right; its line of communication had been taken; it was nearly without food. The Confederates had been defeated on their right. During the night the Confederate forces formed a junction on the ground held by their left wing. The national line had also changed; Davis was on the right, Carr at the centre, Sigel on the left. The battle was renewed at sunrise, Sigel opening a heavy cannonade and advancing round the enemy's right, Davis turning their left as Sigel advanced. The Confederates