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by the heights of Pea Ridge, a few miles south of the Missouri line. His entire force available for the field was little more than ten thousand infantry and cavalry, with artillery of forty guns. The four thin divisions, under Osterhaus, Sigel, Davis and Carr, scattered in various directions gathering forage and supplies as they slowly fell back from Fayetteville in separate columns, seemed to Van Dorn an easy prey. On the 5th of March Curtis learned that the enemy was close at hand. After obstructing the roads by which Van Dorn's forces were expected, the soldiers bivouacked on the night of the 6th at Sugar Creek, expecting an early assault. Van Dorn, leaving a few men to feign a direct advance, swung his main force around to the west and north, one wing, under himself and Price, extending to the main road from Fayetteville to Springfield, in Carr's immediate rear. Finding this state of affairs in the morning, Curtis turned to right-about, advancing Carr northward on the road, beyond the Elkhorn Tavern, and aligning Davis in front of McCulloch and McIntosh. All day Carr fought persistently, suffering heavily but maintaining discipline, though obliged again and again to fall back; and, as night closed in, he had given ground for more than a mile. The enemy's fierce pressure upon Davis near Leetown — only relieved after the death of both McCulloch and McIntosh — prevented any reinforcement of Carr. Late in the day, when Sigel's artillery came up to Davis's support, his assailants were thrown into confusion and rout. So ended the conflict of the 7th.
Flushed with his success against Carr, whose retreat into Missouri now seemed to be cut off, Van Dorn
sought to gather all his strength on the next day for a final blow. The encounter proved to be of no long duration. Van Dorn was badly beaten on his right, and presently was found to be retreating through a narrow gorge called Cross Timbers Hollow. Both armies had severe losses, the killed and wounded on the Union side numbering 1,183; on the Confederate side, 1,500. It was a decisive victory, which practically settled the contest for Missouri and brought the war line within the State of Arkansas.
Albert Pike, a native of Massachusetts, who moved in early life to Arkansas, had held official relations with the inhabitants of the Indian Territory, in which slaves were held by some of the wealthier red men, and had used his influence with effect to induce the chiefs of that dependency to look to the Confederates as their political guardians. He thus induced some thousands of savage warriors to join the army of Van Dorn before the battle of Pea Ridge, where they went into the fight with defiant war-whoops, but were so much appalled by the noise and havoc of cannon as to prove worse than useless. The humble submission of the errant chiefs ere long brought the Territory back to order and peace.
In New Mexico slavery had lately been legalized, and in the spring of 1860, Colonel W. W. Loring Southern officer whom Secretary Floyd could trust — was sent to supersede the Unionist officer commanding there. Under Loring was Lieutenant-Colonel George B. Crittenden, later heard of at Mill Springs. In the main, however, the forces in New Mexico were true
to their flag. Soon after Lincoln's inauguration, Loring was superseded by Major Edward R. S. Canby, a Kentuckian by birth. The Democratic Territorial Governor, Abraham Rencher, was loyal, and the popular sentiment inclined strongly the same way. On recommendation of Rencher's successor, Henry Connelly, the Territorial Legislature repealed the slavecode by a vote almost unanimous. Before this action, a force for the conquest of New Mexico had been gathering in Northwestern Texas, under Henry S. Sibley, a Louisianian by birth, and lately a Captain in the regular army. Early in January, 1862, he set forward with his Texan rangers; won in a fight near Valverde (February 21st), and occupied Albuquerque, establishing depots there; on the 28th of March defeated a small force under Colonel Slough at Apache Pass, and triumphantly entered Santa Fe. He found his presence unwelcome, however, and soon withdrew, reaching Fort Bliss after a wild, wearisome march, with but a remnant of his original command. Canby issued a proclamation at Santa Fe on the 4th of May announcing the end of Sibley's invasion.
West of Arkansas the strife was now over.
General Pope, breaking camp late in February, moved upon New Madrid, on the west bank of the Mississippi, where the enemy was strongly entrenched, and began siege on the 3d of March, without help from Foote's gunboats, which were detained above by the batteries of Island Number Ten. General Polk, evacuating Columbus after the fall of Fort Donelson, had retired with part of his force to Jackson, Tenn., while
the remainder, under General McCown, occupied New Madrid and Island Ten. Pope took the former place in ten days, McCown retiring to the island at night, with the loss of his heavy guns. Foote having for several days ineffectually bombarded this "little Gibraltar” of the Confederates, Pope urgently requested that a gunboat should be run past its batteries to disperse the wooden fleet of Hollins below. Foote at first insisted that this was impracticable; but the commander of the Carondelet (Walke) offered to make the trial, and in a fog on the night of April 4th he succeeded without loss or injury. The Pittsburg was equally fortunate two nights later. Under protection of the gunboats, Pope readily effected the desired landing on the east bank of the river, and occupied Island Ten on the morning of the 7th. There and on the Tennessee shore he captured 6,700 prisoners, 123 heavy guns, and a great quantity of supplies. The Confederates now abandoned the river for a long distance below, their next obstruction being the fortifications they had erected a few miles above Memphis.
Meanwhile, Halleck's stronger forces east of the Mississippi were not inactive. General O. M. Mitchel, commanding a division of Buell's army, advanced from Nashville southward, restoring the railway which Albert Sidney Johnston had disabled in his retreat, and early in April captured Huntsville, Ala., with a large amount of rolling-stock of the Memphis and Charleston Railway. There were also demonstrations eastward as far as Bridgeport, menacing Chattanooga.
Albert Sidney Johnston, by tedious and trying
marches over bad roads in winter weather, led his remnant of an army a distance of nearly three hundred miles to the new position he had chosen. He arrived at Corinth, Miss., on the 25th of March, joining Beauregard, who had gathered an army there, consisting of the men he had taken from Manassas; of Polk's force, that retired from Columbus on the fall of Fort Donelson; of the troops so long retained at Pensacola by Bragg in the vain hope of taking Fort Pickens; and of other small commands, besides new levies sent, on urgent appeal, by the Governors of Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. The addition brought by Johnston, chief in command, made a total of near sixty thousand men.
Grant's victory at Fort Donelson brought him a Major-General's commission, yet the command of the Army of the Tennessee was directly after given to General Charles F. Smith, a most worthy and capable officer, who had held a subordinate place. Savannah, on the east bank of the Tennessee River, was chosen by Smith as a depot of supplies, and Pittsburg Landing, on the west bank, nine miles above, as the place for disembarking the army to advance against Corinth, twenty miles distant. Soon after establishing his headquarters at Savannah, General Smith was prostrated by illness dying (April 25th) without further active command. It was not until the army had gone into camp beyond the Tennessee that (March 13th) Grant was again at its head. Reinforcements, mostly raw troops, had come in rapidly, and the divisions of W. T. Sherman, B. M. Prentiss and S. A. Hurlbut were called