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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.
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 Fayette ville 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 occupy 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 Confeder ate 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
BATTLE OF PEA RIDGE.
could not stand the cross fire to which they were exposed, and were compelled in two hours to retreat through the defiles of Cross Timber Hol low. The national loss was 1351. The Confederate loss was heavier. After the battle General Curtis fell back into Missouri, and Van Dorn into Arkansas.
In this battle there appeared on the side of the ConfedIndian allies of the erates four or five thousand Indians. Some of them assisted in taking a battery, but, for the most part, they were so amazed at the evolutions and noise of the artillery that General Van Dorn, in his report, does not mention that they had been of service to him. These Indians had been brought over to the Confederacy by emissaries who had been sent among them, representing that the Union had been destroyed, and that, if they desired to retain their slaves-for many slaves were held by them-it was best for them to join the Confederate side, with which, in that particular, they had an interest in common. The Creeks and Cherokees had long been disaffected to the Union on account of their removal to this region from the East; and the vacillating military movements that had been taking place in Missouri for the establishment of the national authority, the death of General Lyon, and other facts which they had learned, and the bearing of which they could comprehend, were used with success to draw many of them over to the Confeder ate side. A minority, however, still remained attached to the Union.
Defeat of the Confederates.
The expedition into Arkansas was shortly afterward The march of Curtis resumed by General Curtis. He reached Batesville (see map, p. 232), on the White River (May 6th), where he expected to meet supplies and the co-operation of gun-boats coming up the river. In this he was disappointed, partly owing to the lowness of the river, and partly to the difficulty of passing the ob
MARCH OF CURTIS TO HELENA.
structing batteries of the enemy. In making such an attempt, one of the boats-the Mound City - had been blown up. It was Curtis's intention to march to Little Rock, the capital of Arkansas; but ten regiments were taken from him and sent to Corinth, thus occasioning the abandonment of the Little Rock campaign. The Confederates were in like manner weakened, their Arkansas troops being sent into Tennessee. Curtis remained at Batesville until June 26th, when he resumed his march, passing down between the White and the Cache Rivers until he reached Clarendon (July 9th). Two days previously his advance had been attacked by some Texan cavalry, 1500 strong, who had been repulsed with heavy loss.
On reaching Clarendon, Curtis found that the gunboats and transports had returned down the river the day before. He was therefore compelled to cross over to Helena, on the Mississippi. At the close of September he was appointed to the command of the Department of Missouri, with his head-quarters at St. Louis.
The subsequent military operations in Arkansas were not of much moment. There were affairs at
Minor military operations.
Cross Hollows and Cane Hill, which ended adversely to the Confederates. A more important engagement took place at Prairie Grove (December 7th), by which the farther advance of the Confederate troops into Missouri was checked.
TRANSACTIONS, CIVIL AND MILITARY, IN VIRGINIA.
Western Virginia disapproved of the secession of the state and adhered to the Union.
General McClellan crossed the Ohio, and conducted operations so successfully against the secession generals who were occupying Western Virginia that the Confederate government was eventually constrained to abandon the campaign in that region.
General Butler, in command at Fortress Monroe, sent an expedition against the Confederate posts at Bethel. Failure of that expedition.
An expedition sent toward Leesburg was enveloped by the Confederates on Ball's Bluff. The national troops were forced into the Potomac with very severe loss.
THE machinations of the secession conspirators in Virginia were very far from commanding approval throughout the state. Especially was this the case with the inhabitants of the northwestern counties, who had but few slaves. At a Convention held at Wheeling, in which delegates from about forty counties were present, the action of the cabal at Richmond was repudiated, and it was determined that West Virginia should adhere to the Union. A governor and lieutenant governor were appointed. A Legislature, claiming to be that of loyal Virginia, assembled; the western part of the state was separated from the eastern. Eventually Congress assented to and ratified this action.
Western Virginia adheres to the 'Union.
The view taken of these proceedings by the inhabitants of Western Virginia was that their relations with the Union simply remained intact; but in the eastern portions of the state, which were under the control of the secessionists of Richmond, they were regarded in the light of a secession from the state itself. Partly for the