Today in History:

10 Series I Volume XXII-I Serial 32 - Little Rock Part I

Page 10 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.

to raids, of which the rebels were prompt to take advantage. Marmaduke, with the advance of Hindman's rebel army, moved forward with the purpose of entering the southwest of Missouri. Before the enemy could concentrate his forces for battle, Brigadier-General Blunt, by forced marches, encountered him at Cane Hill, in the Boston Mountains. A running fight took place on the 28th of November, 1862, in which the enemy was defeated with a heavy loss. Our casualties were 4 killed and 36 wounded.

Four days after the combat of Cane Hill, it was ascertained, from reliable information, that Hindman's army had crossed the Arkansas River, and formed a junction with Marmaduke at Lee's Creek, 15 miles north of Van Buren, to which point the latter had retreated after the action of the 29th of November.

The united rebel force was believed to be very much greater than our own, of which two divisions were more than 100 miles in the rear. Immediately upon learning General Blunt's danger from an overwhelming attack of the enemy, General Herron, by forced marches (110 miles in three days), arrived at Fayetteville, Ark., early on the morning of the 7th of December. Soon after, we encountered the enemy in force at Prairie Grove, while attempting a flank movement to get between Blunt and the approaching succor, designing to crush both in succession. This skillfully devised project was fortunately frustrated by the valor and endurance of Herron's divisions, which stoutly held their ground till about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, when Blunt's forces arrived upon the field, and the engagement became general along the entire line, and continued to be fiercely contested until dark. During the night the enemy retreated across the Boston Mountains. Although the rebels suffered much more severely than ourselves, we purchased the victory with the loss of 167 killed, 798 wounded, and 183 missing, making a total loss of 1,148, of which 953 were of Herron's divisions.*

Early in January, 1863, a rebel force, estimated at from 4,000 to 6,000 under Marmaduke, moved upon Lawrence Mills, and proceeded, by way of Ozark, to the attack of Springfield, Mo., to which place our small force, consisting chiefly of militia, convalescents, and citizens, was compelled to fall back. This miscellaneous garrison, of only about 1,000 men, obstinately defended the place most of the day of the 8th of January, with the loss of 14 killed, 145 wounded, and 5 missing - in all, 164. Under cover of the night the enemy withdrew, and our force was too feeble to make a vigorous pursuit. Another skirmish took place at Hartville on the 11th, in which our loss was 7 killed and 64 wounded. We captured 27 prisoners.

The season was now so far advanced and the roads so impassable that further operations could not be carried on by either party.

On the 15th of July, Major-General Blunt crossed the Arkansas River, near Honey Springs, Ind. T., and on the 16th [17th] attacked a superior force of rebels under General Cooper, which he completely routed, the enemy leaving their killed and wounded on the field. Our loss was 17 killed and 60 wounded, while that of the enemy was 150 killed (buried by our men), 400 wounded, and 77 prisoners taken, besides 1 piece of artillery, 200 stand of arms, and 15 wagons.

After several skirmishes with the enemy, General Blunt descended the Arkansas River, and, on the 1st of September, occupied Fort Smith, Ark.

The main body of our troops in the Department of the Missouri had in the early part of the season, been sent to re-enforce General Grant


*But see revised statement, pp. 84-86.


Page 10 MO., ARK., KANS., IND. T., AND DEPT. N. W. Chapter XXXIV.