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Battle of Prairie Grove, Fayetteville or Illinois Creek, Arkansas
in the American Civil War
of Prairie Grove, December 7, 1862, by Samuel Jones, 1910
the Troops, CSA Trans-Mississippi Department, 1862 (Prairie Grove)
Union Battle Summary
|Prairie Grove, Ark., Dec. 7, 1862. Army of the
Frontier. After the battle of Cane Hill on Nov. 28, the Confederate
forces under Gen. T.C. Hindman united with the command of Brig.-Gen.
J.S. Marmaduke at Lee's creek, where the latter had retreated. On Dec.
2, Brig.-Gen. J.G. Blunt, commanding the Army of the Frontier, sent
for Brig.-Gen. F.J. Herron to bring up his command, consisting of the
2nd and 3rd divisions, to reinforce the Union army at Cane Hill.
Herron at once started from Elkhorn and his advance reached Blunt
about 10 p.m. on the 6th. This advance consisted of detachments of the
2nd Wis., 1st Ia., 10th Ill., and 8th Mo. cavalry regiments, about
1,600 men in all. During the night, owing to the negligence of an
officer sent to watch the Cove Creek road, Hindman was able to move
part of his troops north, passing to the east of Blunt's position on
the Fayetteville road. His object was to get between Blunt and Herron
and prevent them from forming a junction. Blunt immediately came to
Herron's aid over a road leading to Cane Hill mills, east of the
Fayetteville road. Herron, with but six regiments of infantry, three
batteries and about 500 cavalry, had been attacked by the entire
Confederate force at 7 a.m., but managed to drive it back across
Illinois creek to Prairie Grove, where he planted his batteries and
opened fire. Between 1 and 2 p.m. Blunt came in on Herron's right and
stationed his artillery so as to sweep the woods from which the
Confederate infantry was firing. From 3 p.m. until dark the musketry
firing was uninterrupted. Twice the Union infantry charged the enemy's
battery and captured it, but both times the guns were recaptured by
the superiority of numbers. When darkness fell, the firing ceased on
both sides. The Union troops slept on their arms, expecting a renewal
of the engagement in the morning, but during the night the
Confederates stealthily retreated southwest across the Boston
mountains, leaving Blunt and Herron in possession of the field. The
Union casualties were 175 killed, 813 wounded and 263 captured or
missing. The Confederate loss was 164 killed, 817 wounded and 336
captured or missing. Blunt's forces in the battle numbered 7,000;
those of the enemy 28,000.
Source: The Union Army, Volume 6, Cyclopedia of Battles,