Ridge, and with the report of my commanders of divisions I now submit a more general detail.
My pursuit of General Price brought me to Fayetteville, Ark. The entire winter campaign from the 26th January to this time, including the march from Rolla to the Boston Mountains, 240 miles, was attended with continual exhibitions of toil, privates, conflict, and gallantry, some of which I have telegraphed to headquarters, and may hereafter deserve more full development. After reaching Arkansas the forces of General Price were rapidly re-enforced by regiments which had ben stationed in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. I therefore expected these combined forces would return upon us to give us battle, and in conformity with the orders of the general of the 22nd of February I selected Sugar Creek as the strongest of several strong places taken from the enemy to make a stand against any and all odds.
I reported my force to you on the 12th February, after Colonel Davis' division had joined me, at 12,095 men and fifty pieces of artillery, including four mountain howitzers. My long line of communications required garrisons at Marshfield, Springfield, Cassville, and Keetsville, Kansas on the 7th ultimo was therefore not more than 10,500 cavalry and infantry, with forty-nine pieces of artillery, including the mountain howitzers, one piece having been sent out into Missouri and thus prevented from joining us in the battle.
The scarcity of forage and other supplies made it necessary for me to spread out my troops over considerable country, always trying to keep it within supporting distance, convenient to rally on the positions selected for battle. On the 4th of March this force was located as follows:
The First and Second Divisions, under Generals Sigel and Asboth, were 4 miles southwest of Bentonville, at Cooper's farm, under general orders to move around to Sugar Creek, about 14 miles east.
The Third Division, under Colonel Jefferson C. Davis, acting brigadier-general, had moved and taken position at Sugar Creek, under orders to make some preparatory arrangements and examination for a stand against the enemy.
The Fourth Divisions was at Cross Hollow, under command of Colonel E. A. Carr, acting brigadier-general. My own headquarters were also at this place, within about 12 miles from Sugar Creek, on the main telegraph road from Springfield to Fayetteville.
Large detachments had been sent out from these several camps for forage and information. One from Cross Hollow to Huntsville, under command of Colonel Vandever, and three from Cooper's farm to Maysville and Pineville. One of these, under Major Congrad, with a piece of artillery and about 250 men, did not reach us till after the battle. All the others came in safe and joined in the engagement.
The enemy had taken position in the Boston Mountains, a high range that divides the waters of the White River and Arkansas. General Price had rallied the forces that had fought at Carthage, Wilson's Creek, and Lexington, augmented by his exertions to recruit in Missouri during the winter. On his arrival from Springfield, in Arkansas, he reported to Governor Rector that between 4,000 and 5,000 of these had joined the Confederate service previous to his leaving Springfield. The circulation of all manner of extravagant falsehoods on his way induced the whole country to leave their homes, and for fear we would kill them thousands joined his ranks. General McCulloch brought at least eleven regiments to the field and General Pike five. Besides