War of the Rebellion: Serial 008 Page 0198 OPERATIONS IN MO., ARK., KANS., AND IND. T. Chapter XVIII.

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quarter to a half mile wide. The hills are high on both sides, and the main road from Fayetteville by Cross Hollow to Keetsville intercepts the valley nearly at right angles. The road from Fayetteville by Bentonville to Keetsville is quite a detour, but is also comes up the Sugar Creek Valley; a branch, however, takes off and runs nearly parallel to the main or Telegraph road, some 3 miles from it. The Sugar Creek Valley, therefore, intercepts all these roads.

The Third and Fourth Divisions had before noon of the 6th deployed their lines and cut down a great number of trees, which thoroughly blockaded the roads on the left. Later in the day I directed some of Colonel Dodge, who felled trees on the road which runs parallel to the main road to which I have before referred. This proved of great advantage, as it retarded the enemy some two hours in their fop. Breastworks of considerable strength were erected by the troops on the headlands of Sugar Creek as if by magic, and a battery near the road crossing was completely shielded by an extensive earthwork, commanded by Captain Snyder. About 2 o'clock p. m. General Asboth and Colonel Osterhaus reported the arrival of the First and Second Divisions. This good news was followed immediately by another report that General Sigel, who had remained behind with a detachment, had been attacked near Bentonville and was quite surrounded by the enemy's advance forces. I immediately directed some of the troops to return to his relief. In the mean time he had advanced with his gallant little band, fighting its way within 3 or 4 miles of our main forces. The two divisions turned back in double-quick, and a large cavalry force also started, all being anxious to join in a rescue of their comrades in peril.

Part of the First Division, under Colonel Oserhaus, soon met the retreating detachment, and immediately opened with artillery and infantry, which checked the further advance and terminated the action for the day. In the retreat and final repulse, which occupied several hours, our loss was some 25 killed and wounded. The enemy must have suffered more, as our artillery had telling effect along the road, and the rebel graves in considerable numbers bear witness of the enemy's loss.

The firing having ceased, I sent back other troops that had joined the movement and designated the positions on the right, which were promptly occupied by the First and Second Divisions. Our men rested on their arms, confident of hard work before them on the coming day. The accompanying map of the battle ground will fully illustrate the positions then and subsequently assumed.* In my front was the deep, broad valley of Sugar Creek, forming the probable approaches of the enemy, our troops extending for miles, and generally occupying the summits of headlands on Sugar Creek. In my rear was a broken plateau called Pea Ridge, and still farther in my rear the deep valley of Big Sugar Creek, or Cross Timber. My own headquarters and those of General Sigel, Asboth, and other commanders of divisions were near Pratt's house. The lines A, B, and C show the different fronts assumed during the progress of the battle.

The approach by Bentonville brought the enemy to my extreme right, and during the night of the 5th and 6th he began a movement around my flank by the road before mentioned, which crosses Pea Ridge some 3 miles northwest of the main Telegraph road. I ascertained in the


*To appear in Atlas.