War of the Rebellion: Serial 032 Page 0141 Chapter XXXIV. BATTLE OF PRAIRIE GROVE, ARK.

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ing his dispositions rapidly and with excellent judgment, he attacked them in front and flank, routed them completely, killed and wounded many, captured over 200, with the train of a regiment, and pursued the fugitives 5 miles in the direction of Fayetteville to the line of battle formed by Herron's infantry. My infantry was yet far in rear, but moving up as possible. When the head of the column at length reached the Cane Hill and Fayetteville road, Parsons' brigade was put in position, facing toward Newburg, to resist any movements of the enemy from that direction, a regiment of cavalry thrown toward that place to reconnoiter, and the balance of the force ordered forward, with instructions to attack the re-enforcements at once; Marmaduke in advance, Shoup next, then Frost. I remained with Parsons' brigade, hoping to get some reliable intelligence of the enemy at Newburg. Received none, at 11 a. m. I went forward about 2 miles and overtook the marching column. It was painful to observe the exhaustion of the men. They had marched nearly 15 miles. None of them had eaten since the preceding day. The rations of all had been left on the roadside. Brigadier-General Shoup met me, and stated that Marmaduke was falling back before the enemy's infantry, which was advancing, and that he had therefore put his division in position to resist attack. I found the position taken by General Shoup an exceedingly strong one. It was upon the edge of a hill, densely wooden, descending abruptly to Crawford's Prairie, half a mile in width, which encircled all its northern half. Five hundred yards in rear was another prairie. Between the two, on the right and left, a skirt of woods connected the timber of the hill with that beyond. The Cane Hill and Fayetteville road cuts the center of this hill, passing by Prairie Grove Church, which is upon its summit. A cross-road from the Cane Hill and Fayetteville to the Cove Creek road passed also immediately by the church, dividing the south prairie from the growth upon the hill. By the time I had completed my reconnaissance of the ground, a regiment of Federal calvary, with two pieces of artillery, opened fire upon the captured train and prisoners, that had been ordered toward Morrow's, and also upon a hospital established by my medical director for the treatment of the wounded of the Federal cavalry. No loss ensued, and this force retired rapidly upon observing Parsons' brigade. Shortly after, dense columns of smoke in the direction of Rhea's Mills and between there and Newburg indicated that Blunt had retreated hastily, destroying his sores, and was moving to unite with Herron. I immediately ordered forward Parsons' brigade. Blunt's advance soon appeared on the farther side of Crawford's Prairie. The interval of time in which I might have attacked Herron was past. Circumstances did not permit me to avail myself of it, for the manifest reason that at the favorable moment the rear of my column could not be where the head of it was. Evidently the combined forces of Blunt and Herron would speedily attack me. I made such arrangements as seemed best to meet that contingency. The line of battle determined on was nearly in the form of a horseshoe, conforming to the shape of the hill. Only Shoup's division and Shelby's brigade, of Marmaduke's division (the latter dismounted), were at first placed upon that line, filling the center and right opposite the line taken by Herron, which was upon the farther side of Crawford's Prairie, on a bluff that rose up steeply behind a steam flowing into Illinois River. Frost's division, to which had been added the brigade of Texas, with Clark's Missouri regiment, commanded by Brigadier-General Roane, was held in reserve to await the movements of Blunt. MacDonald's regiment of Missouri cavalry