forward to join their battery. I then returned to look after my own troops. and passing along the
road met the Iowa 3d cavalry which had been sent in advance of Col. Osterhaus and which now
escorted their Lieut. Colonel, who fell severely wounded, back into camp. I immediately sent to
you, to order the regiment back to Leesville, which order was given and the regiment returned.
I met Lieut. Gasson of the Flying Battery who reported to me, that our cavalry had been
driven back by an overwhelming force and our three pieces taken by the enemy. As there was no
infantry to support them I now ordered Major Meszaros and the two other pieces of the Flying
Battery to reinforce Col. Osterhaus, but during their march I learned Col. Davis had been
directed to advance with his whole Division to Leesville, which induced me to send only Major
Meszaros to that point, and directed the two pieces of the Flying Battery to act as a reserve, and
to join the troops left in their encampment. Proceeding to the camp to find out what was going on
there and whether we were safe in our rear (toward Bentonville) I found the following troops
assembled in their respective positions, the 17th Mo, and a detachment of sixteen of the 3d Mo.,
the 25th and 44th Illinois, two pieces of Welfley's Battery, (12 pounders), two companies thirty
sixth Illinois cavalry, and nearly the whole 2d Division, comprising the 2d and 15th Mo., Carlin's
Battery, and two companies of the Benton Hussars. It eras about two o' clock in the afternoon
when the cannonading and musket firing became more vehement and when you ordered me to
reinforce Col. Carr at Elk Morn Tavern and Col. Davis and Col. Osterhaus near Leesville, as
both forces, especially those at Leesville were according to your reports pressed hard and losing
ground. I therefore sent General Asboth with four companies of the 2d Mo., under Col. Schaffer,
and four pieces of the 2d Ohio Battery under Lieut. Chapman to assist Col. Carr. Major Poten
with the 17th Mo., one company of the 3d Mo., two companies of the 15th Mo., two pieces of
the Flying Artillery, under Capt. Elbert, and two companies of the Benton Hussars, under Major
Heinrich, I ordered to advance on the Sugar Creek road toward Bentonville to demonstrate
against the rear of the enemy. Two pieces of the 2d Ohio Battery with six companies of the 2d
Mo. remained in their position to guard the camp, and two companies of the 44th Illinois, with
twenty men of the 36th Illinois cavalry under Captain Russell were sent forward in a north-western
direction to remain there as a picket between Leesville and the Sugar Creek road.
With all other troops, the 15th Mo., the 25th and 44th Ill., and the two pieces of Capt.
Welfley's Battery, I marched to Leesville to reinforce Col. Davis and Osterhaus. My intention
was to throw back the enemy from Leesville into the mountains and towards Bentonville, and
then by a change of direction to the right to assist Gen. Asboth and Col. Carr by deploying on
On my march to Leesville, I heard Major Poten's firing on the Bentonville road. Arriving at
Leesville, the firing in front had ceased, whilst it commenced with new vehemence on the right
at Elk Horn Tavern. At this moment Capt. McKenny, A. A. A. General, requested me, by order
of Gen. Curtis, to send more reinforcements to the right, which I did by detaching five
companies of the 25th Ills., and four pieces of Caps. Hoffman's battery, stationed in reserve at
Leesville, to Elk Horn Tavern.
I then proceeded beyond the town to the battlefield, which I found in full possession of Col.
Davis and Osterhaus. As no enemy could be seen, except a small detachment on a distant hill, I
requested Col. Davis to protect my left flank, by sending his skirmishers and one regiment of
infantry forward through the woods whilst I proceeded with the 36th Ill. and four pieces of
Welfley's and Hoffman's batteries on the road to the north east, which was already opened by the
44th Ills. and 15th Mo. After making one mile, and passing two hospitals of the enemy, I ordered
Col. Osterhaus to follow me with the 12th Mo., the 36th Ills., and a section of artillery which
troops came up promptly, except the two pieces, 12-pounders, that remained with Col. Davis.
We advanced slowly, and after making half a mile more, we reached an open field, where we
took our position, and from which we could easily discern the camp fires of our friends and those
of our enemies near Elk Horn Tavern.
I now sent immediately to Gen. Curtis, to apprise him of my position, and that I was ready to
co-operate with him. Meanwhile night had fallen, and although, the cannonading was renewed in
the night, I did not believe that after a hard day's work the enemies would make a final and
In order, therefore, to disguise our position, from which I intended to advance in the morning,
I kept the troop in the strictest silence, and did not allow the building of camp fires, or any
movement further than two or three hundred paces distant. So we remained until one o'clock in
the morning, when I found it necessary to remove the troops, by a short and convenient road,
into our common camp, to give them some food, sleep and a good fire, and to prepare them for
To show the whole position of the 1st and 2d Divisions, on the evening of the 7th, allow me,
General, to make the following statements:
Beginning on the left, Major Poten, with the 17th Mo., one company of the 3d Mo., two
companies of the 15th Mo., two pieces of the Flying Artillery, and two companies of the Benton
Hussars, were stationed on the Sugar Creek Bentonville road, three miles from the camp. The
entrance of the road from this side, was guarded by two pieces of the 2d Ohio Battery, and six
companies of the 2d Mo. towards the north (Leesville) two companies of the 44th Ill., and
twenty men of the 36th Ills. Cavalry remained on picket. On the right, near Elk Horn Tavern,
were the following troops: Four companies of the 2d Mo., five companies of the 25th Ills., four
pieces of the 2d Ohio Battery, and four pieces of Capt. Hoffman's Battery.
In the field, to the left of General Absooth and Col. Carr, under my immediate command,
were the 12th Mo., the 15th Mo., the 25th, 36th and 44th Ills., two pieces of Capt. Welfley's, and
two pieces of Capt. Hoffman's Battery.
The Fremont and Benton Hussars, and one section of Capt. Welfrey's Battery, returned to
camp with Col. Davis The detachment of Major Conrads, consisting of six companies of
infantry, detailed from the 3d, 15th and 17th Mo., and 36th Ills., and one piece of Capt. Welfley's
Battery, was encamped a few miles west of Keetsville.
One piece of Capt. Welfley's Battery was spiked and taken by the enemy, but retaken and
unspiked. Three pieces of Capt. Elbert's Flying Battery had been lost near Leesville, the wheels
burnt by the enemy, and the guns left on the battle-field; another piece of this battery had broken
down on the retreat from Bentonville to Sugar Creek, but the gun secured and brought into camp.
IV—BATTLE OF THE 8TH, NEAR ELK HORN TAVERN—The different combats to the
7th, had fully developed the plans of the enemy. It was evident that the main forces were
stationed near and at Elk Horn Tavern, and that he would make all efforts to break through our
lines on the Fayetteville road, and thereby complete his uppercut victory.
I therefore resolved to recall all troops and different detachments of the 1st and 2d Divisions,
from wherever they were stationed (with the exception of four companies of the 2nd Mo., and
four pieces of Artillery from the 2d Ohio Battery, sent to their original position on Sugar Creek)
and to fall upon the right flank of the enemy, should he attack or advance from Elk Horn Tavern.
At daybreak of the 8th. the following troops were assembled near and around my
headquarters, awaiting order:
1St Division—Col. Osterhaus.—2 companies 3d Mo. Vols, 12th and 17th Mo., 25th, 36th
and 44th Illinois, Welfley's Battery, 5 pieces, Hoffman's Battery, 6 pieces, Capt. Jenks' squadron
[cavalry attached] 36th Ills. [Infantry].
2D Division—General Asboth.—2d 510., six companies, 15th Mo., 2 pieces 2d Ohio Battery
(Lieut. Chapman) Battalion (4 companies) 4th Mo. Cavalry (Fremont Hussars) 6 companies 5th
Mo. Cavalry (Benton Hussars) 2 pieces Capt. Elbert's Flying Battery.
It was about 1 o'clock in the morning when the firing commenced on the Keetsville road, this
side of Elk Horn Tavern. I was waiting for Col. Ostarhaus and Lieut. Assmussen, of my staff,
who had gone to reconnoiter the ground on which I intended to deploy, and to find the nearest
road to that ground. The 44th Illinois had already been sent in advance to form our right, when
the above named officers returned, and the movement began.
In less than half an hour, the troops were in their respective positions, the 1st Division
formed the 1st line, the 2d Division, with all the cavalry, the reserve, 250 paces behind the first
To protect and cover the deployment of the left wing, I opened the fire on the right with a
section of Capt. Hoffman's Battery. The enemy returned the fire promptly and with effect, but
was soon outflanked by our position on the left, and exposed to a concentric and most destructive
fire of our brave and almost never failing cannoniers.
After the first discharge, at a distance of 800 paces, I ordered Capt. Welfley and Lieut. Frank
to advance about 260 yards to come into close range from the enemy's position, whilst I threw
the 25th Ills. forward to the right, to cover the space between the Battery and the Keetsville
road. Col. Schaffer, with the 2d Mo., was ordered to proceed to the extreme left, and, by forming
against cavalry, to protect our left flank. This movement proved of great effect, and I now
ordered the centre and the left to advance 200 paces, and brought the reserve forward on the
position which our first line had occupied. I then took a Battery, commanded by Capt. Klaus, and
belonging to Col. Davis' Division, nearer to my right, and reported to you that the road toward
Elk Horn Tavern was open, and we were advancing.
About this time, when the battle had rested one hour and a half, the enemy tried to extend his
line farther to the right, in occupying the first hill of the long ridge, commanding the plain and
the gradually rising ground where we stood. His infantry was already lodged upon the hill,
seeking shelter behind the rocks and stores, whilst some pieces of artillery worked round to gain
I immediately ordered the two howitzers of the reserve (the 2d Ohio, under Lieut.
Ganesvoort) and the two pieces of Capt. Elbert's Flying Battery, to report to Col. Osterhaus on
the left, to shell and batter the enemy on the hill. This was done in concert with Hoffman's
Battery, and with terrible effect to the enemy, as the rocks and stones worked as hard as the
shells and shot. The enemy's plan to enfilade our lines from the hills, was frustrated, and he was
forced to beat a precipitate retreat with men and cannon. Encouraged by the good and gallant
behavior of our troops, I resolved to draw the circle a little closer around the corner into which
we had already pressed the enemy's masses and ordered a second advance of all the batteries and
battalions, changing the position of the right wing more to the left, and bringing the troops of the
reserve, the 15th Mo., and the whole cavalry, behind our left.
Assisted by Klauss' Battery on the right, and co-operating with the troops of the 3d and 4th
Divisions, who advanced with new spirit on the Keetsville road. the enemy was overwhelmed by
the deadly power of our artillery, and after about one hour's work, the firing on his side began to
slacken, and nearly totally ceased.
To profit this favorable moment, I ordered the 12th Mo., the 25th and 44th Ills., to throw
forward a strong force of skirmishers, and take the woods in front where the enemy had planted
one of his batteries At the same time, I ordered the 17th Mo. Vols, which had arrived during the
battle from Bentonville road, to climb the hill on our left, and to press forward against the
enemy's rear. The 36th Ills. was also ordered to assist this movement, and to hold communication
between the 12th and 17th Mo., whilst Cols. Schaffer and Joliat, with the 2d and 15th Mo.,
followed slowly, and Col. Nemett, with his cavalry, guarded the rear.
The rattling of musketry, the volleys, the hurrahs, did prove very soon that our troops were
well at work in the woods, and that they were gaining ground rapidly. It was the 12th Mo., under
Major Wangelin, which, at this occasion, took Dallas' Artillery, and their flag followed close
behind, and on the right by one part of the 3d Mo., the 44th and the 25th Ills., and on the left by
the 36th Ills.
The 11th Mo., under Major Poten, had meanwhile arrived on the top of Pea Ridge, forming
the extreme left of our line of battle.
The enemy was routed, and fled in terror and confusion in all directions.
It was a delightful moment, when we all met, after 12 o'clock, on the eminence, where the
enemy held position with his batteries, A few minutes before, and when you let pass by the
columns of your victorious army.
To pursue the enemy, I sent Capt. Von Kielmanseggo, with one company of Fremont
Hussars, forward; the 17th and 3d Mo. followed in double quick time, assisted by two pieces of
Elbert's Flying Artillery. Other troops of the 1st Division, all under Col. Osterhaus, came up and
continued their march towards Keetsville.
At the fork of the Benton and Keetsville roads, I detached the 44th Ills. (Col. Knobelsdorff)
two pieces of artillery of the Flying Battery, and a squad of 30 men (Fremont Hussars) to
proceed a short distance on the road to Bentonville, and to guard that road. Arrived at Keetsville
with the greatest portion of my command, I found that one part of the enemy had turned to
Roaring River and Berryville, while others had turned to the left.
I also received your order to return to Sugar Creek, which I did, and met the army on Sugar
Creek at 4 o'clock in the evening of the 9th.
A list of the dead, wounded and missing of the command, has already been transmitted to
you, and a special report, mentioning those officers and men of my command, who deserve
consideration for their conduct in action, together with the reports of the different commanders
of regiment and corps, will follow to day, as some of the reports have not come in yet.
I am, General, very respectfully your ob't serv't,
Brig. Gen's, Comd'g 1st and 2d Division
TO BRIG. GEN'L S. R. CURTIS, COMD'G S. W. ARMY
SIGEL'S SPECIAL REPORT,
HEADQUARTERS 1ST AND 2D DIVISION
CAMP HOFFMAN, MO., MARCH 20TH, 1862
GENERAL:—In accordance with Par. 743, Army Regulations, I take leave to transmit to you
the names of the following officers, non-com. officers and privates, who have distinguished
themselves under my immediate command and presence, in the different actions of the 6th, 7th
and 8th of March.
On the 6th, retreat from Bentonville to Sugar Creek, Major Wangelin, comd'g the 12th Reg't
Mo. Vols., the only infantry being present during the retreat from Bentonville, Major Karcher
commanding the line of skirmishers in front.
Lieut. Ledergerber, Co. G, Lieut. Grenzenberg, Co. H, Lieut. Henne, Co. I, afterwards (on the
8th) severely wounded, Capt. Steinberg, Co. K. These officers and companies were assisting and
relieving each other from time to time, acting as skirmishers in front of the column during the
whole affair. First Lt. McKenzie, Co. D, covered our right flank; let Lieut. Andel, with Co. B and
Co. C, our left, and 1st Lieut. Affleck, with Co. A, was marching behind as reserve, supporting
and protecting the artillery.
Of the artillery (Flying Battery) I must give the highest compliment to Capt. Elbert, to Lieut.
Schneider and Lieut. Gasson.
Of the cavalry, Col. Nemett has done his full duty, being sometimes one mile behind us
charging in every direction, and protecting his own command as well as the infantry and
artillery. I further mention Major Heinrichs, of Benton Hussars, who has commanded the
companies of cavalry in advance, assisting and protecting the infantry in front and in both flanks.
Capt. Lebmann, who was always ready to charge, and always at work where there was some
dangerous task to perform.
Lieut. Kiesmetter, who, in attacking the enemy with twelve men of the Benton Hussars up the
hill in the bushes, was severely wounded, made a prisoner, and escaped from Bentonville, after
the retreat of the enemy, although scarcely able to bring himself along. Lieut. Knispel, who acted
as adjutant to Col. Nemett, and brought reports to me under great personal danger. Capt. Jenks,
of the 36th Illinois Cavalry (Col. Greuisel's regiment) who was also with me in the advance,
doing good service.
Of my staff, I mention 1st Lieut. Assmussen, Aid-De-Camp, and Lieut. Meysenberg, who
executed all my orders with courage and promptness. Lieut. Schramm, commander of my escort
of twenty men, who several times charged upon the enemy, or acted as skirmishers in advance,
led by Sergeants Sprang, Mueller and Frantiocen, members of the escort. I also mention Lieut.
Shepard, Co. A, Benton Hussars, who was posted as picket near Osage Springs, and although
surrounded, with his men, cut his way through the enemy and joined his command the other day.
ON THE 7TH AND 8TH.—Major Poten, commanding 17th Mo. Vols., who executed my
orders to demonstrate against the enemy's line of retreat, with great discretion and skis, and came
back at the right time the next morning to turn the enemy's right. Capt. Russel, of the 44th Ills.,
and twenty men of the 36th Ills. Cavalry, who, on the 7th, were posted on picket between
Leesville and Major Poten's command on Sugar Creek, Bentonville road, made forty prisoners,
the greatest part belonging to the Louisiana forces, and among them the principal officers of that
Major Heinrich's Benton Hussars, who assisted Major Poten on the 7th, as commander of the
two companies of cavalry, and who on the 8th assisted me by bringing my orders to the cavalry,
and other commands, during the whole time of the battle.
Capt. Von Klielmansegge, Act. Asst. Adjt. General, 1st Lieut. Assmussen, Lieut.
Meysenberg and Lieut. Montzheimer, Aid-De-Camp, who, by their intelligence, superior
education, and courage, assisted me to make our action systematic and perfect, and therefore
In conclusion, I direct your attention to the following non-commissioned officers and
privates, who, by their faithful, prompt and brave conduct, have added much to the fortunate
achievement on the 6th, 7th and 8th:
Corporal Saeger, and the following privates: Jacob Wacehter, Louis Berthold, Chas Beitner
and Rudolph Hassler (all of the Benton Hussars) who, on the 6th, were standing picket the whole
day near McKreisieks' farm, when the Divisions had left, to make the foraging parties, and other
troops belonging to this command, aware of our movements and those of the enemy, which
duties they performed to my best satisfaction.
The following non-commissioned officers and privates of Co. C, Benton Hussars, acting as
my orderlies since Sept., 1861, deserve my thanks for their services done to me during that
period and the three days of the battle: Sergeant Ruckam, Philip Heder, Joseph Eppinger, John
Nagel, Bruno Krause and John Frey.
I a making this report, I have restricted myself to mention only such officers,
non-commissioned officers and privates, who were acting under my direct orders, whilst the
reports of commanders of divisions, brigades, regiments and batteries, will show sufficiently
what they have done, and what officers and men deserve praise and special consideration.
I am, General, your ob't serv't,
Brig. Gen'1 Comd'g 1st and 2d Division.
To BRIG. GEN'L CURTIS, COMD'G ARMY OF THE S. W.
REPORTS OF COL. OSTERHAUS AND GENERAL ASBOTH, 1ST AND 2D DIVISIONS
CAPTAIN:—In compliance with special orders from headquarters of South West District, I
have the honor to report on the part taken by the 1st Division, in the three days battle of the 6th,
7th and 8th of this month.
At 9 o'clock, P. M., on the night of the 6th inst. (I was then stationed at McKreisick's farm, 3
miles south-west of Bentonville, Arkansas) I was officially informed of the approach of the
enemy, receiving, at the same time, orders to march at 2 o'clock, 6. M., next morning, in order to
join the other Divisions of the army at Pea Ridge, on the Fayetteville or telegraph road. We left
camp at the hour mentioned, and arriving at Bentonville, General Sigel ordered the 13th Mo.
Vols., Major Wangelin commanding, to remain there and reinforce the rear guard (composed of
the 2d Mo. Volunteers, Col. Schaefer, the Flying Battery, and the Fremont and Benton Hussars).
This force was to stay at Bentonville, under the immediate command of General Sigel, while I
myself proceeded to Sugar Creek with the other regiments and batteries of the 1st Division. On
my arrival there, I learned by rumor, afterwards confirmed officially, that General Sigel had been
attacked at Bentonville, and that his egress from that town is disputed by a strong rebel force. I
immediately, after giving notice to General Curtis, ordered all the regiment and Capt. Hoffman's
Battery to return with the utmost speed to the support of our General. They, together with the
16th Mo. Vols., of the 2d Division, responded promptly to my sudden call, and though tired by a
16 miles march, hurried back in double quick to the field of action.
I had almost arrived at the head of Sugar Creek Hollow with this force, when I met General
Sigel and his small force, who had broken through the enemy. The latter was still following
them. On a bend, in the narrow defile formed by Sugar Creek Hollow, I planted two pieces of
Hoffman's Battery, while the 15th Mo. Vols. (2d Division) formed in a line of battle in support
of the Battery, while the 17th Mo. Vols. were deployed as skirmishers over the whole breadth of
the valley and the crest of the bordering hills.
The enemy advanced towards us with artillery in the valley and skirmishers on the hills,
when a few rounds of spherical ease and cannister stopped him. His artillery played without
success. I then ordered the two pieces back, as was as the infantry, with the exception of the 17th
Mo.., which covered our retreat in most admirable style, exchanging an occasional shot with the
enemy. Major Poten, commanding the 17th 110., deserves the highest credit for the
determination and coolness exhibited on this occasion.
We arrived in camp without any further molestation, and prepared to bivouac on the northern
ridges skirting Sugar Creek Hollow, near the camps of the other Divisions, fortifying our
position at once, anticipating a night attack. The enemy did not molest us however.
MARCH 7TH.—Early morning brought us the intelligence, that the united forces of the
Confederate and Mo. rebels had passed our right flank, and were deploying also on our line of
retreat, near Elk Horn Tavern. They advanced during the night by the direct road leading from
Bentonville, Ark. to Cassville, Mo. (This road joins the Telegraph Road from Fayetteville to
Cassville, at a point a few miles north of the above mentioned Elk Horn Tavern).
To prevent the enemy from still more strengthening their position in our rear, and to engage a
part of his force, General Curtis ordered me to make a demonstration on their right flank, toward
Leetown, and if necessary, of the Bentonville and Cassville road. The forces detailed for this
purpose, were mainly cavalry (Battalions of the 3d Iowa, 1st and 5th Mo. Cavalry) and three
pieces of the Flying Battery, all under the immediate command of Col. Bussey, 3d Iowa Cavalry,
and further the 12th Mo., 36th Ills. and 22d Indiana regiments, three pieces, 12 pound howitzers,
of Capt. Welfley's Battery, and Capt. Hoffman's Battery. This command started after ten o'clock,
A. M. I arrived at Leetown, having no knowledge whatever of the whereabouts of the enemy,
and took position in the open fields north of Leetown, going forward myself with the cavalry and
three pieces of the Flying Artillery. The field in which the artillery and infantry were posted, is
divided from another tract of cultivated ground, by a belt of timber with thick undergrowth.
Debouching from this timber, I came in sight of a large force of the enemy, mostly cavalry. All
the open fields to my front and right were occupied, and the road from Bentonville was filled
with new regiments arriving.
As appears from the accompanying sketch, this gathering of the enemy's forces was
accomplished in the immediate neighborhood of the headquarters of our army, being only 1 1/2
miles distant, and it was patent that the enemy was preparing a most energetic attack on our right
flank, at the same time they opened fire on our rear. Notwithstanding my command was entirely
inadequate to the overwhelming masses opposed to me—which, I learned afterwards, were under
the immediate command of Generals McCulloch and McIntosh, and comprised some of the very
best drilled regiments in the Confederate service, and Indian regiments—I could not hesitate in
my course of action. The safety of our position was dependent on the security of our right flank,
and the keeping back of the enemy until I was reinforced.
I therefore ordered the three pieces of the Flying Battery to form, supporting them by
companies from the 1st Mo. Cavalry (provided with revolvers and revolving carbines) forming
the remainder of the cavalry in line of attack.
The Battery opened fire with the most disastrous effect on the enemy, and in order to cut off
fresh supports, two companies of cavalry were ordered to charge down the road. When I saw the
effect of the artillery creating a panic in the lines of our opponents, I ordered Col. Bussey to
charge from the right, attacking the left of the rebels.
While these preparations were making, a wild, numerous and irregular throng of cavalry, a
great many Indians among them, rushed towards us, breaking through our lines. A general
discharge of fire-arms on both sides, created a scene of wild confusion, from which our cavalry,
abandoning the three pieces of artillery, retreated towards their old camping ground, while that of
the enemy made their way across fields toward the Bentonville road.
It being evident that the cavalry could not be formed again for the present, I had to rely solely
on the infantry and artillery to achieve my purposes. Fearful of the impression which the above
scene of confusion might have made, I went to meet them. They had stood without flinching, and
in a few minutes they were in such shape I could attack the enemy again.
The 22d Indiana on my right, Capt. Welfley's two pieces (one piece had been disabled) the
12th Mo., Captain Hoffman's Battery and the 36th Ills. on my left, formed the line. For reserve, I
had to rely on reinforcements, for which I sent to General Curtis.
The enemy soon made his appearance with colors flying on the opposite side of the field
which I occupied. Our batteries opened their fire on him, sweeping everything from our sight. I
ordered skirmishers from the 12th Mo., to advance and scour the woods on our right and front,
and sent one company of Benton Hussars (which had reassembled) to our left.
On approaching the woods, they were received by the enemy with a heavy musketry fire, to
which the infantry replied so successfully, that they were able to bring back (from a very
exposed position) the piece of Capt. Welfley's Artillery which had been disabled. This piece
afterwards did very good service.
For several hours the enemy repeatedly attempted to advance, on each occasion bringing
fresh troops into action; however, they invariably had to give way to the unflinching courage of
McCulloch and McIntosh led their troops in person, and both fell. The former from a ball
from a soldier of the 36th Ills. Volunteers—Peter Pelican.
The enemy's cannon played from time to time pretty severely on our ranks, and it became
necessary to silence them. My instructions to that effect were so well executed, that the rebels
were unable even to carry away the three pieces of the Flying Artillery abandoned by our cavalry
in the early part of the day. They had to leave them on the field.
About 2 o'clock, P. M., General Jefferson C. Davis arrived with some of his regiments, and
was joined by the 22d Indiana, up this time under my command.
The gallant officer deployed his regiments at once on my right, advancing towards any foe
who might still be in the timber. The report of musketry told me a lively fight was going on.
To act in concert with him, I ordered my right forward to front, also come cavalry which had
partly reassembled. I advanced with my whole line, when the enemy showed his colors again.
Cavalry and infantry came around the left of General Davis and opened their fire on my now
unsecured right. In double quick, I threw the 12th Mo. on this exposed flank, supporting them by
Capt. Welfley's Battery, who had wheeled to the right, and forming the 36th in close column, on
the extreme left of this new position, to be ready for any cavalry attack, protecting at the same
time Capt. Hoffman's Battery.
The enemy's plan being defeated by a raging fire from the 12th Mo. and Capt. Welfley's
Artillery, they made a feeble attempt to cut off our line of retreat which was frustrated by
skirmishers thrown out by the 36th Ills. Vols.
As my infantry force was not equal to the artillery (having only the 12th and 36th with me)
and also to counteract any further attempts of the enemy to outflank me, I thought it judicious to
send four pieces of Capt. Hoffman's Battery back to Leetown, which affords a very commanding
position. This with some of General Davis' infantry, formed my reserve.
Cavalry flankers and infantry skirmishers, having thoroughly scoured the ground in front of
where the battle had raged for hours, reported the enemy gone, and his train could be seen in the
distance, moving toward Bentonville.
Similar news was brought to me from the right, where a brave Indiana regiment (Col. Davis')
held aloft the stars and stripes, which emblem of our country was hailed with enthusiastic cheers
by the men around me.
General Sigel now arrived with the rest of the 1st and 2d Divisions, and as we passed over the
ground, the enemy's dead and wounded, amounting to hundreds, gave evidence of the fearful
execution done by our soldiers. On our extreme right, where Col. Carr was engaged, the cannon
were still thundering, although night was not far distant. We marched to the assistance of our
friends, planted our battery and brought the infantry into line, but it was too late to open fire.
General Sigel was of the opinion that it was best to wait until morning, and not to betray our
position by a few shots, which could be of no avail, as it was already night. Our men lay down to
rest in a wet cornfield, having eaten nothing since morning, but not a murmur was heard; they
waited in patience.
So ended the second day of battle. I cannot pass over the occurrences of this day without
again paying tribute to the indomitable courage and devotedness of officers and men. They
deserve the highest encomiums for their bravery and endurance; to mention names is almost
impossible, when everybody has such noble claims.
Under my immediate observation, were all the artillery officers present; Capt. Welfley, the
unterrified, and Lieut. Benecke, both of Battery A, and Capt. Hoffman and Lieuts. Frochlich,
Piteret and Frank, of Battery B (Ohio) Major Wangelin, commanding 12th Mo. Vols., and Col.
Greuisel, of the 36th Ills. Vols.; furthermore, two reliable officers, who were detailed to me for
the occasion as orderly officers, viz: Capt. Kielmansegge (Fremont Hussars) of General Sigel's
staff, and Capt. Anlefeldt (12th Mo. Vols.) of General Curtis' staff, and also the gentlemen of my
staff. I have also to mention Capt. McKenny, Asst. Adjt. Gen'l on General Curtis' staff, who was
with me part of the day, and rendered great assistance in bringing Hoffman's Battery to Leetown,
as well as the general arrangement for the disposition of my lines.
MARCH 8TH, 1862.—The commencement of this day, still found our troops on the
cornfield, without food or fire. Several messengers, sent off for provisions, returned, having been
unable to procure them. It being indispensable that our men should eat something before entering
on another day of struggle, General Sigel, at 2 A. M., gave the order to return to camp (about one
mile distant) where we arrived at 3 A. M. The men slept until daybreak, and provisions having
been brought up in the meanwhile, fell in after a hasty breakfast to deliver another and last blow
on the enemy.
The ground selected for this last attack, by Lieut. Assumssen (of General Sigel's staff) was a
field forward of, and connecting with, the one on which we had taken position during the fore
part of the night.
The 44th Ills. regiment was first brought up and formed in line on the left of the right wing
(3rd and 4th Divisions) of our army. General Sigel then arrived and took command in person,
while I was engaged in bringing out the regiments and batteries of my Division.
The first position on the field was as follows:
The 25th Ills. Vols. on my extreme right, connecting with the left of the right wing of our
army (3rd and 4th Divisions) On the left of, and in advance of that regiment, I had posted the
44th Ills. vols., with Capt. Welfley's Battery on their left. To the left of the battery, the 12th Mo.
Vols. was brought into position, while the 36th Ills. Vols. formed the extreme left, in column by
division at half distance, Hoffman's Battery occupying the interval between the 12th Mo. and
36th Ills. Vols. The 3rd and 17th Mo. Vols. were formed as reserve in rear of my centre.
The enemy fired from several batteries with the utmost vehemence, their shot and shell
falling thickly around our lines and on our batteries; so much so, that the troops on our left were
forced to fall back for a while. At this critical moment, the batteries of the 1st Division opened
on the enemy, bearing mainly on the extreme right of the rebels. The effect was proportionate to
the skill, courage and coolness of officers and men. The enemy, seeing that his right was
endangered, concentrated all his energies on that wing, the fire of their other batteries slackening
off considerably. General Sigel ordered the battery to advance, and at the same time dispatched
me to report progress. By this movement, in which the right wing of our army co-operated, the
enemy's entire line of retreat was brought under the concentrated fire from our lines.
To execute this movement, on my return all our batteries wheeled to the left, and I ordered
the skirmishers of the 12th Mo. Vols. forward towards a grove of timber, from which the
heaviest battery of the enemy was firing against us. The men under the gallant Capt. Lightfoot,
of Company F, advanced like veterans. In connection, and to the left, the skirmishers of the 36th
and 44th Ills. Vols., were also thrown out, and all the regiments of the 1st division began their
march forward, in support of the skirmishers. They were received with an intense fire by the
enemy. The 12th Mo., supported by the 25th Ills. (Col. Coler) entered the grove on our right,
where the enemy's infantry fired heavy volleys, disputing every inch of ground.
Major Wangelin, commanding 12th Mo., here had his horse shot under him, and the two
regiments going on in gallant style, soon obtained possession of the main road.
Two brass pieces and the flag of the Dallas Artillery were taken by the 12th Mo. in the
During these struggles, the movements on our extreme left were just as fast powerful and
successful. the 17th and 3rd Mo. and the 36th Ills., supported by the gallant soldiers of the 2nd
and 15th Missouri, and the artillery of Lieut. Chapman, 2nd Division, advanced steadily - the
cavalry on the left towards the rocks over which the enemy was retreating. Soon we saw the
noble regiments, 17th and 3d Missouri, and 36th Ills., on the crest of the step rocks, and with this
position, the field of the defeated rebel army was in our possession. We had conquered.
The rebels were retreating in all direction; one force by the Cassville road which we followed
in close pursuit, and prevented every attempt of theirs to form again. A great many prisoners and
munitions of war, muskets, caissons, baggage wagons, and one more cannon, were taken by us in
General Sigel ordered me to drive the rebel column as far as Keetsville, which I did, arriving
in the neighborhood of that place at 5 o'clock, P. M.
Next morning, March 9, we entered the town of Keetsville, and dispatched a cavalry force a
few miles beyond, but it being evident the enemy's forces in that direction had dispersed, General
Sigel ordered us to return to the battle ground, when we encamped near our comrades of the
In conclusion, I ought to add the list of names of those who excelled.
They all were brave, and I only could repeat the names mentioned before. 1st Lieut. Jacobi,
of Capt. Welfley's Battery, who was not in the battle of Leetown, did great service and immense
execution with his twelve-pound guns on the 8th, and he is a worthy comrade of his brother
It also becomes my pleasant duty to acknowledge the very kind assistance I repeatedly
received on the 8th from Col. Schaefer, 2nd Mo. Vols., and his command
P. J. OSTERHAUS
Col. Comd'g 1st Division, Army of the S. W.
To Capt. T. I. McKenny, A. a Gen'l S. W. Dist. Army of the Mo.
HEAD QUARTERS 2D DIVISON,
CAMP AT ELK HORN TAVERN, PEA RIDGE, ARK., March 16, 1862
Gen's F. sigel, Commanding 1st and 2d Divisions:
GENERAL- In compliance with Special Order No. 163, I have the honor to submit my report
of the participation of th 2d Division in the battle of the 6th, 7th and 8th days of the present
month at Bentonville, Sugar Creek and Pea Ridge.
By way of preliminary, I may allude to the happy union of the 1st and 2d Divisions under
your command. I say happy union, because I have never witnessed more perfect harmony, either
in camp or upon the battlefield. Native Americans and foreigners of varied nationalities have
been aptly blended, and the fraternity of the troops finds its counterpart in that prevailing
between the officers and commanders. No wonder the privations of our arduous winter
campaign, in the midst of a hostile populace, were so cheerfully borne, or that the hardships thus
engendered, should result in so irresistible a co-operation upon the battle-field.
Officers and men were all imbued with the earnest feeling, that you would lead them only to
victory. And you did so, at a moment when experienced and brave soldiers admitted the critical
chances of our position.
Allow me to thank you, General, in the name of my Division, for your skillful leadership and
the result achieved.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6TH, 1862.—On the 5th of March, being encamped at McKreisick's
farm with my Division, in close proximity to the 1st Division, 3 1/2 miles south-west of
Bentonville, I received orders from you at 11 o'clock P. M., to march at 2 o'clock on the
following morning, in conjunction with the 1st Division, to Bentonville, and there to await
We started accordingly in the following order:
1. Company of Fremont Hussars;
2. 15th Mo. Vols.;
3. 2d Ohio Battery;
4. The train in the order of respective commands:
5. 1st Division;
6. First Flying Battery;
7. Benton Hussars; and reached Bentonville at about 4 o'clock in the morning,
overtaken by you, and as information arrived that the 2d Mo. Regiment, of my Division,
expected from Smith's Mill, was already near the town, you ordered me to continue the march in
the same order to our old camp at Sugar Creek—yourself awaiting the 2d Mo. Regiment, which
with the Benton Hussars and the Flying Battery, was to form the rear guard of the column.
I had arrived at your old headquarters on Sugar Creek, with all the troops of the 1st and 2d
Divisions, except the rear guard mentioned, after 10 o'clock, A. M.; but while arranging the
encampments, the verbal intelligence came that you were attacked and surrounded by a vastly
superior force of the enemy at Bentonville. General Osterhaus and myself hastened with all our
troops to your relief and found you still engaged, five miles off, on the Sugar Creek Bentonville
road, with the rebel troops, who were speedily routed.
By your order, our forces were drawn up on the Bentonville Sugar Creek road, with all
precautions against a fresh attack. But nothing more was heard of the rebel forces, and you
effected a junction with the main body on the telegraph road at its crossing of Sugar Creek. The
Benton Hussars, the Flying Battery, the 12th Mo. and 2d Mo. Vols., took a prominent part in
fighting their way through the Sugar Creek Valley, the last named regiment losing Captain
Francis Kuhr, of Company C, a most efficient officer, who was killed in the first attack, when
deploying his company as skirmishers. Lieut. Colonel Laibold, commanding the 2d Mo.
Regiment, speaks in his official report, of the bravery of Frederick Taensch, Acting Asst. Adjt
Gen'l of Col. Schaefer's Brigade, and also of Capt. Walter Hoppe, Company K, and Captain
Christian Burkhardt, of Co. B, who gave a noble example to the rest of the troops, and I
cheerfully make mention of them
FRIDAY, MARCH 7TH.—Intelligence having been received that the enemy was advancing
in force, with the view of cutting off our communications with Missouri, and by approaches in
other directions, to surround us, General Curtis commanding, ordered a force, composed of parts
of all the different Divisions, under command of General Osterhaus, to attack him at Leesville, in
concert with the 3d Division, under command of Colonel Jefferson C. Davis. The Benton and
Fremont Hussars, and the Flying Battery, were directed to join him from my
The 1st Brigade, under command of Colonel Schaefer, and composing the 2d and 15th Mo.
Vols., with the 2d Ohio Battery, was directed to take position on the heights this side of the
Sugar Creek Bentonville road, commanding
The battle speedily opened, both in the direction of Leesville and Keetsville, at Pea Ridge,
and raged furiously, without involving the 1st Brigade of my Division in action. a few
skirmishers from the heights, on the opposite side of the valley, and several wounded horses of
the rebels, without riders, were all that we
In the afternoon, between 3 and 4 o'clock, however, General Curtis commanding, came
personally with the information, that the 4th Division, under acting Brigadier General Carr, on
our right, was hard pressed. All the troops were immediately ordered forward, with the exception
of the two howitzers of the Ohio Battery, and six: companies of the 2d Mo. Vols., which were
left in their old position on the Sugar Creek Bentonville
I, myself, was directed by you to take four companies of the 2d Mo. Vols., and four pieces of
the 2d Ohio Battery, forward as quick as possible on the telegraph road, with the view of meeting
the remaining force of the 1st and 2d Divisions, on the contested battle-ground this side of Elk
Arriving there in advance of your troops, I found the 4th Division already exhausted, the
enemy pressing forward from the woods around Elk Horn Tavern, to the open space on either
side of the telegraph road, with great force, and, seeing that in that critical moment, no time was
to be lost, I ordered the 2d Ohio Battery to take position on the left of the road, and replacing the
three pieces of the 1st Iowa Battery, under command of Capt. M. M. Hayden [this is an error; the
1st Iowa Battery was not under command of Capt. Hayden] to its right, opened at once a brisk
and concentrated fire upon the enemy, checking instantly his advance, and at the same time,
rallying the partly faltering forces of the 2d Brigade, 4th
The artillery having kept up a steady fire for half an hour, and perceivin that the enemy was
forced by it to abandon the woods this side of the tavern, the 2d Mo. Infantry, to the right and left
of the artillery, was deployed as skirmishers, under Col. Schaefer. and advanced steadily to and
through the woods to the fence, within two hundred yards of the Elk Horn Tavern. Thus securing
the advance of my artillery, I ordered the 2d Ohio Battery forward, to follow us to a position on
and to the left of the road commanding the enemy's stronghold. Sharp firing, and a hard contest
was again maintained from this point, until the enemy's Battery was silenced, and the
ammunition of the 2d Ohio Battery being nearly exhausted, we retired in good order to our first
position, to hold it at all hazards. Night, however. setting in, fighting ceased on both sides, and
the four companies of the gallant 2d Mo. Vols., were ordered to remain as guard on the extreme
line of our centre for the Lieut. Chapman, commanding the 2d Ohio Battery, was seriously wounded
during the action, and was carried away by the Surgeon. A musket ball passed through my right arm,
but did not disable me from continuing in I take here the opportunity of mentioning the high valor of the
2d Mo. Vols. and the 2d Ohio Battery, as well as the gallant co-operation of the 1st Iowa Battery, under Capt.
Officers and men all did their duty well and gallantly until the last cartridge was
I have especially to mention the gallant conduct of Col. Schaefer, Lieut. Col. Laibold, and the
commander of the 2d Ohio Battery, Lieut. Chapman. They united coolness to energy and
The 1st Flying Battery of my Division, ordered in the morning to join the Leesville
expedition, suffered very
Three of its pieces, under command of Lieuts. Gassen and Schneider, followed by the 1st
Missouri and 3d Iowa Cavalry, with the larger portion of the Benton and Fremont Hussars, under
command of Col. Bussey, were engaged when the first attack was made upon the enemy's
cavalry. The 'are of the Battery. forced the enemy to retreat; being, however attacked from all
directions, and not supported by the cavalry, the three pieces were lost, but afterwards found
burned, and recovered. Six men of the Flying Battery were killed on this occasion, three
wounded, and eight
The rest of the Battery, under command of Capt. Elbert, with a part of the 17th and 15th Mo.
Vols., and two companies of the Benton Hussars, under command of Major Heinricks, were
guarding the rear of the engaged army, and encountered; the enemy about four miles from Sugar
Creek, on the Bentonville road. They opened and exchanged fire with them with shell and
spherical case s}lot, until dark, when they retired towards their
The Benton Hussars, who were also, as stated, with the command of Col. Bussey, report that
on arriving at the field of contest at 9+ o'clock, A. M., they participated in a momentarily
unsuccessful encounter with the enemy, but, that forming again in the first open field, they held
it during the remainder of the day, guarding Welfley's
At 5 1/2 o'clock, P. M., when the rest of the cavalry were withdrawn from the field, the
Benton, with two companies of the Fremont Hussars, were left to maintain it during the
Half the Battalion of Fremont Hussars, under command of Lieut. Howe, were with the four
companies of Benton Hussars, under command of Colonel Nemett; and in the affair just
mentioned, Lieut. Clowes and four men were killed, eight wounded, and three missing. The other
half of the Battalion, under command of Major Meszaros, charged, as he reports, near the town
of Leesville, upon a regiment of the enemy's infantry.
After the enemy had retreated on the left wing, Major Meszaros was ordered by General
Curtis, to take his command to the support of General Carr, but not finding him, was ordered by
the commanding General to return to camp.
SATURDAY, MARCH 8TH.—On this day, the battle was resumed at 7 o'clock, A. M., our
centre and right having first opened fire (I may say too soon) with a sharp and continuous return
from the enemy. So severe was their fire, as to imperil our camp, before the 1st and 2d Divisions
had taken position on the left. Arriving there, however, the hottest artillery fire was opened, and
the whole force moved from position to position, like an immense machine, perfectly irresistible
in its progress, under your command. The enemy, severely pressed upon every side, finally fled
in wild disorder, leaving large numbers of his dead and wounded upon the ground, the Union
army taking immediate possession of his position, and the 1st and 2d Divisions pursuing till
nightfall, to Keetsville, taking many prisoners, arms and ammunition, and returning the next day
to our common camp.
On that day of triumph to our arms, the whole of the 1st and 2d Divisions were united upon
the open field, in full view of friend and foe, except four pieces of the Ohio Battery, with four
companies of the 2d Mo. Vols., of my Division left as guard in our old position, at Sugar Creek
Valley. The two remaining pieces of the Flying Battery, with the Fremont and Benton Hussars,
and the 15th Regiment Mo. Vols., were designated as the reserve in the beginning, but were soon
drawn into the line of battle, and ordered into action. Six companies of the 2d Mo. Vols., with
two howitzers of the Ohio Battery, were sent towards the enemy's extreme right flank,
south-west of Elk Horn Tavern, and forming an extreme left. The infantry, deployed as
skirmishers, drove the enemy from a thicket at the foot of the hill, and then joined the general
advance, the two howitzers of the 2d Ohio Battery, in the meanwhile, dismounting the enemy's
battery, and driving their infantry from the top of a hill, upon which it had formed. I have to
regret that the efficient Swiss regiment, 15th Mo. Vols., whose beautiful flag floated so
picturesquely throughout the battlefield, had not the opportunity they so ardently longed for, of
following their energetic commander, Col. Joliat, to the heart of the conflict, and of attesting, by
their blood, their devotion to the cause.
I feel bound to make honorable mention of the officers of my staff. They were always at
hand, regardless of danger, when duty called them, especially during our desperate attack on the
afternoon of the 7th. Lieuts. Gillen and Harken, although for the first time in a severe
engagement, stood coolly at my side, under the hottest artillery and musketry fire, while Lieut.
Von Unruh, a soldier of European experience, carried my orders, dashing bravely and promptly
through every danger.
Mr. Ullfers, the accomplished topographical engineer, of my Division, during the arduous
campaigns of the last six months, although not called by his especial duties to the battle-field,
was every where, regardless of danger, and, while exhibiting an example of cool courage,
gathered from the events of the moment, many important features towards his topographical
delineation of the battle ground.
Major Wiegand, recently of the Garahaldi Guards, who joined me the day before as a
Volunteer Aid, also deserves my hearty commendation.
You, yourself, General, having been everywhere, and having seen everything. know how well
our men and officers generally behaved. Forward they always moved! Honor to them all!
My report of killed, wounded and missing, is herewith submitted. It shows commissioned
officers killed, 3; wounded, 3; enlisted men killed, 17; wounded, 60; missing, 36.
One hundred and twenty-six prisoners were delivered by Capt. Hesse, Provost Marshal of the
2d Division, to the grand Provost Marshal, Major Heinricks. A list of their names is herewith
Over 350 stand of arms, with a large amount of ammunition, and various implements of war,
specified by the Division Quartermaster, were also taken, and delivered to Chief Quartermaster
Carr. An artillery caisson taken is now with the 2d Ohio Battery.
I submit topographical sketches of the extended Pea Ridge battle-field, with our end the
enemy's position, on the 7th and 8th of March, prepared by the topographical engineer of my
Division, just so honorably mentioned, Mr. Ullfers. The sketch appertaining to your action at
Bentonville, will follow in a few days. I am, General, very respectfully your obd't serv't,
Brigadier Gen's Comd'g 2d Division
THE REPORTS OF COLS. CARR AND DAVIS, 3D AND 4TH DIVISIONS
HEAD QUARTERS THIRD Division
PEA RIDGE, ARKANSAS, MARCH 16TH, 1862
CAPTAIN: Sir.—I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the
Third Division under my command in the recent engagement with the rebel forces at this place.
On the morning of the 1st inst., in obedience to instructions from the General, I broke up my
camp near Cross Hollows, and took position on the heights of Pea Ridge, on the north side of
Sugar Creek, commanding the main road.
On the night of the 6th, I received intelligence of the approach of the enemy, from the
General, and of his intention to concentrate his force on my right and left, and give battle at this
On the morning of the 6th, I deployed the 1st Brigade of my Division, consisting of the 8th,
18th and 22d Indiana, with Klaus' Indiana Battery, commanded by Col. Thomas Pattison, on the
right of the Fayetteville road, so as to command the approach completely.
The 2d Brigade, consisting of the 37th and 59th Illinois, (formerly 9th Mo.,) with Davidson's
Ills. Battery, commanded by Col. Julius White, I ordered to take position on the left of this road.
This Battery commanded the valley of Sugar Creek east and west, and strongly supporting Klaus'
Battery on the right. This Battery was well posted and protected by a small earth work which I
had ordered to be thrown up during the night.
The 8th and 18th Indiana, under Cols. Benton and Washburn, strengthened their positions by
falling timber and throwing up some small entrenchments.
During the night, the General himself arrived, followed by a part of Col. Carr's Division,
from Cross Hollows, which took position on the left.
On the afternoon of the 6th, General Sigel's column arrived from Bentonville and took
position on the right. During the night, my troops bivouacked on the ground anxiously awaiting
the enemy's approach. On the morning of the 7th, it was ascertained that the enemy was making
an effort to turn our right flank and to attack us in the rear. In order to prevent this, Col.
Osterhaus was ordered to make a demonstration in the direction of Leetown. The 1st Mo.
Cavalry, under Col. Ellis, and the 22d Indiana, under Colonel Hendricks, were ordered to support
this movement. Col. Osterhaus advanced about a mile beyond Leetown, and found the enemy in
force moving rapidly along the road leading from Bentonville to Elk Horn Tavern, where Col.
Carr's Division had already sharply engaged him. At this time, the unexpected appearance of the
3d Iowa Cavalry from the field, gave proof of the necessity of reinforcements being sent at once
in the direction of Leetown, and an order to that effect was timely received. Passing through
Leetown a few hundred yards, I found Col. Osterhaus, with the 44th Ills., 22d Ind., and some
artillery, had taken position on the left of the road, and was contesting the approach of the enemy
over a large open field on his front.
In the meantime the enemy was rapidly approaching and advancing his forces on the right of
the road, and had already lodged himself in large numbers in a thick oak scrub extending to our
camp. I immediately ordered the 2d Brigade to deploy to the right and engage him. This was
done in a vigorous manner by the 37th and 59th Ills., assisted by Davidson's Battery, which I had
put in position for that purpose.
I soon became satisfied, from the increasing and excessive fire of the enemy, that he was
being rapidly increased, and ordered the 18th and 22d Ind. to make a flank movement to the right
and perpendicular to the enemy's lines, and then to move forward and attack him. This was
accomplished with alacrity; but not until the 2d Brigade had begun to recede before the excessive
fire of the enemy, who had now concentrated his force to the number of several thousand, under
McCulloch and McIntosh, with a large body of Indians under Pike and Ross. The 2d Brigade
being thus overwhelmed, I ordered it to fall back and change front to rear on its left, so as to
attack the enemy in his rear, who was now exultingly following up his temporary success. The
18th Indiana soon executed the movement as directed, and opened a well directed fire upon the
enemy's rear, which had the effect of drawing his one and disconcerting his pursuit, so as to
enable the 2d Brigade to reform their lines as directed, but not until the enemy had succeeded in
capturing two guns of Davidson's Battery, which, owing to the precipitate advance of the enemy
and disabled horses, could not be withdrawn.
The 18th Ind. pushed rapidly forward and drove the enemy from this part of the field, and I
advanced to the open ground, found these three pieces in the hands of the enemy, charged and
routed him, with a heavy loss, from them. The 22d Ind., during this time, engaged a large force
of the Arkansas troops and Indians, and after a sharp engagement put them to flight. In the
meantime the 2d Brigade renewed the engagement, when the enemy fled from the field, leaving
behind him many of his killed and wounded. Among the former were Generals McCulloch and
At this moment I ordered the cavalry to charge the fleeing foe, but for some unexplained
reason it was not done.
The enemy made an attempt to reform on his former position near the Bentonville road, but
was easily driven from it by the action of our batteries. The regiments of reinforcements, with
two pieces of heavy artillery, (12 pounders,) arrived at this time from General Sigel's command.
These I ordered to take position on the right, so as to be able to move readily to the support of
Col. Carr's Division, which had been hotly engaged in the vicinity of Elk Horn Tavern for
several hours. General Sigel soon arrived himself, and accompanied by Osterhaus' command,
moved in the direction of Carr's left. I at the same time threw forward the 2d Brigade to the
Bentonville and Elk Horn Tavern road.
Finding the enemy gone and night upon us, I ordered the troops to bivouac on the field they
had so gloriously won.
After reporting to the General the entire front of the enemy at Leetown, he directed me to
move my Division, during the night, to the support of our position of the previous day at Elk
The fore-part of the night was occupied by our troop in collecting the wounded and dead.
Daylight, however, found us in front of the enemy at Elk Horn Tavern, where the troop under
Col. Carr, had so nobly fought the day before. That gallant officer, though suffering much from a
wound, was still upon the ground to assist in disposing of my troops.
The 1st Brigade was deployed a few hundred yards to the right of the Fayetteville road, to
support Klaus' Battery, which was placed at the edge of an open field intervening between the
range of hills at Elk Horn Tavern and the timber protecting our camp.
Here the five companies of the 8th Ind., under Lieut. Col. Shunk, joined their Brigade.
These companies had, the previous day, participated in the engagement with Col. Carr's
forces, and had bivouacked on the field during the night. Davidson's Battery was placed in a
similar position on the left of the road, supported by the 2d Brigade.
At sunrise, the enemy's position was discovered by a few shots being thrown by Davidson's
Battery, which was at once answered by the rebel batteries. Klaus' Battery soon responded, but
after a sharp contest of a few rounds was forced to retire, by a sudden attack from one of the
enemy's heretofore undiscovered Batteries, which opened closely upon his flank with grape and
canister. This Battery, however, soon withdrew upon discovering disposition being made by the
1st Brigade to charge it.
The 2d Brigade, at this time, was much exposed to an enfilading fire from the enemy's guns,
and I ordered it to fall back and take position under shelter of the timber. By this time the
position of the enemy's batteries was well developed, and Davidson now took a more
commanding position in the open field. He was soon joined by Klaus, whom I had ordered to
support him, and in a few moments the contest was opened and maintained with great spirit on
both sides until the arrival of General Sigel's forces, about 7 1/2 o'clock. Sigel's artillery soon
took position on the enemy's right and engaged with great spirit in the contest.
The approach of Sigel's infantry on the left of my Division, rendered the position of my
batteries secure, and enabled me to withdraw the 2d Brigade from their support and prepare my
entire Division for a general attack upon the enemy's left The gradual decrease of the enemy's
fire, and the withdrawal of some of his guns, offered a favorable opportunity, and I immediately
ordered an advance across the field.
Previous to this movement, Col. Dodge had taken position with his Brigade on my right, so
as to prevent any attempt the enemy might make to attack me on this flank.
The 2d Brigade, together with the 22d Ind. and five companies of the 8th Ind., soon warmly
engaged the enemy's infantry, occupying a strong position in the thick scrub oaks skirting the
base of the hills upon which his artillery was posted. The enemy soon began to yield to the
steady fire and determined advance of our troops and finally broke and fled in much confusion,
leaving behind his dead and wounded.
The heights were soon carried, and on reaching the summit of the hill, I ordered a halt, in
order to bring my artillery in position on the road leading to Huntsville, my left resting at Elk
Horn Tavern. Here Col. Benton, with five companies of the 8th Ind., and a section of artillery,
who had been kept back guarding the road leading from Cross Hollows, joined their command.
Much to their chagrin and of their gallant commander, the enemy did not give them the
opportunity to add new laurels to those already won at Rich Mountain.
The Division lost during the engagement: 60 killed; 270 wounded; 8 missing; total killed,
wounded and missing, 338.
It affords me pleasure to be able to bear testimony to the prompt and efficient manner in
which the Brigade Commanders, Colonels Pattison and White, conducted their Brigades
throughout the entire engagement.
The regimental commanders, Co's. Benton, 8th Ind., Hendricks, 22d Ind., and Lieut. Col.
Washburn, 18th Ind., of the 1st Brigade, and Lieut. Cols. Barnes, 37th Ills., and Fredericks, 59th
Ills.of the 2d Brigade, acquitted themselves with distinction.
Col. Hendricks fell early in the engagement, alter which Major Daily commended the
regiment with great credit to himself during the remainder of the battle.
The part taken by the Peoria Light Artillery, (Ills.,) under Capt. Davidson, and the 1st Ind.
Battery, under Capt. Klaus, have been so conspicuously described in the above report, that it
would be useless to call further attention to their efficiency and gallant conduct.
The 1st Mo. Cav., under Col. Ellis, reported during the night of the 6th, from a four days'
scout on White River, during which they captured fifty rebels, with their arms and horses.
The bearing and efficiency of my Staff of officers, Lieutenant Holstein, Asst. Adjt. Gen'l, and
Lieuts. Pease and Morrison, Aide-de-Camp, were conspicuous everywhere, fearlessly executing
every order. Every part of the field witnessed their gallantry.
My Division Surgeon, Benjamin Newland, deserves the highest commendation for his
promptness and skill in establishing his hospitals and taking care of the wounded.
My Division Quartermaster and Commissary, Captains Bransen and Bradley, performed their
duties equally prompt and efficiently.
The superior number of the enemy's forces, engaged as he was in his favorite scrub, his utter
rout when led on to desperation, at the sacrifice of two of his famous Generals, on the field, is
sufficient proof of the valor and patriotism of the troops, displayed in every conflict with the
Both officers and men fought with a courage and determination seldom excelled, and will
ever entitle them to the gratitude of a grateful country.
I am, very respectfully, your obd't serv't,
JEFF. C. DAVIS,
HEAD QUARTERS 4TH DIVISION,
CAMP NEAR ELK HORN TAVERN, BENTON COUNTY, ARKS, MARCH 10th, 1862
SIR:—Pursuant to Par. I, of General Orders No. 5, dated Head Quarters Army of the South
West, Pea Ridge, Arks., Mar. 9, 1862, directing commanders of Divisions to report, as soon as
practicable, the movements and casualties in their respective Divisions, during the campaign, I
have the honor to report as follows :
On the 9th of February, at Lebanon, Mo., the General organized the 4th Division and placed
it under my command.
I had previously conducted the operations of the Cavalry movements, and the force under
Col. Osterhaus, up to the time when the General Commanding the District, arrived in person at
The troops ordered to constitute the 4th Division were:
1st Brigade—Col. Dodge, Commanding:
4th Iowa Vols., Col. Dodge, 35th Ills. Vols., Col. Smith
1st Battery, Lieut. David.
2d Brigade—Col. Vandever, Commanding:
9th Iowa Vols., Col. Vandever, 24th Ho. Vols., Col. Boyd, Dubuque Battery, Capt. Hayden,
3 Battalions 3d Ills. Cavalry, under Majors Ruggles, McConnell and Capt. Manst.
With this command I started from Lebanon, Mo., on the 10th of February, and arrived at
Marshfield, on the 12th, where the whole army had assembled. On the 13th, we marched to
within eight miles of Springfield, I leading the advance on the direct road; and my advance of
Cavalry, under Maj. McConnell, together with Major Bowen and Col. Wright's Cavalry, and the
mountain howitzers under Capt. Stephens, skirmished the enemy during the latter part of the
I placed a picket of four companies, 3d Ills.. Cavalry, a mile and a half in advance, at the fork
of the road, immediately after arriving in camp.
This picket was attacked by the enemy, but gallantly held its ground and drove the enemy
The next morning, at 4 o'clock, my Division took the advance in the direction of Springfield.
Upon arriving five miles from Springfield, before daylight in the morning, I halted to wait for the
other Divisions to come up and deploy, but a company of the 4th Iowa, which had been thrown
forward as skirmishers, did not receive the order to halt, but marched into Springfield and took it,
with some prisoners and stores, the enemy having evacuated in the night.
The next day, the 3d and 4th Divisions moved on to McCulloch's store, twenty-nine miles.
The next day my Division led; the cavalry advance, composed of the 3d Ills. Cavalry and the
Cavalry of the 3d Division, and the mountain howitzers, overtook the rear guard of the enemy,
artillery and infantry, on Flat Creek, and brought them to bay.
The Dubuque Battery brought up, and under the personal supervision of the General, fired
upon the enemy, doing him considerable damage, but the infantry could not come up until it was
too late to pursue any farther.
The next day the 3d Division led, preceded, however, by all the cavalry, including the 3d
Ills.; they had a skirmish after passing Keetsville, and at Cross Timber Hollows, a party with Col.
Davis commanding, 3d Division, who went forward to reconnoiter, consisting of three
companies' Ills. Cavalry and about a company of the 1st Mo. Cavalry, charged the enemy's
pickets and ran them to their camp—my men having several men and horses wounded and one
horse killed. The next day, my Division leading, with Ellis, Wright and McCrillis' Cavalry, came
upon the enemy at Sugar Creek.
The General ordered a charge of cavalry, which was gallantly executed by the Mountain
Howitzers, under Major Bowen, who was wounded in the wrist. My Cavalry, though in the rear
of the column, advanced well up by flanking to the left and did considerable execution.
I came on as rapidly as possible with the 2d Brigade, under Col. Vandever, and opened with
the Dubuque Battery, Capt. Hayden, the enemy having made a stand a mile and a half from the
He was quite obstinate, and showed some good artillery practice at our Battery, disabling two
horses, but Capt. Hayden finally drove him away and we camped where we were.
I have since learned that the enemy had come to that point from Cross Hollows to assist
Price, and intended to fight us there, but that his heart failed him and he retreated in considerable
confusion before my 2d Brigade, and that if we had pursued at that time, we might have routed
him and done him considerable damage. But the positive orders of the General, based upon the
reason that it was too late in the day to go as far as Cross Hollows and fight a battle, and that that
point had long been spoken of as one where the enemy intended to make a determined stand,
forbade my going farther.
The next day we waited for General Sigel's Divisions to come up; the next we marched to
Osage Springs, where we found that the enemy had decamped from Cross Hollows. My Division
was then moved to that place. Col. Phelps' regiment of Mo. Vols. having been assigned to the 2d
Brigade and Col. Boyd's regiment relieved.
While at Cross Hollows, Lieut. Jones, of the 1st Iowa Battery, received his commission as
Captain and took command, relieving Lieut. David. The ammunition of that Battery and also the
Dubuque Battery was defective, the powder being poor, the charges too light and the fuses
uncertain. I was told that this ammunition was put up by contractors; and on the day of battle, the
blood of our soldiers paid over again the unjust debt which had once been paid from the public
On the 24th of February, an expedition of cavalry and artillery, under General Asboth, was
sent to Fayetteville. My cavalry led the charge into town, capturing several prisoners.
During my occupation of Cross Hollows, up to the 6th of March, several parties went out in
different directions. Col. Dodge making two expeditions, and Col. Vandever one, taking a good
many prisoners and killing some of the enemy.
On the 5th of March, his cavalry appeared in strong force on the Fayetteville road and
captured some of our wagons and men which were out foraging. We at the same time received
intelligence that he was advancing in force.
The General directed me to move back to Sugar Creek, to which place he had ordered the
other Divisions and where he intended to fight.
I moved that night, but on account of the loss of my wagons was obliged to destroy a few
stores and some camp equipage and valuable private baggage.
BATTLE OF THE 7TH.—Having heard that the enemy had made his appearance on the west
of us, General Curtis had called us in consultation, on the morning of the 7th, about changing
front in that direction, when news came from the rear (north) that parties of the enemy were in
close vicinity to the Elk Horn Tavern, where our depot of supplies had been placed together with
the Provost Marshal's guard and prisoners.
The General immediately directed me to send a Brigade to that point, and I gave the order to
Col. Dodge, who was present.
Elk Horn Tavern was about a mile and a half north of our camp, the ground being smooth and
gradually ascending with open fields on each side of the road from about three quarters of a mile
from camp to within about a hundred yards of the house. The house is situated on the west aide
of the Springfield and Fayetteville road, at the head of a gorge known as Cross Timber Hollows,
(the head of Big Sugar Creek,) through which the road runs about seven miles north towards
Behind the house to the west is a rocky hill about one hundred and fifty feet high, running off
in a ridge towards the north west. In front of the house is a level ridge, on which a road runs
towards the east having on the south side the smooth slope mostly timbered, and on its north side
the heads of rugged gorges running down into Cross Timber Hollows.
About a half a mile from the town, on the north side of this road, is Clemens' house, with a
field mostly on the south side of the road of about twenty acres. About the Elk Horn Tavern, in
an open space of about ten acres. With these two exceptions, the ground in mostly covered with
trees and underbrush, which comes up close to the Tavern on the north side.
As I left the General to go with my leading Brigade, he remarked to me, that I would clear
out that hollow in a very short time.
On arriving at the Tavern, I found that the enemy were trying to flank around to the east
beyond Clemmens' house. ,
I sent out the cavalry under Major McConnell to skirmish them, followed by Col. Dodge with
his regiment and two pieces, ordered Capt. Jones to remain with two pieces as a reserve at the
Tavern, and took two other pieces myself down the road, (which led down the hollow,) three or
four hundred yards to where the bushes were open enough to see a little to the front and to the
right, bring Col. Smith, with the 35th Ills., to support the Battery, and opened fire on a battery on
a bluff on our right front. They immediately repined, and as long as my guns staid there, there
was a perfect storm of shot, shell and grape.
In the meantime, Dodge had driven back the enemy on the right flank and frustrated his first
attempt to out-flank us.
I then sent back to the General a request to send forward Vandever's Brigade, brought Jones'
two pieces down the road, which took some time owing to the feet that they had gone with
Dodge instead of remaining as reserve.
About that time one of the pieces which I had became disabled by a cartridge attacking half
way down, and was sent off.
The enemy seemed to have the range exactly. Col. Smith, 35th Ills.; was wounded in the head
by a shell, which took off part of his scalp, he received a bullet in his shoulder and his horse was
killed, all about the same time. Col. Smith and his regiment showed the utmost gallantry and
deserve great credit for their steadiness in supporting the Battery as well as for their conduct
subsequently when fighting the enemy's infantry near the same point.
Just before Col. Smith was wounded, five or six ammunition chests burst one after the other.
Capt. Jones and Lieut. Gamble were wounded by my side, and all but one of the pieces were
disabled. This one piece was commanded by Corporal Lebert, 1st Iowa Battery, and was the only gun which was in the action from beginning to end, and both Corporal Lebert and his cannoniers deserve great credit for coolness, gallantry and activity through the entire action.
About this time General Curtis came up to see how we were getting along.
At this juncture, two pieces of the Dubuque Battery arrived, under Lieut. Wright, and were
served with admirable zeal and activity. Lieut. Wright showed great coolness and skill during the
entire action, and was slightly wounded.
The remainder of the Dubuque Battery then came and continued firing until I became
satisfied that it was disadvantageous to remain there any longer, and retired to the top of the hill.
I had then been struck three times.