The Morning After Prairie Grove

December 8, 1862 (Monday) The Confederate withdrawal from the battlefield at Prairie Grove, Arkansas was ordered before midnight. General Thomas Hindman, commanding the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, claimed a Southern victory, retaining every inch of the ground he defended against the Union Army of the Frontier. But such a victory was hollow. He had littleRead More

The Bloody Fight at Prairie Grove

December 7, 1862 (Sunday) Before the cold Sabbath dawned, Confederate General Hindman began to falter. He knew that the Yankee force was divided and he, with superior numbers, was about to defeat both in turn near a little intersection in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. But still, something wasn’t right. To the south was James Blunt’s wingRead More

A Day of Fighting, Revelations and Change near Prairie Grove, Arkansas

December 6, 1862 (Saturday) James Blunt believed he and his Army of the Frontier were ready for a fight. At Cane Hill, Arkansas, he knew the 11,000 Rebels under Thomas Hindman were approaching, and believed them to be steadily coming up the Van Buren Road. This made the most sense, since they were, in fact,Read More

James Blunt Prepares For Battle in Arkansas

December 3, 1862 (Wednesday) The cat was out of the bag. Confederate General Thomas Hindman needed his plans of attacking Federals under James Blunt at Cane Hill, Arkansas to be kept secret until the very eve of the attack. His Army of the West had to trod seventy-five miles north to make the assault. HeRead More

Confederates in Arkansas Argue Over What to Do Next

December 1, 1862 (Monday) Theophilus Holmes had become somewhat hysterical. From his perch in Little Rock, Arkansas, he did his best to command the Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi. In Van Buren, 150 or so miles down the Arkansas River, General Thomas Hindman was preparing the Army of the Trans-Mississippi to storm northward and envelopeRead More

Confederates Stirring for Another Arkansas Fight

November 29, 1862 (Saturday) News of the previous day’s running battle from Cane Hill traveled quickly. By the morning of this date, John Marmaduke’s after action report was on the desk of General Thomas Hindman, commander of the Confederate forces in Arkansas. Hindman’s headquarters at Fort Smith were thirty-five miles south of Marmaduke’s new positionRead More

The Running Fight from Cane Hill, Arkansas

November 28, 1862 (Friday) General John Marmaduke and his Confederate cavalry were out on a limb. Fifty miles north of the Rebel base at Fort Smith, Arkansas, he had a plan to isolate and destroy the Federal command under James Blunt located twenty miles farther north. This, he figured, could best be done by urgingRead More

Rumors, Miscalculation, and a Bit of Bravado in Arkansas

November 25, 1862 (Tuesday) The first time Union General James Blunt learned that Rebels under John Marmaduke were at Cane Hill, Arkansas, he took a defensive position. The second time, however, he wanted to act. Blunt’s force, consisting mostly Kansas cavalry and infantry, 5,000-strong, was encamped west of Bentonville. Marmaduke’s 2,000 Confederate cavalrymen were onRead More

Confederates Rebuild and Rename their Army in Arkansas

November 23, 1862 (Sunday) Over a month had passed since the Battle of Old Fort Wayne, just across the Arkansas border, in Indian Territory [modern Oklahoma]. There, Confederates under Douglas Cooper and Stand Watie were thrown back fifty miles to the Arkansas River. A week or so later, not too far away, another Rebel force,Read More

Retreat, Advance, Retreat and Advance in the Hills of Arkansas

November 1, 1862 (Saturday) In the week and a half since the small battle of Old Fort Wayne, Confederate hopes for a move into Kansas from Arkansas and Indian Territory had been dashed. Douglas Cooper, who had led the Rebels that day against James Blunt’s Federals, had retreated over fifty miles south to the ArkansasRead More