Sunday, November 28, 2010
A Running Battle In Arkansas
As part of the Confederate strategy to push the Union troops back into Missouri, the Battle of Cane Hill was fought to gain back ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign. Confederate Major General Thomas C Hindman with about 11,000 soldiers moved into Fort Smith, Arkansas and got ready to move across the Boston Mountains located in the northwestern part of the state. About 5,000 Union troops under the command of Brigadier General James Blunt, were waiting for them. Trying to hold the Union force in place, Hindman sent 2,000 cavalry under the command of Brigadier General John S Marmaduke to keep Blunt’s men busy while the rest of the Confederates moved through mountains.
Union troops learned of the Marmaduke’s cavalry and moved south about 35 miles, surprising the Confederate cavalry by suddenly attacking them on November 28th 1862. Marmaduke ordered a retreat with Colonel Joseph Shelby’s cavalry covering as the rest of the Confederates headed for the mountains. Blunt’s force pursued the retreating Confederates for 12 miles, with a running fight going on all the way. The battle lasted for about nine hours, with the Union loosing about 41 men and the Confederates about 435.