Friday, December 7, 2012

They Withdrew In The Night

A tactical stalemate, the Battle of Prairie Grover which was fought December 7th 1862 ensured the Union hold on northwest Arkansas.

Confederate Major General Thomas C Hindman moved his Army of the Trans Mississippi between two Union forces under the command of Brigadier Generals James Blunt and Francis Herron.  At dawn on December 7th 1862 Hindman moved first on Herron’s cavalry, however running into the Union infantry he lost ground.  The Confederates established a line northeast of Prairie Grove Church on a high wooded ridge.  Union artillery opened on Hindman’s line, setting up two failed Union attacks.  Confederate attacks were halted in the face of Union canister fire.  At the moment it looked as though Hindman would be successful in his attack against Harron’s troops, Blunt arrived on his left flank.
With the coming darkness of night, both side still held their part of the field.  They called a truce so that the dead could be gathered and the wounded tended to.  Hindman had blankets wrapped around the wheels of his cannon and silently withdrew during the night, giving control of northwest Arkansas to the Union troops.  The battle ended with about 1,250 Union casualties, and 1,300 Confederate.

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