March 6, 1862.
CAPTAIN: Van Dorn, Price, and McCulloch are moving down on us. Have ordered all my detachments to concentrate here, and I am locating my force to repel an attack. The enemy is reported at from 20,000 to 30,000 fighting men. They burned the Seminole College, in Fayetteville, night before last, and last night their advance camp was at Elm Springs, about 21 miles from here. Sigel last night was 4 1/1 miles southwest from Bentonville, 14 miles from here, but he was to march at 2 this morning, and must be near by. A detachment under Colonel Vandever entered and took Huntsville last night, taking 2 prisoners. That detachment will also be in before the enemy can reach me. We will give them the best show we can. The weather is very cold and snowing.
Capt. N.H. MCLEAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Pea Ridge, Ark., March 9, 1862.
SIR: On Thursday, the 6th instant, enemy commenced the attack on my right, assailing and following the rear guard of the detachment under General Sigel to my main lines on Sugar Creek Hollow, but on that occasion ceased firing when he met my re-enforcements about 4 p.m. During the night I became convinced he had moved on so as to attack my right or rear. Therefore, early on the 7th, I ordered a change of front to the right on my right, my right thus becoming my left, still resting on Sugar Creek Hollow. This brought my line crossing Pea Ridge, my new right resting on the head of Cross Timber Hollow, which is the head of Big Sugar Creek. I also ordered an immediate advance of cavalry and light artillery--Colonel Osterhaus'--with orders to attack and break what I supposed would be a re-enforced line of the enemy. This movement was in progress when the enemy, at 11 a.m., commenced an attack on my right. The fight continued mainly at these points during the day, the enemy having gained my position so hardly contested by Colonel Carr at the Cross Timber Hollow, but being entirely repulsed, with the loss of the commander, General McCulloch, in the center, commanded by Colonel Davis.
The plan of attack on the center was gallantly carried forward by Colonel Osterhans, who was immediately sustained and superseded by Colonel Davis' entire division, supported also by General Sigel's command, which remained till near the close of the day on the left. Colonel Carr's division held the right under a galling, continuous fire all day. In the evening, the firing having entirely ceased in the center and there having been none on the left, I re-enforced the right by a portion of the Second Division, raider General Asboth. Before the day closed I was convinced the enemy had concentrated his main effort on my right. I therefore commenced another change of my front, so as to face the enemy where he had deployed on my right flank in strong position. The change was only partially effective, but fully in progress, when at sunrise on the 8th my right and center renewed the firing, which was immediately answered by the enemy with renewed energy and extended line. My left, under General Sigel, moved close to the hills occupied by the enemy, driving him from heights and advancing steadily toward the head of the hollows. I immediately ordered the center and right wing forward, the right turning the left of the enemy and cross-firing on his center. This final position inclosed the enemy in an arc of a circle. A charge of infantry extending throughout the whole line completely routed the whole rebel force, which retired in great confusion, but rather safely, through the deep, impassable defiles of Cross Timber.
Our loss is heavy. The enemy's can never be ascertained, for the dead are scattered over a large field, and their wounded too may many of them be lost and perish. The foe is scattered in all direct ions, but I think his main force has returned to Boston Mountains. General Sigel follows towards Keetsville, while my cavalry is pursuing him toward the mountains, scouring the country, bringing in prisoners, and trying to find the rebel Major-General Van Dorn, who had command of the entire force of the enemy at this battle of Pea Ridge. I have not as yet the statements of the dead and wounded so as to justify a report, but I will refer you to dispatch I will forward very soon.
The officers and soldiers in this command have displayed such unusual gallantry I hardly dare to make distinctions. I must, however, name all my commanders of divisions: General Sigel, who gallantly carried the heights and drove back the left wing of the enemy; Brigadier-General Asboth, who is wounded in the arm, in his gallant effort to re-enforce the right; Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General Davis, who commands the center, where McCulloch fell on the 7th, and pressed forward the center on the 8th; Col. and Acting Brig. Gen. E. A. Carr, who is also wounded in the arm, and was under continuous fire of the enemy during the two hardest days' struggling, where the scattered dead of friends and foe attest the hardest of the struggling. Commanders of brigades Colonels Dodge, Osterhaus, Vandever, White, Schaefer, Pattison, and Greusel, distinguished; but for their gallantry and that of others I must refer to reports of division commanders.
I must also tender my thanks to my staff officers, Capt. T. I. McKenny, acting assistant adjutant-general; Capt. W. H. Stark; Capt. John Ahlfeldt, and Lieuts. J. M. Adams and R. A. Stitt, all acting aides, and Lieut. A. Hoeppner, my only engineer officer. All the staff officers did gallant service in conveying orders and aiding in their prompt execution.
Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri very proudly share the honor of victory which their gallant heroes won over the combined forces of Van Dorn, Price, and McCulloch at Pea Ridge, in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
Brigadier- Gcneral.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Saint Louis, March 10, 1862.
Brigadier-General CURTIS,
Commanding in Arkansas:
I congratulate you and your command on the glorious victory just gained. You have proved yourselves as brave in battle as enduring of fatigue and hardship. A grateful country will honor you for both.
Pea Ridge, March 10, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The main force of the rebel Army, under Generals Van Dorn, Price, and Pike retreated by a short turn and by-road from Cross Timber Hollow toward Huntsville, camping the first night at Van Winkle's Mill, on War Eagle, south of White River. Green, with some 8,000 or 10,000, moved through Bentonville, my cavalry driving his rear guard out of that place, with the loss of one man. These two movements probably contemplate a junction in Boston Mountains.
I move two divisions a few miles forward to-day. A detachment of 100 men, under Captain Schaumberg, with a white flag, from General Van Dorn, comes to assist in collecting and burying the dead.
The enemy has lost very heavily. Among their officers are Generals McCulloch, Mcintosh, and Slack, killed; also Colonel McCulloch, a nephew of the general; Captain Clark, son of Maj. Meriwether Clark, is killed, besides many more whose names may be furnished.
I send copy of correspondence with General Van Dorn.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. N. H. McLEAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
March 9, 1862.
Of the U.S. Troops on Sugar Creek, A rkansas :
SIR: In accordance with the usages of war I have, the honor to request that you will permit the burial party whom I send from this army «13 R R--VOL VIII» with a flag of truce to attend to the duty of collecting and interring the he bodies of the officers and men who fell during the engagements of the 7th and 8th instant.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Major-General, Confederate Army.
[Inclosure No. 2. ]
Pea Ridge, Ark., March 9, 1862.
Commanding Confederate Forces :
SIR: The general commanding is in receipt of yours of the 9th, saying that in accordance with the usages of war you send a party to collect and bury the dead. I am directed to say all possible facilities will be given for burying the dead, many of which have already been interred. Quite a number of your surgeons have fallen into our hands and are permitted to act under parole, and under a general order from Major-General IIallcck further liberty will be allowed them if such accommodations be reciprocated by you. The general regrets that we find on the battle-field, contrary to civilized warfare, many of the Federal dead who were tomahawked, scalped, and their bodies shamefully mangled, and expresses a hope that this important struggle may not degenerate to a savage warfare.
By order of Brig. Gen. S. R. Curtis:
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Pea Ridge, Ark., March 11, 1862.
SIR: I have finished burying the dead and made the best provisions I can for the wounded. Two divisions have advanced 6 miles, and my cavalry has scoured the country this side Fayetteville. The enemy has retreated, as before, beyond the Boston Mountains. I send forward prisoners, some 500.
In reference to a verbal communication from General Van Dorn, I have expressed a willingness to exchange prisoners of equivalent rank, and hope in this way to obtain some officers that I very much desire. It is warm, delightful weather, and roads are excellent. I move my headquarters near to Bentonville, to get away from the stench and desolation of the battle ground, and the better to overlook the approaches to the Boston Mountains. A scout informs me that forces were to advance from Fort Scott five or six days ago, but that Hunter and Lane were both absent. What is the matter out there?
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant`- General.

Near Bentonville, Ark, March 13, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I visited Bentonville yesterday. Everything is quiet in the vicinity. During the battle we lost six guns, but we recovered all back and took five from the enemy. I have also taken a large number of small-arms which the rebels threw away. My loss of killed and wounded will exceed my estimate of 1,000. General Pike commanded the Indian forces. They shot arrows as well as rifles, and tomahawked and scalped prisoners. I am credibly informed that Colonel Rector, of Arkansas, has disbanded his regiment.
Was my dispatch of the 5th instant, telling you of the approach of the enemy and my arrangements to receive him, taken by the enemy or received at headquarters? Much mail matter was taken by him.
Brigadier-General, Commanding.
Capt. J. C. KELTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Van Buren, Ark., March 14, 1862.
GENERAL: I am instructed by Major-General Van Dorn, commanding this district, to express to you his thanks and gratification on account of the courtesy extended by yourself and the officers under your command to the burial party sent by him to your camp on the 9th instant.
He is pained to learn by your letter brought to him by the commanding officer of the party that the remains of some of your soldiers have been reported to you to have been scalped, tomahawked, and otherwise mutilated.
He hopes you have been misinformed with regard to this matter, the Indians who formed part of his forces having for many years been regarded as civilized people. He will, however, most cordially unite with you in repressing the horrors of this unnatural war, and that you may co-operate with him to this end more effectually he desires me to inform you that many of our men who surrendered themselves prisoners of war were reported to him as having been murdered in cold blood by their captors, who were alleged to be Germans.
The general commanding feels sure that you will do your part, as he will in preventing such atrocities in future, and that the perpetrators of them will be brought to justice, whether German or Choctaw.
The privileges which you extend to our medical officers will be reciprocated, and as soon as possible means will be taken for an exchange of prisoners.
I am sir, very respectfully, yours,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Cross Timber, Ark., April 1, 1862.
CAPTAIN: The brief telegraphic report which I gave on the 9th ultimo is not sufficient to present even the general outline of the battle of Pea Ridge, and with the report of my commanders of divisions I now submit a more general detail.
My pursuit of General Price brought me to Fayetteville, Ark. The entire winter campaign from the 26th January to this time, including the march from Roll to the Boston Mountains, 240 miles, was attended with continual exhibitions of toil, privations, conflict, and gallantry, some of which I have telegraphed to headquarters, and may hereafter deserve more full development. After reaching Arkansas the forces of General Price were rapidly re-enforced by regiments which had been stationed in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. I therefore expected these combined forces would return upon us to give us battle, and in conformity with the orders of the general of the 22d of February I selected Sugar Creek as the strongest of several strong places taken from the enemy to make a stand against any and all odds.
I reported my force to you on the 12th February, after Colonel Davis' division had joined me, at 12,095 men and fifty pieces of artillery, including four mountain howitzers. My long line of communications required garrisons at Marshfield, Springfield, Castle, and Keetsville, besides a constant moving three to guard my train. My force in Arkansas on the 7th ultimo was therefore not more than 10,500 cavalry and infantry with forty-nine pieces of artillery, including the mountain howitzers, one piece having been sent out into Missouri and thus prevented front joining us in the battle.
The scarcity of forage and other supplies made it necessary for me to spread out my troops over considerable country, always trying to keep it within supporting distance, convenient to rally on the positions selected for battle. On the 4th of March this force was located as follows:
The First and Second Divisions, under Generals Sigel and Asboth, were 4 miles southwest of Bentonville, at Cooper's farm, under general orders to move around to Sugar Creek, about 14 miles east.
The Third Division, under Col. Jefferson C. Davis, acting brigadier-general, had moved and taken position at Sugar Creek, under orders to make some preparatory arrangements and examinations for a stand against the enemy.
The Fourth Division was at Cross follow, under command of Col. E. A. Car, acting brigadier-general. My own headquarters were also at this place, within about 12 miles from Sugar Creek, on the main telegraph road from Springfield to Fayetteville.
Large detachments had been sent out from these several camps for forage and information. One from Cross Hollow to Huntsville, under command of Colonel Vandever, ;and three from Cooper's farm to Maysville and Pineville. One of these, raider Major Conrad, with a piece of artillery and about 250 men, did not reach us till after the battle. All the others came in safe and joined in the engagement.
The enemy had taken position in the Boston Mountains, a high range that divides the waters of the White River and Arkansas. General Price had rallied the forces that had fought at Carthage, Wilson's Creek, and Lexington, augmented by his exertions to recruit in Missouri during the winter. On his arrival from Springfield, in Arkansas, he reported to Governor Rector that between 4,000 and 5,000 of these had joined the Confederate service previous to his leaving Springfield. The circulation of all manner of extravagant falsehoods on his way induced the whole country to leave their homes, and for fear we would kill them thousands joined his ranks. General McCulloch brought at least eleven regiments to the field and General Pike five. Besides these regularly-organized Confederate troops which General Price met in Arkansas, there were many companies and regiments of' Arkansas volunteers, most of the country people being required to take up arms. From this data and the general opinion of the country I estimated the force of the enemy to have been at least 30,000 or 40,000. This was the force in and near Boston Mountains, rallying to drive us from Arkansas and Missouri.
The two armies thus constituted and located were within hearing of each other's cannon, about 30 miles apart. I submit an accompanying map,(*) showing some of the topographic features of the country on the roads which we traversed. Our troops were weary and somewhat exhausted in their long forced marches and frequent conflicts. Our cavalry had especially suffered in the breaking down and loss of horses. But our troops were generally well armed, drilled, and anxious to encounter the enemy at any reasonable hazard. They were all intelligent, ardent, flushed with our repeated success in many encounters on our way, and all conscious of the righteousness of their country's cause.
The arrival of Major-General Van Dorn on the 2d of March in the camp of the enemy was the occasion of great rejoicing and the firing of forty guns. The rebel force was harangued by their chiefs with boastful and passionate appeals, assuring them of their superior numbers and the certainty of an easy victory. Dispatches were published falsely announcing a great battle at Columbus, Ky., in which we had lost three gunboats and 20,000 men; and thus the rebel hordes were assembled. The occasion was now opened to drive the invaders from the soil of Arkansas and give a final and successful blow to a Southern Confederacy.
The 5th of March was cold and blustering. The snow fell so as to cover the ground. No immediate attack was apprehended, and I was engaged writing. About 2 o'clock p.m. scouts and fugitive citizens came in, informing me of the rapid approach of the enemy to give me battle. His cavalry would be at Elm Springs, some 12 miles distant, that night, and his artillery had already passed Fayetteville. Satisfied of the truth of this report, I immediately sent couriers to General Sigel and Colonel Vandever, and ordered them to move immediately to Sugar Creek, where I also ordered Colonel Carr to move with his division.
I also sent you a dispatch, which may have been lost with other mail-matter which I have since learned was captured by the enemy. I told you I would give them the best reception possible. All my messengers were successful in delivering their orders. Colonel Carr's division moved about 6 p.m. Colonel Vandever had intelligence of the movement of the enemy before my messenger reached him, and made immediate change in his march, so that with great exertion he arrived on the 6th. General Sigel deferred his march from Cooper's farm till 2 o'clock in the morning of the 6th, and at Bentonville tarried himself with a regiment and battery till he was attacked about 9 a.m.
I arrived at Sugar Creek at 2 o'clock a.m. on the 6th, and immediately detailed parties for early morning work in felling timber, to obstruct certain roads to prevent the enemy having too many approaches and to erect field works to increase the strength of my forces. Colonel Davis and Colonel Carr early in the day took their positions on the high projecting hills commanding the valley of the creek, leaving the right of the line to be occupied by the First and Second Divisions, which were anxiously expected. The valley of the creek is low, and from a quarter to a half mile wide. The hills are high on both sides, and the main road from Fayetteville by Gross Hollow to Keetsville intercepts the valley nearly at right angles. The road from Fayetteville by Bentonville to Keetsville is quite a detour, but it also comes up the Sugar Creek Valley; a branch, however, takes off and runs nearly parallel to the main or Telegraph road, some 3 miles from it. The Sugar Creek Valley, therefore, intercepts all these roads.
The Third and Fourth Divisions had before noon of the 6th deployed their lines and cut down a great number of trees, which thoroughly blockaded the roads on the left. Later in the day I directed some of the same work to be done on the right. This work was in charge of Colonel Dodge, who felled trees on the road which runs parallel to the main road to which I have before referred. This proved of great advantage, as it retarded the enemy some two hours in their flank movement. Breastworks of considerable strength were erected by the troops on the headlands of Sugar Creek as if by magic, and a battery near the road crossing was completely shielded by an extensive earthwork, erected, under the direction of Colonel Davis, by a pioneer company, commanded by Captain Snyder. About 2 o'clock p.m. General Asboth and Colonel Osterhaus reported the arrival of the First and Second Divisions. This good news was followed immediately by another report that General Sigel, who had remained behind with a detachment, had been attacked near Bentonville and was quite surrounded by the enemy's advance forces. I immediately directed some of the troops to return to his relief. In the mean time he had advanced with his gallant little band, fighting its way within 3 or 4 miles of our main forces. The two divisions turned back in double-quick, and a large cavalry force also started, all being anxious to join in a rescue of their comrades in peril.
Part of the First Division, under Colonel Osterhaus, soon met the retreating detachment, and immediately opened with artillery and infantry, which checked the further advance and terminated the action for the day. In the retreat and final repulse, which occupied several hours, our loss was some 25 killed and wounded. The enemy must have suffered more, as our artillery had telling effect along the road, and the rebel graves in considerable numbers bear witness of the enemy's loss.
The firing having ceased, I sent back other troops that had joined the movement and designated the positions on the right, which were promptly occupied by the First and Second Divisions. Our men rested on their arms, confident of hard work before them on the coming day. The accompanying map of the battle ground will fully illustrate the positions then and subsequently assumed.(*) In my front was the deep, broad valley of Sugar Creek, forming the probable approaches of the enemy, our troops extending for miles, and generally occupying the summits of headlands on Sugar Creek. In my rear was a broken plateau called Pea Ridge, and still farther in my rear the deep valley of Big Sugar Creek, or Cross Timber. My own headquarters and those of Generals Sigel, Asboth, and other commanders of divisions were near Pratt's house. The lines A, B, and C show the different fronts assumed during the progress of the battle.
The approach by Bentonville brought the enemy to my extreme right, and during the night of the 5th and 6th he began a movement around my flank by the road before mentioned, which crosses Pea Ridge some 3 miles northwest of the main Telegraph road. I ascertained in the morning this flank movement of the cnemy, which I perceived was designed to attack my right flank and rear. I therefore immediately called my commanders of divisions together at General Asboth's tent, and directed a change of front to the rear, so as to face the road upon which the enemy was still moving. At the same time I directed the organization of a detachment of cavalry and light artillery, supported by infantry, to open the battle by an attack from my new center on the probable center of the enemy before he could fully form. I selected Colonel Osterhans to lead this central column, an officer who displayed great skill, energy, and gallantry each day of the battle.
The change of front thus directed reversed the order of the troops, placing the First and Second Divisions on the left, their left still resting on Sugar Creek, Osterhaus and the Third Division in the center, and the Fourth Division became the extreme right. While I was explaining the proposed movement to commanders and Colonel Osterhans was beginning to rally and move forward this attacking column, a messenger brought me intelligence that my picket, commanded by Major Weston, of the Twenty-fourth Missouri, had been attacked by infantry. This was at Elkhorn Tavern, where the new right was to rest. Colonel Cart being present, he was ordered to move into position and support the major as soon as possible.
This was the commencement of the second day's fight. It was about 10.30 o'clock, and the officers separated to direct their several commands. The fire increased rapidly on the right and very soon opened in the center. After visiting the right, where I perceived the enemy was making a vigorous attack, and finding Colonel Carr, under a brisk fire of shot and shell, coolly locating and directing the deployment, I returned to my central position near Pratt's house, and sent orders to Colonel Davis to move near to Colonel Carr, to support him. In the mean time Colonel Osterhaus had attacked the enemy and divided his forces; but he was soon pressed with greatly superior numbers, that drove back our cavalry and took our flying battery, which had advanced with it. The colonel, however, was well supported by his infantry, and soon checked a movement that threatened to intercept the deployment of other forces. I considered the affair so imminent that I changed my order to Colonel Davis, and directed him to move to the support of the center, which was his proper place according to my order for the change of front. My new line was thus formed under the enemy's fire, the troops generally moving in good order and gallant bearing. Thus formed, the line was not continuous, but extended entirely across Pea Ridge, the divisions in numerical order from left to right, Colonel Osterhaus remaining in command of a detachment and operating with Colonel Davis in resisting McCulloch and Mcintosh, who commanded the enemy's forces in the center. I did not err in sending Colonel Davis to this point, although Colonel Carr, on the right, also needed re-enforcements.
The battle raged in the center with terrible fury. Colonel Davis held the position against fearful numbers, and our brave troops nobly stood or charged in steady lines. The fate of the battle depended on success against this flank movement of the enemy, and here near Leetown was the place to break it down. The fall of Generals McCulloch, McIntosh, and other officers of the enemy, who fell early in the day, aided us in our final success at this most critical point; and the steady courage of officers and men in our lines chilled and broke down the hordes of Indians, cavalry, and infantry that were arrayed against us. While the battle thus raged in the center the right wing was sorely pressed, and the dead and wounded were scattered over the field. Colonel Carr sent for re-enforcements, and I sent a few cavalry and my body-guard, with the little mountain howitzers, under Major Bowen. These did good service at a most critical period. I urged Colonel Carr to stand firm--that more force could be expected soon. Subsequently Colonel Carr sent me word that he could not hold his position much longer. I could then only reply by sending him the order to "persevere." He did persevere, and the sad havoc in the Ninth and Fourth Iowa and Phelps' Missouri and Major Weston's Twenty-fourth Missouri and all the troops in that division will show how earnest and continuous was their perseverance.
Seeing no signs of approaching foes by the Telegraph road, I sent him three pieces of artillery and a battalion of infantry of Colonel Benton's command (part of the Third Division), which had been located at Sugar Creek to guard the approaches. Each small accession to the Fourth Division seemed to compensate an overpowering force. As to the left, I was repeatedly informed it stood safe and firm, although threatened by the foe.
About 2 p.m. my aide, Captain Adams, who had communicated with that wing informed me he had just seen Generals Sigel and Asboth on Sugar Creek, and there was still no attack in that quarter and no appearance of an enemy. About this time the enemy's forces melted away in the brushy center, and the fire gradually ceased. Believing the left and center were no longer menaced, and the enemy was concentrating on the right, I again sent word to Colonel Carr that he would soon be re-enforced. I had now resolved to bring up the left and center to meet the gathering hordes near Elkhorn Tavern. To inform myself of the condition of the extreme left I went in person to that point. On my way I ordered forward the remainder of Colonel Benton's command, three pieces and a battalion, which had remained guarding the crossing of the main Telegraph road.
I found Generals Sigel and Asboth with the troops on the hill near the extreme left, where all was quiet, and the men, not having been under fire, fresh and anxious to participate in the fight. It was now safe to make a new change of front, so as to face Sugar Creek. I therefore ordered this force forward. General Asboth moved by the direct road to Elkhorn Tavern, and General Sigel went by Leetown to re-enforce Davis if need be, but to press on to re-enforce Carr if not needed in the center. Both generals moved promptly. I accompanied General Asboth, collecting and moving forward some straggling commands that I found by the way.
It must have been near 5 o'clock when I brought this force to the aid of Colonel Cart. He had received three or four shots, one a severe wound in the arm. Many of his field officers had fallen and the dead and wounded had greatly reduced his force. He had been slowly forced back near half a mile, and had been about seven hours under constant fire. His troops were still fiercely contesting every inch of ground. As I came up the Fourth Iowa was falling back for cartridges in line, dressing on their colors in perfect order. Supposing with my re-en-forcements I could easily recover our lost ground, I ordered the regiment to halt and easily about. Colonel Dodge came up, explaining the want of cartridges; but, informed of my purpose, I ordered a bayonet charge, and they moved again with steady nerve to their former position, where the gallant Ninth was ready to support them. These two regiments won imperishable honors.
General Asbboth had planted his artillery in the road and opened a tremendous fire on the enemy at short range. The Second Missonri Infantry also deployed and earnestly engaged the enemy. About this time the shades of night began to gather around us, but the fire on both sides seemed to grow fierce and more deadly. One of my bodyguard fell dead, my orderly received a shot, and General Asboth was severely wounded in the arm. A messenger came from General Sigel, saying he was close on the left and would soon open fire. The battery of General Asboth ran out of ammunition and fell back. This caused another battery that I had located on the right of the rosa to follow, this latter fearing a want of support. The infantry, however, stood firm or fell back in good order, and the batteries were soon restored, but the caissons got quite out of reach. The artillery firing was renewed, however, and kept up till dark, the enemy firing the last shot, for I could not find another cartridge to give them a final round; even the little howitzers responded, "No cartridges." The enemy ceased firing, and I hurried men after the caissons and more ammunition. Meantime I arranged the infantry in the edge of the timber, with fields in front, where they lay on their arms and held the positions for the night. I directed a detail from each company to bring water and provisions, and thus without a murmur these weary soldiers lay and many of them slept within a few yards of the foe, with their dead and wounded comrades scattered around them. Darkness, silence, and fatigue soon secured to the weary broken slumbers and gloomy repose. The day had closed in some reverses on the right, but the left had been unassailed, and the center had driven the foe from the field.
My only anxiety for the fate of the next day was the new front which it was necessary to form by my weary troops. I directed Colonel Davis to withdraw all the remainder of his reserve from the center and move forward so as to occupy the ground on Carr's immediate left. Although his troops had been fighting hard most of the day and displayed great energy and courage, at 12 o'clock at night they commenced their movement to the new position on the battle-field, and they too soon rested on their arms.
Nothing further had been heard from General Sigel's command after the message at dark that he was on or near the left. His detour carried him around a brushy portion of the battle-field that could not be explored in the night. About 2 o'clock he reported at my headquarters with his troops, who, he said, were going to their former camps for provisions. The distance to his camp, some 2 miles farther, was so great I apprehended tardiness in the morning, and urged the general to rest the troops where they then were, at my headquarters, and send for provisions, as the other troops were doing. This was readily concurred in, and these troops bivouacked also for the night. The arrangement thus completed to bring all four of my divisions to face a position which' had been held in check all the previous day by one, I rested, certain of final success on the coming day.
The sun rose above the horizon before our troops were all in position and yet the enemy had not renewed the attack. I was hardly ready to open fire on him, as the First and Second Divisions had not yet moved into position. Our troops that rested on their arms in the face of the enemy, seeing him in motion, could not brook delay, and the center, under Colonel Davis, opened fire. The enemy replied with terrible energy from new batteries and lines which had been prepared for us during the night. To avoid raking batteries the right wing fell back in good order, but kept up a continuous fire from the new position immediately taken. The First and Second Divisions soon got under way, and moved with great celerity to their position on the left.
This completed the formation of my third line of battle. It was directly to the rear of the first, and was quite continuous, much of it on open ground. We then had our foe before us, where we well knew the ground. The broken defiles occupied by him would not admit of easy evolutions to repel such as could be made by us on the open plain. Victory was inevitable. As soon as the left wing extended so as to command the mountain and rest safely upon it, I ordered the right wing to move forward so as to take position where I placed it the night previous. I repaired myself to the extreme right, and found an elevated position considerably in advance which commanded the enemy's center and left. Here I located the Dubuque battery, and directed the right wing to move its right forward so as to support it, and give direction to the advance of the entire right wing. Captain Hayden soon opened a fire which proved most galling to the foe and a marker for our line to move upon. Returning to the center, I directed the First Iowa Battery, under Captain David, to take position in an open field, where he could also direct a fire on the central point of the enemy. Meantime the powerful battery of Captain Welfley and many more were bearing on the cliff, pouring heavy balls through the timber near the center, splintering great trees and scattering death and destruction with tempestuous fury.
At one time a battery was opened in front of Hayden's battery on the extreme right, so near I could not tell whether it was the enemy or an advance of Hayden's, but riding nearer I soon perceived its true character, and directed the First Iowa and the Peoria battery, Captain Davidson, to cross-fire on it., which soon drove it back to the common hiding place, the deep ravines of Cross Timber Hollow. While the artillery was thus taking position and advancing upon the enemy the infantry moved steadily forward. The left wing, advancing rapidly, soon began to ascend the mountain cliff, from which the artillery had driven most of the rebel force. The upward movement of the gallant Thirty-sixth Illinois, with its dark-blue line of men and its gleaming bayonets, steadily rose from base to summit, when it dashed forward into the forest, driving and scattering the rebels from these commanding heights. The Twelfth Missouri, far in advance of others, rushes into the enemy's lines, bearing off a flag and two pieces of artillery. Everywhere our line moved forward and the foe as gradually withdrew.
The roar of cannon and small-arms was continuous, and no force could then have withstood the converging line and concentrated crossfire of our gallant troops. Our guns continued some time after the rebel fire ceased, and the rebels had gone down into the deep caverns through which they had begun their precipitate flight. Finally our firing ceased. The enemy had suddenly vanished. Following down the main road, which enters a deep cation, I saw some straggling teams and men running in great trepidation through the gorges of the mountains. I directed a battery to move forward, which threw a few shots at them, followed by a pursuit of cavalry comprised of the Benton Hussars and my escort from Bowen's battalion, which was all the cavalry convenient at the time. General Sigel also followed in this pursuit towards Keetsville, while I returned, trying to check a movement which led my forces north, where I was confident a frightened foe was not likely to go. I soon found the rebel forces had divided and gone in every direction, but it was several hours before I learned that the main force, after entering the canyon, had turned short to the right, following obscure ravines which led into the Huntsville road in a due south direction. General Sigel followed some miles north towards Keetsville, firing on the retreating force that ran that way. Colonel Bussey, with cavalry and the little howitzers, followed beyond Bentonville.
I camped on the field and made provision for burying the dead and care of the wounded. The loss in the several divisions was as follows:(*)

O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men.

--Killed-- -Wounded- Missing.
Command. O M O M O M A
1st (Sigel's) Division .... 11 4 89 2 38 144
2d (Asboth's) Division 3 17 3 60 .... 36 119
3d (Davis') Division 4 42 18 256 .... 9 329
4th (Carr's) Division 6 95 29 491 2 78 701
3d Iowa Cavalry (Colonel Bussey). .... 24 1 18 .... 9 52
Bowen's battalion .... 1 1 2 .... 2 6
Total 13 190 56 916 4 172 1,351
This sad reckoning shows where the long-continued fire was borne and where the public sympathy should be most directed. The loss of the enemy was much greater, but their scattered battalions can never furnish a correct report of their killed and wounded.
The reports of division and other officers of my command are all submitted, with such details as were seen or understood by local commanders. They give interesting incidents and notice many deserving heroes.
I mentioned in my telegraphic report of the 9th March with high commendations, and I now repeat, the names who have done distinguished services. These are my commanders of divisions, Generals Sigel and Asboth, Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General Davis, and Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General Carr. They commanded the four divisions. I also again present commanders of brigades, Colonels Dodge, Osterhaus, Vandever, White, Schaefer, Pattison, and Greusel. The three first named I especially commend. I also renew the just thanks due to my staff officers, Capt. T. I. McKenny, acting assistant adjutant-general, Capt. W. H. Stark, Capt. John Ahlfeldt, Lieut. J. M. Adams, and Lieutenant Stitt, all acting aides; also A. Hoeppner, my only engineer. To these I must now add Major Bowen, who commanded my body-guard, and with the mountain howitzers did gallant service in every battle-field, in the pursuit, and especially at Pea Ridge. Captain Stephens, Lieutenant Madison, and Lieutenant Crabtree, of this battalion, also deserve honorable mention. Major Weston, of the Twenty-fourth Missouri, provost-marshal, in camp and in battle did gallant service. Lieutenant David, ordnance officer on my staff, took charge of me First Iowa Battery after Captain Jones was wounded, and did signal service. I must also thank my commanders of posts, who supported my line of operation and deserve like consideration, ss their duties were more arduous--Colonel Boyd at Rolla, Colonel Waring at Lebanon, Colonel Mills at Springfield, and Lieutenant-Colonel Holland at Cassville.
To do justice to all I would spread before you the most of the rolls of this army, for I can bear testimony to the almost universal good conduct of officers and men who have shared with me the long march, the many conflicts by the way, and final struggle with the combined forces of Price, McCulloch, Mcintosh, and Pike, under Major-General Van Dorn,at the battle of Pea Ridge.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Capt. N.H. MCLEAN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Saint Louis, Mo.
Return, of casualties in the Army of the Southwest, commanded by Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, U.S. Army, at the battle of Pea Ridge, Ark., March 6-8, 1862.
[Compiled from nominal lists of casualties, returns, &c.]
O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men. C Captured or missing

--Killed-- -Wounded- -----C-----
Commands. O M O M O M A






17th Missouri .... .... .... 2 .... 8 10
25th Illinois .... 3 1 17 1 2 24
44th Illinois. .... 1 .... 2 .... .... 3
Total First Brigade .... 4 1 21 1 10 37



12th Missouri .... 3 3 26 .... 2 34
36th Illinois .... 4 .... 37 1 26 68
Jenks' and Smith's companies Illinois cavalry .... .... .... .... .... 7 7
Total Second Brigade .... 7 3 63 1 35 109


Missouri Light Artillery, Welfley's battery .... .... .... 5 .... .... 5
4th Ohio Battery .... .... .... 1 .... 4 5
Total artillery ..... .... .... 6 .... 4 10

Total First Division .... 11 4 90 2 49 156


Brig. Gen. A. ASBOTH.

Staff ..... .... 1 .... .... .... 1

Return of casualties in the Army of the Southwest---Continued.
O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men. C Captured or missing

--Killed-- -Wounded- -----C-----
Commands. O M O M O M A



2d Missouri 2 6 .... 34 .... 11 53
15th Missouri .... .... .... .... .... 11 11
Total First Brigade 2 6 .... 34 .... 22 64


2d Ohio Battery .... 1 1 1 .... .... 3
Missouri Horse Artillery, 1st Flying Battery .... 3 .... 8 .... 8 19
Benton Hussars, Missouri Cavalry.. .... 3 1 10 .... 3 17
Fremont Hussars, Missouri Cavalry 1 4 8 .... 3 16
Total not brigaded 1 11 2 27 .... 14 55

Total Second Division 3 17 3 61 .... 36 120





8th Indiana 1 4 1 26 .... .... 32
18th Indiana .... 3 1 22 .... .... 26
22d Indiana 2 7 1 32 .... .... 42
1st Indiana Battery .... .... .... 5 .... 6 11
Total First Brigade 3 14 3 85 .... 6 111



37th Illinois .... 20 9 112 .... 3 144
59th Illinois .... 9 2 55 .... .... 66
2d Illinois Light Artillery, Battery .... .... .... 17 .... .... 17
Total Second Brigade .... 29 11 184 .... 3 227
1st Missouri Cavalry, detachment .... 2 .... 2 .... 2 6
Total Third Division 3 45 14 271 .... 11 344



Staff .... .... 1 .... .... .... 1



4th Iowa 1 17 4 135 .... 3 160
35th Illinois .... 14 3 44 6 46 113
1st Iowa Battery .... 3 2 12 .... .... 17
Total First Brigade 1 34 9 191 6 49 290



9th Iowa. 4 34 5 171 1 3 218
Phelps' Missouri regiment 1 11 7 64 1 9 93
3d Illinois Cavalry .... 9 4 32 .... 13 58
3d Iowa Battery .... 2 2 15 .... 3 22
Total Second Brigade. 5 56 18 282 2 28 391

Total Fourth Division 6 90 28 473 8 77 682

Return of casualties in the Army of the Southwest--Continued.
O Officers. A Aggregate
M Enlisted Men. C Captured or missing

--Killed-- -Wounded- -----C-----
Commands. O M O M O M A


Bowen's battalion Missouri cavalry .... 1 1 2 .... 2 6
3d Iowa Cavalry .... 24 1 16 .... 9 50
3d Missouri(*) .... .... .... .... .... .... ....
24th Missouri .... 3 1 15 .... 7 26
Total unassigned .... 28 3 33 .... 18 82


1st Division .... 11 4 90 2 49 156
2d Division 3 17 3 61 .... 36 120
3d Division 3 45 14 271 .... 11 344
4th Division 6 90 28 473 8 77 682
Unassigned .... 28 3 33 .... 18 82
Grand total Army of the Southwest 12 191 52 928 10 191 1,384
Camp near Batesville, Ark., May 21, 1862.
Hon. B. F. WADE,
Chairman of Committee on Conduct of the Present War:
SIR: The absence from my immediate command of those men and officers who are best acquainted with the facts in regard to the employment of Indian savages has delayed my reply to your communication of April 2, 1862, (+) until this time.
I have the honor to now lay before the committee the statements and affidavits inclosed, from which it will appear that large forces of Indian savages were engaged against this army at the battle of Pea Ridge, and that the warfare was conducted by said savages with all the barbarity their merciless and cowardly natures are capable of.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Forsyth, Mo., April 12, 1862.
Maj. Gen. SAMUEL R. CURTIS, Commanding:
SIR: In compliance with your request, conforming to the wish of the joint committee of Congress "to inquire into the fact whether Indian savages have been employed by the rebels in their military service, and how such warfare has been conducted by such savages against the Government of the United States," I hereby certify upon honor that I was present at the engagement near Leetown, Ark., on the 7th of March ultimo, when the main charge of the enemy's cavalry was made upon our line; that there were Indians among the forces making said charge; and that from personal inspection of the bodies of the men of the Third Iowa Cavalry, who fell upon that part of the field, I discovered that 8 of the men of that regiment had been scalped. I also saw bodies of the same men which had been wounded in parts not vital by bullets, and also pierced through the heart and neck with knives, fully satisfying me that the men had first fallen from the gunshot wounds received and afterwards brutally murdered.
The men of the Third Iowa Cavalry who were taken prisoners by the enemy, and who have since returned, all state that there were great numbers of Indians with them on the retreat as far as Elm Springs. Their affidavits will be furnished to you as soon as possible.
Respectfully submitted.
Adjutant, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Southwestern District of Missouri:
I, Daniel Bradbury, on my oath, say that I am orderly sergeant of Company A, Third Iowa Cavalry, and that I was present at the battle of Pea Ridge, near Leetown, Ark., on the 7th of March, 1862, and I then and there saw about 300 Indians scattered over the battle-field, without commanders, doing as they pleased. On the 8th of March I saw what I would judge to be about 3,000 Indians marching in good order towards the battle-field, under the command of Albert Pike.
First Sergeant Company A, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 30th day of April, 1862.
Adjutant, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Southwwestern District of Missouri:
I, John H. Lawson, on my oath, say that I am a private in Company D, Third Iowa Cavalry, and that I was present at the battle of Pea Ridge, near Leetown, Ark., on the 7th of March, 1862, and I then and there saw, as near as I could judge, about 150 Indians, scattered, they were afterwards formed into companies and marched out of my sight in good order.
On the 8th of March I saw about 2,.000 Indians, said to be under the command of Albert Pike and Martin Green, marching towards the battle-ground in good order, These were all mounted, armed with shot-guns, rifles, and large knives.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this the 30th day of April, 1862.
Adjutant, Third Iowa Cavalry.
Jacksonport, Ark., May 11, 1862.
Commanding Army of the Southwest:
GENERAL: On the morning of the 7th of March I was on the battlefield of Pea Ridge. While my command was engaging the enemy near Leetown I saw in rebel army a large number of Indians, estimated by me at 1,000.
After the battle I attended in person to the burial of the dead of my command. Of 25 men killed on the field of my regiment, 8 were scalped and the bodies of others were horribly mutilated, being fired into with musket balls and pierced through the body and neck with long knives. These atrocities I believe to have been committed by Indians belonging to the rebel army.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,