The Battle of Pea Ridge article from New York Times 13 April 1862
TIIE BATTLE AT PEA RIDGE. REPORT OF ACTING MAJ.-GEN. COL. JEFF. C. DAVIS. HxApqcARTSBS, Thibd Division. ) Pb Kims, Ark., March , ItxVt. ) Bin: I have the honor to sutj.nlt the following report of the part taken by the Third Division, under my command, in Uie recent engagement with tbe rebel ior res at this place. On the morning of the 1st Inst., in obedience to instructions from tlie General, 1 broke up my camp near Cross Hollow s, and took position on the heights of Pea Ridge, on the north side of Sugar Creek, commanding lite main road. On the nigbtof the Mb, I received Intelligence of the approach of the enemy, from the General, and of his intention to concentrate his forces on my right and left, and give battle at this point. On the morning of the otb, 1 deployed the First Brigade of my Division, consisting of the Eighth, Eighteenth and Twenty-second Indinna, with Klaus' Indiana'Battery, commanded by Col. Thomas Pattison, on the right of tbe Fayettevllle road, so as to command the approach completely. The Secani Brigade, consisting of the Thiily-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois, (formerly lSinth Missouri,) with Davidson's Illinois Battery, commanded by Col. Julius Wkitx, I ordered to take position on the left of this roaJ. This batten" commanded tbe valley of Sugar Crek, east and west, and strongly suppoiling Klaus' Battery on tbe right. Tliis Battery was wclr'posted, and protected by a small earthwork, w hich I had ordered to be thrown up duiiiig the night. The Eighth and Eighteenth Indiana, under CuSs'.Rrn- and Washfcb. strengthened their positions by falling timber and throwing up some small lnltcncnmeiiis. During the nb;ht the General l.irmelf arrived, followed by a part of Col. Cakx's Division from Cross Hollows, which took position on the left. On the afternoon of tlie 6th, Gen. Sjsxl's column arrived from Bentonville, and took position on tbe right. During the night, my troops bivouacked on the ground, anxiously awaiting the enemy's approach. On the morning ot the seventh, 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, Coi. Ostebhacs was ordered, with some cavalrv and artillery, to make a demonstration In the direction of Lee town. Tne First Missouri Cavalry, under Col. Ellis, and the Twenty-second Indiana, under Col. Hbspbicks. were ordered to support this movement. CoL Ostxrhacs advanced about a mile beyond Leetown, and found the enemy in force, moving rapidly along tbe road leading from Bentonville to Elk-horn Tavern, where Col. Cxaa's Division bad already sharply engaged him. At this time the unexpected appearance of the Tbiad Iowa Cavalry from the ef-U gara proof of the necessity of reinforcements being sent at once in the direotlbn ot Leetown, and an order to that effect was timely received. Passing through Leetown a few hundred yards, I found Col. Ostsku acs with tbe Forty-fourth Illinois, Twenty-second Indiana 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 in his front. In the meantime the enemy was rapidly ap-ptoachingand advancing his forces on tha 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 Second Brigace to deploy to the right and ci.gage him. This was done in a vigorous1 manner by the Thirtv-seventh and Fifty-ninth Illinois, assisted by Da viPt'oa'e Battery, which 1 had put in position for that purpose. I soon became satisfied, from tbe Increasing and excessive fire of the em my, that he was benig rapiJly reinforced, and ordered the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Indiana to make a flank movement to the right and perpendicular O the enemy, and then to move forward and attack him. This was accomplished w ith alacrity, but not, lion ever, until the Second Brigade had began to recede before the excessive fire of tbe enemy, w ho had now concentrated Ids forces to the number oi several thousand, under McCilloch-and McIictosh, wilh a large boov of Indians under 1'ixe and Ross. The 8econd Brigade being thua overwhelmed, I ordered it to fall Pack and change front to rear on its right, and the' First Brigade to change front forward on its left, so as to attack tbe enemy in his rear, who was now exultingly following up his temporary success. The Eighteenth Indiana soon executed the movement as uiiected, and opened a well-directed tire upon the enemy's rear, which had the effect of drawing his fire and disconcerting tils pursuit so as to enable tbe Second Brigade to re-iorm their lines as directed, but not until the enemv had succe eded in capturing two guns of Davidsos's BaKtery, which, owing to tbe precipitate advance of the enemy, an J disabled horses, could not be withdrawn. The Eighteenth Indiana pushed rapidly forward and drove th enemy from this part of the field, and advancing to the open ground, found these pieces in tlie hands of the enemy, charged and routed him. with a heavy loss, from them. Tbe Twenty-second Indiana, during all tlds time, engaged a large force of the Arkansas troops and Indians, and, alter a sharp engagement, put them to fiight. In the meantime, the Second iiiigade renewed the engagement, when the enemy fled from the field, leaving behind him many of his killed and wounded. Among the former were Generals McCillocu and Mc-Intosb. At this moment I ordered tbe cavalry to charge the fleeting foe, but for some unexplained reason, it was not done. The enemy made an attempt to re-form on his former position, near the Bentonville Road, but w as easily driven from It by the action of our batteries. Two regiments of reinforcements, with two pieces of heavy artilleiy (18-pounders) arrived at this time from Gen. SiorL's command. These 1 ordered to take position on the right, so as to be able to move the more readily to the support of CoL Cask's D!viioii, which had been hotly engaged in the vicinity of "Elkhorn Tavern" for several hours. Gen. Sioxl soon arrived himself, and, accompanied b Ostcrhaus' command, moved in the direction of Cask's left. 1 at the same time threw toward tlie Second Brigade to the Bentonville and Elkhorn Tavern Road. Finding the enemy gone, and nlgbt upon us, I orderea the troops to bivouac on the field they had so gloriously won. After reporting to the General the entire rout of the enemy at Leetown, he directed me to move my division during tbe might to tbe support of our position of the previous day at Elkhorn Tavern. The fore part of the night was occupied by the troops in collecting the wounded and dead. Daylight, however, found us in position in front of the enemy at Elkhorn Tavern, where the troops under Col. Car had so nobly fought the day before. That gallant officer, though suffering much from a wound, was still upon the ground to assist Indisposing of my troons. The First Brigade was deployed a few hundred yards to the right of the Fayette ville road to support Klaus' Battery, which was placed at the edge of an open field intervening between the range of hills at Elkhorn Tavern and the timber protecting our camp. Here the five companies of tbe Eighth Indiana, under Lieut-Col. Suckc, joined their brigade. These companies had the previous day participated la the engagement with Col. Cabs's forces, and had bivouacked on the field during the night. Davtaeoa'a Battery waa placed in a similar position on the left of the road, supported by the Second Brigade. At sunrise the enemy's position was discovered by a few shots being thrown from Davmsoa'a Battery, which was at once responded to bv tbe rebel batteries. Klaus' Battery responded, but after a sharp contest of a few rounds, waa forced to re lire by a sudden attaek of ore of tbe enemy's heretofore .undiscovered batteries, which opened closely upon his flank with grape and cannlster. This battery, however, soon withdrew on discovering dispositions being made br the first brigade to charge it The second brigade ait this time w as much exposed to au enfilading fire from the enemy's guns, and 1 ordered It to fall back and take position under shelter of Uie timber. By this ttme the position of the enemy's batteries was well developed, and Daviasoa now took a more commanding position iu tbe open field. He was soon joined by Klafs, whom I had ordered to support him. and la a few moments the contest was opened and maintained w ith great spirit on both sides, until the arrival of Gen. Sioxl's force about S3 o'clock. 5ioxi.'s artillery soon took position on the enemy'e right, and engaged with spirit in the contest.' Tbe approach of StuxL'a infantry on the left of my division, rendered the position of my batteries secure, and enabled ma to withdraw the Second Brigade from tbdr support, and prepare my entire division for a general attack upon the enemy's left. Tbe gradual decrease -ef the enemy's fire and the withdrawaiaf some of his guns offered a favorable opportunity, and I immadi-. alely ordered an advance across tbe field. ' Previous to tail meyement, CoL Dumb had taken position with his brigade on my right, so as to prevent any attempt : the enemy might make to attack me oa this flank. - Tbe Second Brigade, together wilh the Eighteenth and Twenty -second Indiana, soon warmly engaged tbe enemy's infantry, occupying a atrong position in the " thick acrub-oaJi - skirting tha base of tbe hill, on which bis artillery waa posted. Tbe enemy toon began to yield to the steady fire and determined advance of our troope. and. finally broke and lied In muck confusion, leaving . behind his dead and vroandedw- i -. A - c - -'- . i . - Tbe heights were soou carried, aad oa reaching the summit of tbe hill, I ordered a halt la order to bring my artillery ta position on the road leading to Uantx-ville, aay left resting at JSlkbora Tavern. Here Colw Bn.-t-roa, with five companies of the Eighth lad tana, and1 g section of artillery, who had beea kept back, ftuurdljf the road leading from Crcaa Hollows, joined!