Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Prairie Grove Battlefield - First Union attacks
This view from the Battlefield Trail at Prairie Grove Battlefield shows the well preserved ground across which the Union army launched its massive attacks on the ridge top positions of General Hindman's Confederate Army.
The Confederate line was positioned atop the ridge from the spot where this photograph was taken. The Union forces formed on the prairie below and advanced in formation to the foot of the ridge before charging up into the face of the Southern artillery and muskets.
There were repeated charges up and down this ridge throughout the day of December 7, 1862. The Union troops would charge up and be thrown back. The Confederates would then counterattack but be forced back themselves by fierce Federal fire. The scene was enacted repeatedly through the course of the day, but by sundown the two armies retained their primary positions and the battle on the Confederate right flank, where this fighting took place, had ended in a tactical draw.
We'll continue to post more on the Prairie Grove battlefield over the next few days, but until then you can read more by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com and scrolling down to the Index section and following the "Battle of Prairie Grove" link under the "Arkansas" heading.