Thursday, January 24, 2008
Prairie Grove Battlefield - Medal of Honor
Among the interpretive signs along the Battlefield Trail at Prairie Grove is one at the base of the ridge below the Borden House that tells the story of John C. Black, an officer with the 37th Illinois Infantry. He later received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Prairie Grove.
Lt. Col. Black was with his regiment when it charged up the ridge to the Borden House. Realizing that his men were about to be overwhelmed, he ordered a retreat back down to the base of the hill. There he positioned the 37th Illinois and 26th Indiana regiments behind a fence and prepared to receive the Confederate counterattack. The two regiments, directed by Black, turned back a Confederate charge in fierce fighting that was among the most intense of the day. Black's brother later described how the men rose up and unleashed a volley on the pursuing Confederates, catching them in the open and breaking their rapid pursuit of the Federals who were trying to withdraw from the ridge.