Monday, January 21, 2008
Prairie Grove Battlefield - More on the Right Flank
This view at Prairie Grove Battlefield was taken from the Battlefield Trail looking across the open prairie from the position held by the Confederate cavalry under "Fighting Jo" Shelby on the right flank. The Union troops formed in this prairie and then attacked the Confederate lines.
Shelby's men had brought on the battle by opposing the approach of General F.J. Herron's Union column to the crossing over the Illinois River (off to the right of this photograph). After delaying the Federals for some time, the Confederates under Shelby fell back to this position and formed the right flank of General Thomas Hindman's line on Prairie Grove Ridge.
Shelby's men were heavily engaged in the fighting throughout the day of December 7, 1862, and still held this position when the Battle of Prairie Grove came to an end that evening.
From this point, the Battlefield Trail curves down to the bottom of the ridge and then leads along ground across which the Union forces charged. We'll continue over the next few days with looks at that part of the battlefield, but in the meantime you can explore the Prairie Grove Battlefield in its entirety by going to www.exploresouthernhistory.com. When you get there, just scroll down the page to the Index section and look for the Battle of Prairie link under the "Arkansas" heading.