Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Dripping Springs, Part Four
This is the fourth part of a series on the Battle of Dripping Springs, Arkansas. If you would like to read the other parts first, just scroll down the page.
As the 3,000 Federal cavalrymen under Generals Herron and Blunt approached Dripping Springs on the morning of December 28, 1862, they found a much smaller force of Confederate cavalry under Lt. Col. R.P. Crump arrayed in a line of battle and waiting for them.
Although Blunt sent back for infantry and artillery reinforcements, the Union horsemen were formed for battle and the engagement began before these could come up.
Spreading out across the fields visible in the far right of the photograph, the Union troops charged the Confederates, who were formed from the Dripping Springs crossroads in the center of the photograph and up the ridge to the right.
The Confederates opened fire as the Federals came within range, and the two sides exchanged several volleys. Realizing they had the advantage, though, the Union commanders ordered a charge and thousands of Federal horsemen soon stormed across the open fields. Outnumbered and outgunned, Crump and his men could not withstand the power of the charge and withdrew in front of the charging Federals, firing as they went.
The Confederates fell back through the crossroads and retreated down the Van Buren Road, seen here leading off to the left of the photograph. They lost most of their supplies and camp equipment in the process.
Our series on the Battle of Dripping Springs will continue. In the meantime, if you would like to learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com and look for the link under the "Battlefields and Forts" heading.