Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Battle of Cane Hill, Part Five
This is part five of a continuing series on the Battle of Cane Hill, Arkansas. To read the previous posts first, please scroll down the page.
The spectacular view of Blunt's approaching army quickly convinced the Confederate commanders that they were seriously outnumbered. Deciding to withdraw into the Boston Mountains (a spur of the Ozarks) where they could hope to wage a more competent defense, they ordered their men to fall back again. The Southern troops withdrew from their second position, skirmishing as they went.
To delay the advance of the Union army, Markaduke stopped from time to time on ridges along the way and deployed his men into line of battle, forcing the Federal troops to do the same. Then, once the Union forces had deployed out and were ready for battle, he would slip away from his latest position and force them to form again for the march.
By doing this, he significantly delayed Blunt's advance, forcing the Union troops to deploy into line of battle, back into column, back into line of battle and so on for much of the day.
Finally, however, Marmaduke reached his objective, the high ridge that separates the Cane Hill communities from the Cove Creek Valley. This mountain provided a strong defensive position for the Confederates and also protected the Cove Creek Road, the only feasible avenue of retreat available to them.
Our series on the Battle of Cane Hill, Arkansas will continue. Until the next post, you can learn more by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ARCaneHill.html.