Thursday, October 16, 2008
Battle of Honey Springs, Oklahoma - Part Four
Pushing back Confederate pickets ahead of him, General Blunt advanced from the Arkansas River on the afternoon and evening of July 16, 1863.
There was a brief skirmish near Chimney Mountain, but no major fighting as the Federals approached Honey Springs the next morning.
The day was already hot and his men were exhausted when Blunt arrived on a ridge north of Elk Creek. Having learned of the Union advance, the Confederates formed in a wooded area (seen here), also on the north side of the creek. Cooper evidently hoped that the position would be a strong one, as his men would be sheltered by timber but would be able to fire on the Federals as they advanced over open ground. Unfortunately, it also placed the creek (with only three good crossing points) directly behind his line of battle. Any effort to retreat would likely become disorganized and fast.
The two sides were within earshot of each other as they both rested on their arms, waiting for the battle to start. After giving his men a chance to recover from the hot, grueling march, Blunt began to form his ranks for the attack.
Our series will continue.