Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 1862: Casualties of the Battle of Cane Hill

Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery
Some of the Southern casualties are buried here.
The morning of November 29, 1862, dawned on two exhausted military forces. The Battle of Cane Hill, fought the previous day, had been a long and difficult fight, waged up and down mountains and with no time to rest or eat.

Taking advantage of the night, the outnumbered Confederates had fallen back into the Boston Mountains and by the 30th would be back at their original camps around Dripping Springs in Crawford County. The Federals, stunned by the ferocity of the Southern ambush that ended the day's fighting, held their positions near Reed's Mountain through the night and then General Blunt moved most of his men back into the villages at Cane Hill on the 29th (149 years ago today).

Fayetteville National Cemetery
Union dead were relocated here after the war.
Both sides mourned the killing or wounding of good men, the exact numbers of which are difficult to determine.

General Blunt reported his total casualties as 4 killed and 36 wounded (4 mortally). This is probably close to accurate. I have been working on trying to assemble an accurate casualty list for both sides and while this is a work in progress, so far the numbers are bearing out Blunt's statement.

The following Federal officers and enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Cane Hill:

Rabb’s Battery, 2nd Indiana Light Artillery

William E. Foster, Killed
Henry Williams , Killed

 (Note: Henry Williams was one of two men of this name in Rabb’s Battery. This one was from Indianapolis.)

 2nd Kansas Cavalry

Cyrenius M. Adams, Company K, Killed

6th Kansas Cavalry

Lewis R. Jewell, Lt. Col., Field & Staff, Mortally Wounded
Andrew Stillwagon, Company A, Mortally Wounded
Eugene Steohr, Company A, Killed
William Speeks, Company D, Mortally Wounded
George H. Richie, Sgt., Company K, Mortally Wounded

Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren
Some Confederate casualties are buried here.

Confederate casualties are much more difficult to assess. Blunt estimated total Southern losses as 75 killed and an unknown number wounded. This is wildly inaccurate.

I have just begun working on trying to identify the Confederate soldiers killed and wounded in the battle so my lists are very incomplete. The best I can do right now is give the partial numbers included in the official reports of the battle. These list Southern casualties as 5 killed, 30 wounded and 6 missing in action. These numbers include only two men from Shelby's Brigade, which suffered other men killed or wounded.

After I complete my work on the casualty lists from the battle, I will be sure to post the final numbers along with lists of the names. If you have the name of a soldier known to have been killed or wounded at Cane Hill, please leave a comment. I will verify it and include it on the list.

I will continue posting on the Prairie Grove Campaign throughout this week, so be sure to check back often. 

If you would like to read more on the Battle of Cane Hill, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ARCaneHill.

To read more about the Battle of Prairie Grove, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ArkansasPG1.

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