|Dripping Springs, Arkansas|
Located about 9 miles north of the historic Crawford County Courthouse in Van Buren, Dripping Springs takes its name from a spring that bubbles from a hillside. Because it allowed Confederate cavalry to watch the key roads leading south over the Boston Mountains to Van Buren and the Arkanasas River, the crossroads was a key position for the placement of Marmaduke's small division.
|Gen. Thomas C. Hindman, C.S.A.|
Hindman had enough ammunition for one good battle and only enough supplies to maintain his position at Van Buren and Fort Smith for a short time longer before he would be forced to move his command down the Arkansas River to Little Rock in order to obtain provisions and other necessities. He hoped to accomplish something significant before being forced to withdraw and was carefully watching the positioning of Union troops in Northwest Arkansas.
|Van Buren and the Arkansas River|
As seen from Logtown Hill
Over the next two days, the Confederate forces at Van Buren and Dripping Springs did everything they could to get their arms, supplies and horses ready for a move in force across the Boston Mountains. Hindman hoped to corner Blunt at Cane Hill and destroy him. Using ammunition captured in this battle, he could then turn on Herron's division as it came down from Missouri to save Blunt.
It was an interesting plan with a reasonable prospect of success. It would lead seven days later to the massive Battle of Prairie Grove.
I will continue posting on the Prairie Grove Campaign over coming days, so be sure to check back regularly. Until the next post, you can read more about the Battle of Prairie Grove at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ArkansasPG1.