|Confederate Camp in Boston Mountains|
...[B]eing satisfied that the enemy, who had halted at Sugar Creek, 55 miles distant, was only waiting large re-enforcements before he would advance, I resolved to attack him at once. Accordingly I sent for General Pike to join me near Elm Springs with the forces under his command. - Gen. Earl Van Dorn, March 27, 1862.
Van Dorn's plan was solid, but he was so determined to attack that he moved before he had a full understanding of the logistics of the situation facing him. As a result he would outrace his supplies, a critical mistake if the coming battle should last for more than one day.
|Gen. Albert Pike, CSA|
|Col. Stand Watie, CSA|
His strategy was to swing around the right flank of the Union army of General Samuel Curtis, which was then encamped and entrenched on the north side of Sugar Creek in Benton County, Arkansas. If he could carry out this movement quickly and without being detected, Van Dorn believed he could launch simultaneous attacks on Curtis's right flank and rear, destroying the Union army before it knew what had hit it.
I will continue to post on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Pea Ridge tomorrow, so check back then to learn about the Confederate march from the mountains. Until then you can read more about the Battle of Pea Ridge at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/pearidgeindex.