Saturday, January 15, 2011

Southern Eyewitness of Prairie Grove - Part Two

Prairie Grove Battlefield
Note: This is part two of a Southern eyewitness account of the Battle of Prairie Grove. Please click here to read part one.

We had approached within 80 yards, when the Yanks wavered and fled in every direction. Their wounded and dead lay everywhere, the wounded crying for mercy. The villains! Their own black deeds of murder, in their death agonies, came (flooding?) back to memory in his bloody (mind?), and they expected justice to be given them by the outraged friends of their murdered victims. But the Southern soldier is as merciful as he is brave, and the vandals’ cry for protection was a useless one; a fallen foe is an object of pity – they were well cared for by our gallant lads.

Route of Hindman's Retreat
By nightfall we had driven them some two miles, captured  618 wagons, heavily laden with clothing, some (illegible) head of horses, and 280 prisoners. But our men were exhausted by hard marches and hunger, having had nothing scarcely to eat for three days – Gen. Hindman had not calculated to fight so large a force. It was his aim to  capture Blount, before the latter’s reinforcements arrived, and then pay his respects to the reinforcing column. The plan was an excellent one, and would have succeeded, but for the fact that as soon as we commenced to cross the river, a swift-winged Arkansas traitor carried the news to Blount, he to the column reliving him, and by hurried marches they arrived as soon as we. Therefore, we their grand army, and the sun of the 7th inst. closed on our victorious arms. The Feds that night at 10 o’clock sent a flag, asking for an armistice of 23 hours to bury their dead, &c. Gen. Hindman gave them 12 hours. About dark they were reinforced by an Iowa brigade.

We were three days out on forced marchies, no supplies at hand, the men worn out by hunger, and too much exhausted to hazard a renewal of the conflict, until rested, with the superior force against us, we withdrew from the field at 11 o’clock that night in silence, to a point some 12 miles distant, where we remained thirty hours. If we had only received a few thousand reinforcements, the Federal invading army now in the NorthWest would have been annihilated. But they did not come to us, and our brave and excellent Gen. Hindman could only give them a severe check and then retire – they powerless to follow, and we unable to renew the conflict.

Our loss in the battle is about 1,000 in killed, wounded and missing; the Feds say their loss is 1,300.

To learn more about the Battle of Prairie Grove, please visit

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