Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West

Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West

by William L. Shea, Earl J. Hess

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Overview

The 1862 battle of Pea Ridge in northwestern Arkansas was one of the largest Civil War engagements fought on the western frontier, and it dramatically altered the balance of power in the Trans-Mississippi. This study of the battle is based on research in archives from Connecticut to California and includes a pioneering study of the terrain of the sprawling battlefield, as well as an examination of soldiers' personal experiences, the use of Native American troops, and the role of Pea Ridge in regional folklore.

"A model campaign history that merits recognition as a major contribution to the literature on Civil War military operations.--Journal of Military History

"Shines welcome light on the war's largest battle west of the Mississippi.--USA Today

"With its exhaustive research and lively prose style, this military study is virtually a model work of its kind.--Publishers Weekly

"A thoroughly researched and well-told account of an important but often neglected Civil War encounter.--Kirkus Reviews

"Offers the rich tactical detail, maps, and order of battle that military scholars love but retains a very readable style combined with liberal use of recollections of the troops and leaders involved.--Library Journal

"This book is assured of a place among the best of all studies that have been published on Civil War campaigns.--American Historical Review

"Destined to become a Civil War classic and a model for writing military history.--Civil War History

"A campaign study of a caliber that all should strive for and few will equal.--Journal of American History

"An excellent and detailed book in all accounts, scholarly and readable, with both clear writing and excellent analysis. . . . Utterly essential . . . for any serious student of the Civil War.--Civil War News

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807846698
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/01/1997
Series: Civil War America
Edition description: 1
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 484,423
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

William L. Shea, professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, is author of The Virginia Militia in the Seventeenth Century.

Earl J. Hess is Stewart W. McClelland Chair in history at Lincoln Memorial University. He is author of several books, including Lee's Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade and Pickett's Charge—The Last Attack at Gettysburg.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface
1. Winter Campaign
2. Price's Running Stand
3. The Hunter and the Hunted
4. Rush to Glory
5. Death of a Texan
6. Battle in the Brush
7. A Battle Half Won
8. Clash in Cross Timber Hollow
9. Perseverance beside a Tavern
10. High Tide at Elkhorn
11. Soften the Heart
12. Thunder in the Ozarks
13. Victory and Defeat
14. The Vulture and the Wolf
15. Marching through Arkansas Conclusion. A Military Analysis of Pea Ridge Appendix 1. The Legacy of Pea Ridge Appendix 2. Order of Battle Notes Bibliography Index

Maps
1-1. Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas
2-1. Springfield to Little Sugar Creek
2-2. Northwestern Arkansas
4-1. Bentonville: McIntosh Attempts to Intercept Sigel
5-1. Pea Ridge: Midday, March 7
5-2. Leetown: Osterhaus Engages McCulloch on Foster's Farm
5-3. Leetown: McCulloch and McIntosh Are Killed
6-1. Leetown: Hébert Advances against Davis
6-2. Leetown: Hébert Breaches the Federal Line
7-1. Leetown: The Federals Counterattack and the Confederates Withdraw
8-1. Elkhorn Tavern: Van Dorn and Carr Deploy
9-1. Elkhorn Tavern: Vandever Attacks Slack
9-2. Elkhorn Tavern: Carr Shortens His Line as Van Dorn Prepares to Attack
10-1. Elkhorn Tavern: Van Dorn Attacks and Carr Falls Back across Ruddick's Field
11-1. Pea Ridge: Night of March 7-8
12-1. Elkhorn Tavern: 9:00 A.M., March 8
12-2. Elkhorn Tavern: 10:00 A.M., March 8
15-1. March of the Army of the Southwest, February-July 1862

Illustrations Samuel Ryan Curtis Franz Sigel Sterling Price Benjamin McCulloch Earl Van Dorn Albert Pike Elkhorn Tavern Telegraph Road Alexander Asboth James McIntosh The northern bluff of Little Sugar Creek, from Telegraph Road near the site of Trott's store Remains of trenches the Federals constructed atop the northern bluff of Little Sugar Creek Grenville M. Dodge Peter J. Osterhaus Foster's farm, looking northeast from the approximate location of Elbert's battery Nicholas Greusel Louis Héebert Jefferson C. Davis Morgan's woods, east of Leetown Road Julius White Oberson's field, looking northwest from the site of Davidson's battery Eugene A. Carr Tanyard Ravine, looking northward down the slope that forms the head of this ravine Huntsville Road, looking west toward Elkhorn Tavern Henry Little Francis J. Herron, William Vandever, and William H. Coyl Elkhorn Tavern, with the head of Tanyard Ravine to its rear and the eastern extremity of Big Mountain in the background Hunt Wilson's painting of Guibor's battery in action against Carr's beleaguered Federals on the evening of March 7
Artillery pieces mark the location of Guibor's battery in front of Elkhorn Tavern on the evening of March 7
Clemon's field, looking east from Dodge's position Hunt Wilson's painting of Pratt's store on the morning of March 8
An Artillery piece marking the location of Welfley's battery atop Welfley's Knoll Welfley's Knoll, looking west from Telegraph Road across Ruddick's field Hunt Wilson's painting of the Confederate army just before it began to retreat from the battlefield on March 8
Sandstone columns on the west face of the rocky promontory on Big Mountain The battlefield of March 8, looking south from the rocky promontory on Big Mountain The battlefield of March 8, looking southwest from the rocky promontory on Big Mountain The battlefield of March 8, looking west from the rocky promontory on Big Mountain Cyrus Bussey Frederick Steele
"Pioneers from Carr's Division, May 21, 1862," by Robert O. Sweeney
"Elkhorn Tavern, Battle Ground of Pea Ridge, Ark.," by Robert O. Sweeney The 37th Illinois battling Hébert's brigade in Morgan's woods, March 7, 1862

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Shines welcome light on the war's largest battle west of the Mississippi.—USA Today



An excellent and detailed book in all accounts, scholarly and readable, with both clear writing and excellent analysis. . . . Utterly essential . . . for any serious student of the Civil War.—Civil War News



Offers the rich tactical detail, maps, and order of battle that military scholars love but retains a very readable style combined with liberal use of recollections of the troops and leaders involved.—Library Journal



This book is assured of a place among the best of all studies that have been published on Civil War campaigns.—American Historical Review



This is a wonderful book that fills a big gap in the literature. . . . This work is a gem that provides all the significant characteristics of a well-executed battle study.—David J. Eicher, Civil War in Books



A campaign study of a caliber that all should strive for and few will equal.—Journal of American History



An unusual and outstanding contribution to knowledge. . . . A prototype for writing and evaluating modern campaign and battle studies.—Western Historical Quarterly



Pea Ridge is destined to become a Civil War classic and a model for writing military history.—Civil War History



Sets a new standard for campaign study. The quality of research is impeccable and the methodology most impressive. There is abundant evidence that the authors are intimately familiar with the sites and terrain about which they write, and that is a fine thing for those who would do first-rate battle history, as this book indeed is.—Herman M. Hattaway, University of Missouri-Kansas City



A model campaign history that merits recognition as a major contribution to the literature on Civil War military operations.—Journal of Military History



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Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jcbrunner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This landmark book is an excellent treatment of an often neglected decisive American Civil War battle near Bentonville, AR (of Walmart fame), which knocked Arkansas out of the war. The Confederates should never have undertaken the campaign - their forces might have made the difference at Shiloh.The Union commander, Samuel Curtis, displayed excellent generalship, steely nerves and a good grasp of logistics. He was fortunate in having excellent brigade commanders, though burdened with the second in command Franz Sigel. It is an irony of history that the incompetent politician-general Sigel was transferred to the Eastern Theater to play an expanded and catastrophic role in further campaigns while the quiet, professional soldier Curtis languished in the marginal theater.Shea and Hess have written a compelling and beautifully illustrated study of the battle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago