Battle of Pea Ridge

Currier & Ives portrait of the Battle of Pea Ridge. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Notable Events:

  • Battle of Pea Ridge (March 6, 1862)

Seeking to clear secessionist forces out of Missouri, Union General Samuel R. Curtis pursued General Sterling Price into northwest Arkansas, only to be attacked by the combined Confederate forces of Price and General Ben McCulloch (under overall command of Major General Earl Van Dorn). The Battle of Pea Ridge commenced on March 7 to the east of Bentonville, Arkansas, with the Confederates attempting to outflank Curtis's forces. On March 8, Curtis's Army of the Southwest counterattacked and achieved a decisive victory. The battle was an important early turning point in favor of the Union, which maintained formal military control of Missouri for the remainder of the war. Still, secessionist bushwhackers and Confederate raiders presented an ongoing threat to Union control in Missouri and Kansas.