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Prairie Grove, Arkansas

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Title
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Source
Publisher
Scenario#
30
Scenario Description
The battle opened on the morning of December 7, with Union Gen. Herron crossing the Illinois River and deploying his troops on Hindman's right. Herron opened an intense two-hour artillery barrage on the Confederate position. Herron then ordered an advance on the hill rather than waiting for Blunt to arrive. When his men arrived at the Roger and Borden farms they found themselves under a fierce Confederate counterattack from Maramaduke and Brig. Gen. Francis A. Shoup.
The Confederates then counterattacked, but were first halted by Union canister, and then moved forward again. Just when it looked as if the Confederate attack would roll up Herron's troops, Blunt realized that Hindman had intercepted Herron first. Furious, Blunt ordered his troops to march to the sound of the guns and they met the Confederate attack and drove them back to the ridge.
As night came, neither side had won. Although the battle ended as a tactical draw, it was a strategic victory for the Union army because they remained in possession of the battlefield, and Hindman, with no reserves, was forced to retreat, which established Union control of northwest Arkansas.
The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.
Scenario Date
December 7, 1862
Location
Prairie Grove, Arkansas
Battle Name
Battle of Prairie Grove
Battle Narrative
The Battle of Prairie Grove was a battle of the American Civil War fought on December 7, 1862. While tactically indecisive, the battle secured the Union control of northwestern Arkansas. A division of Union troops in the Army of the Frontier, commanded by James G. Blunt, was posted in northwestern Arkansas after winning the Battle of Cane Hill on November 28. A Confederate army commanded by Thomas Hindman moved towards Blunt's division in order to attack while it was isolated. However, Blunt was reinforced by two divisions commanded by Francis J. Herron, leading Hindman to take a defensive position on some high ground known as Prairie Grove. Herron attempted to assault Hindman's lines twice, but both attacks were beaten off with heavy casualties. Hindman responded to the repulse of each of Herron's attacks with unsuccessful counterattacks of his own. Later in the day, Blunt arrived and attacked Hindman's flank. Eventually, both sides disengaged and the fighting reached an inconclusive result. However, the unavailability of reinforcements forced Hindman's army to retreat from the field, giving the Union army a strategic victory and control of northwestern Arkansas. Today, a portion of the battlefield is preserved within Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park.
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