1862 March 6th

March 6 1862 Thursday

Bentonville, AR

Burnside’s Expedition to North Carolina
Pea Ridge Campaign
Sibley’s Operations in New Mexico
New Madrid Campaign

Go to March 7 1862

USA. US President Abraham Lincoln proposed to Congress a programme of gradual and compensated emancipation of slaves in the border states and offered Federal aid to any state that would abolish slavery gradually.

Bentonville, Arkansas. Warned of danger by scouts and Arkansas Unionists, Union Brigadier-General Samuel Ryan Curtis rapidly concentrated his outlying units behind Little Sugar Creek. Union Colonel William Vandever’s 700-man brigade made a remarkable march of 42 miles in sixteen hours from Huntsville to Little Sugar Creek. Brigadier General Franz Sigel detached a 360-man task force to the west, where they would miss the next three days of fighting. Sigel also withdrew a cavalry patrol from the road on which the Confederate army was advancing. However, Colonel Frederick Schaefer of the 2nd Missouri Infantry, on his own initiative, extended patrols to cover the gap.
When Confederate Major-General Earl Van Dorn’s advance guard encountered one of the Union patrols near Elm Springs, the Union troops were alerted. Sigel was slow in evacuating Bentonville and his rearguard was nearly overrun by Van Dorn near Bentonville. Waiting until the Confederate advance was nearly upon him, Sigel ordered his rearguard of 600 men and six guns to fall back on a road leading northeast toward Curtis’ main position.
The Confederate 1st Missouri Cavalry led by Colonel Elijah Gates attacked Sigel’s detached force from the south, trying to cut off the retreat. Gates’ men surprised and captured a company of the 36th Illinois Infantry, but many were freed when some of Sigel’s withdrawing men unexpectedly encountered them. Sigel managed to fight his way through Gates’ men, helped by a mistake of Confederate Brigadier-General James McQueen McIntosh. The Confederates planned for McIntosh to envelop Sigel’s men from the northwest while Gates closed the trap on the south. However, McIntosh took his 3,000-man cavalry brigade too far along a northerly road. After marching three miles out of his way, he turned his troopers back onto the road leading east into the Little Sugar Creek valley. By the time they had reached the place where Sigel’s northeast road met McIntosh’s eastbound road, the Union men had already passed the intersection. A Confederate attempt to press the pursuit was repelled when the 3rd Texas Cavalry charged into Sigel’s main line. Sigel’s two divisions finally reached Sugar Creek at about 2pm. The Confederates lost 10 men killed and about 20 wounded in these advance guard encounters.
The bulk of Van Dorn’s Confederate troops had made an arduous three-day forced march down the road leading from Fayetteville through Elm Springs and Osage Spring to Bentonville in the midst of a freezing storm. Many of the Confederate soldiers were ill-equipped and barefoot. The Confederates arrived at their destination strung out along the road, hungry and tired. Compounding the Confederate problems was the late arrival of Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch with Colonel Louis Hébert’s infantry brigade and McIntosh’s cavalry brigade. Van Dorn split his forces in two. He ordered McCulloch to circle around the western end of Pea Ridge, turn east along the south face and meet Major-General Price’s division (Missouri State Guard) at Elkhorn Tavern. Van Dorn and Price would travel east along the north face of the ridge, secure Elkhorn Tavern, and wait for McCulloch. Van Dorn hoped to reach the Union rear by way of the Bentonville Detour. This led from Camp Stephens, which was west of Curtis’ position, and then northeast onto the Pea Ridge plateau. At Twelve Corner Church, Ford Road branched off, leading east to Elkhorn. From there the Detour continued northeast, where it met the Wire Road just north of Cross Timber Hollow. South of the Bentonville Detour, west of Cross Timber Hollow and north of Ford Road lay the militarily impassable Big Mountain.
Learning of Van Dorn’s approach towards Pea Ridge, the Union Army of the Southwest under Brigadier-General Samuel Ryan Curtis was already in a position to oppose this advance at Little Sugar Creek. This column of Curtis’ command was led by Brigadier-General Franz Sigel, with two divisions commanded by Colonel Peter Joseph Osterhaus and Brigadier-General Alexander Asboth. These arrived from Bentonville near sundown, although parts of two regiments had been cut off and captured by Confederate cavalry on the way. The second Union column of two divisions was led by Brigadier-General Jefferson Columbus Davis and Colonel Eugene Asa Carr. Curtis concentrated at a defensive position near Pea Ridge where Davis and Carr had already taken up positions after their retreat. Sigel’s troops had fought a running battle to join them but by nightfall, they were formed on high ground facing south and overlooking Little Sugar Creek. Cavalry and artillery raised the total Union numbers to 11,000 men. Curtis now placed his four small divisions astride the Telegraph or Wire Road in a fortified position on bluffs north of Little Sugar Creek. From the creek, the Telegraph Road ran northeast to Elkhorn Tavern where it intersected the Huntsville Road leading east, and the Ford Road leading west. From Elkhorn, the Wire Road continued north and down into Cross Timber Hollow before crossing the border into Missouri. From there, the Union supply line followed the Telegraph Road northeast to St Louis. The hamlet of Leetown with its twelve cabins lay northwest of the Telegraph or Wire Road, about halfway between Curtis’ position on the bluffs and Ford Road. Curtis made his headquarters at Pratt’s Store, located on the Wire Road between Elkhorn and Little Sugar Creek.
During the night Union Colonel Grenville Mellen Dodge led several parties of soldiers in obstructing the Bentonville Detour. Dodge had suggested this to Curtis, who approved the idea. Between Twelve Corner Church and Cross Timber Hollow, they chopped trees down across the road. That same evening, Van Dorn’s army, with Major-General Sterling Price’s Division in the lead, began the long march to Cross Timber Hollow. The night march was slowed by the need to clear away Dodge’s obstructions. Van Dorn’s lack of an engineer corps, poor staff work, and the exhaustion of the Confederate soldiers also hindered progress..Van Dorn’s men were short on rations and arrived opposite the Union position after a march of 55 miles in wet driving snow. Van Dorn was sick and directed the campaign from his ambulance. Brigadier-General Albert Pike’s command, including several thousand Indians under Colonel Stand Watie, arrived during the night near Leetown.
Van Dorn left his fires burning as a ruse and set out to outflank the Union position via the Bentonville and Keetsville Road. This main column was ordered to fall on the Union left rear at Elkhorn Tavern. McCulloch’s division and Pike’s Indians were to make a secondary attack from the northwest towards Leetown, in order to draw away the enemy’s reserves. The double envelopment would be achieved around the south end of Pea Ridge near Leetown.

District of Columbia. US President Abraham Lincoln issued General Order No 2, stating that Union Major-General George Brinton McClellan must ensure that sufficient forces were left to guard Washington, DC, during any operations against the Confederates. McClellan saw this as unwarranted interference in his plan of campaign while Lincoln viewed it as a necessary measure to ensure security for the capital.

Florida. Occupation of Fernandina.

Florida. USS Pursuit, Acting Lieutenant David Cate, captured the schooner Anna Belle off Apalachicola.

Missouri. Union Brigadier-General Joseph Bennett Plummer’s 5th Division of the Army of the Mississippi was ordered to move five miles downriver to Point Pleasant near New Madrid. Plummer’s mission was to set up batteries on the right bank of the river in order to cut off Confederate supply boats from New Madrid and Island No 10. Plummer’s men entrenched along the riverbank and the Confederate fleet of wooden gunboats failed to dislodge them. Plummer’s men riddled the gunboats with small arms fire and scored several direct hits from their field pieces.
Brigadier-General David Sloane Stanley’s “division” (actually a brigade) was ordered to move on to Fort Thompson while Colonel W H Worthington’s brigade of two regiments was to move on Fort Bankhead and occupy the trenches. Brigadier-General John McAuley Palmer’s brigade was to support Worthington. The Confederates discovered the feint and their gunboats opened fire on Worthington’s men. Caught in a crossfire between the Confederate gunboats and heavy guns in the forts, the Union force of approximately 7,000 men withdrew without engaging the enemy.
Plummer’s troops soon learned that they had only to withdraw out of range whenever the gunboats appeared and then to return again as soon as they left. Pope and his division commanders agreed that an all-out frontal assault would fail and decided to put the garrison under siege. Pope telegraphed for equipment and heavy artillery to start siege operations.

New York. The first-ever Union ironclad sea-going warship, the USS Monitor, left New York harbour under the command of Lieutenant John Lorimer Worden USN. It was manned by a partially-trained crew of 58 men who endured unprecedented hardships in the pioneering craft. It was accompanied by USS Currituck and USS Sachem and was kept under tow by the tug Seth Low. Worden’s orders were to reinforce the naval squadron at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Virginia. Incident at Berryville.

Union Organisation

Commander in Chief: President Abraham Lincoln
Vice-President: Hannibal Hamlin
Secretary of War: Edwin McMasters Stanton
Secretary of the Navy: Gideon Welles

North Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough
South Atlantic Blockading Squadron: Samuel Francis Du Pont
West Gulf Blockading Squadron: David Glasgow Farragut
East Gulf Blockading Squadron: William McKean
Pacific Squadron: Charles H Bell
Western Gunboat Flotilla: Andrew Hull Foote
Potomac Flotilla: Robert Harris Wyman

General–in-Chief: George Brinton McClellan

Department of Florida: Lewis Golding Arnold

Department of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler awaited

  • Army of the Gulf: Benjamin Franklin Butler

Department of Kansas: David Hunter

Department of Key West: John Milton Brannan

Department of the Missouri: Henry Wager Halleck

  • District of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
    • Army of West Tennessee: Ulysses Simpson Grant
  • District of Cairo: William Tecumseh Sherman
  • District of the Mississippi: John Pope
    • Army of the Mississippi: John Pope
  • District of St Louis: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Central Missouri: James Totten
  • District of North Missouri: John McAllister Schofield
  • District of Southeast Missouri: Frederick Steele
  • District of Southwest Missouri: Samuel Ryan Curtis
    • Army of the Southwest: Samuel Ryan Curtis

Department of New Mexico: Edward Richard Sprigg Canby

  • Southern District of New Mexico: Benjamin Stone Roberts

Department of New York: Edward Denison Morgan

Department of North Carolina: Ambrose Everett Burnside

Department of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

  • Army of the Ohio: Don Carlos Buell

Department of the Pacific: George Wright

  • District of the Humboldt: Francis James Lippitt
  • District of Oregon: Albemarle Cady
  • District of Southern California: James Henry Carleton

Department of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan

  • District of Harper’s Ferry and Cumberland: James Shields
  • Army of the Potomac: George Brinton McClellan
    • I Corps Potomac: Irvin McDowell
    • II Corps Potomac: Edwin Vose Sumner
    • III Corps Potomac: Samuel Peter Heintzelman
    • IV Corps Potomac: Erasmus Darwin Keyes
    • V Corps Potomac: Nathaniel Prentiss Banks

Department of Texas: Vacant

Department of Virginia: John Ellis Wool

Department of Western Virginia: William Starke Rosecrans

  • District of the Kanawha: Jacob Dolson Cox
  • Cheat Mountain District: Robert Huston Milroy
  • Railroad District: Benjamin Franklin Kelley

Confederate Organisation

CSA: Sterling Price promoted Major-General PACS 6 March 1862 His command of the Missouri State Guard was effectively terminated as that force was enlisted into Confederate service.

CSA: Carter Littlepage Stevenson confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 27 February 1862.

CSA: Danville Leadbetter confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 27 February 1862.

CSA: William Whann Mackall confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 27 February 1862.

CSA: Robert Ransom confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 1 March 1862.

CSA: John Bell Hood confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 3 March 1862.

CSA: William Booth Taliaferro confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 4 March 1862.

CSA: Albert Rust confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 4 March 1862.

CSA: Hamilton Prioleau Bee confirmed Brigadier-General PACS 6 March 1862 to rank from 4 March 1862.

CSA: George Hume Steuart promoted Brigadier-General PACS 11 March 1862 to rank from 6 March 1862.

Commander in Chief: President Jefferson Finis Davis
Vice-President: Alexander Hamilton Stephens
Secretary of War: Judah Philip Benjamin
Secretary of the Navy: Stephen Russell Mallory

Military Adviser to the President: Robert Edward Lee

Department No 1: Mansfield Lovell

Department of Alabama and West Florida: Braxton Bragg

  • Army of Pensacola: Samuel Jones
  • Army of Mobile: John Bordenave Villepigue

Department of East Tennessee: Edmund Kirby Smith awaited

Department of Henrico: John Henry Winder

Department of the Indian Territory: Douglas Hancock Cooper

Department of Norfolk: Benjamin Huger

Department of North Carolina: Richard Caswell Gatlin

  • District of Cape Fear: Joseph Reid Anderson
  • District of Pamlico: Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
  • District of Roanoke Island: Henry Marchmore Shaw

Department of Northern Virginia: Joseph Eggleston Johnston

  • District of Aquia: Robert Augustus Toombs
  • Army of the Potomac: Joseph Eggleston Johnston
    • I Corps Potomac: James Longstreet
    • II Corps Potomac: Gustavus Woodson Smith
  • Valley District: Thomas Jonathan Jackson
    • Army of the Valley: Thomas Jonathan Jackson

Department of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

  • Army of the Peninsula: John Bankhead Magruder

Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida: Robert Edward Lee

  • District of Middle and East Florida: William Montgomery Gardner
  • District of Georgia: Alexander Robert Lawton
  • District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 1st Sub-District of South Carolina: Arthur Middleton Manigault.
    • 2nd Sub-District of South Carolina: Roswell Sabine Ripley
    • 3rd Sub-District of South Carolina: Nathan George Evans
    • 4th Sub-District of South Carolina: John Clifford Pemberton
    • 5th Sub-District of South Carolina: Thomas Fenwick Drayton

Department of Southwestern Virginia: William Wing Loring

  • District of Lewisburg: Henry Heth

Department of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert

  • Eastern District of Texas: Paul Octave Hébert
  • Western District of Texas: Henry Eustace McCullough
  • Sub-District of Houston: John C Bowen
  • Sub-District of Galveston: Ebenezer B Nichols
  • Sub-District of the Rio Grande: Hamilton Prioleau Bee awaited
  • Defences of Pass Cavallo: John W Glenn

Western Department: Albert Sidney Johnston

  • Trans-Mississippi District: Earl Van Dorn
  • District of North Alabama: Daniel Ruggles
  • Army of Mississippi: Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard awaited
    • First Grand Division (Mississippi): Leonidas Polk
    • Second Grand Division (Mississippi): Braxton Bragg
    • Reserve Corps (Mississippi): George Bibb Crittenden
  • Army of Central Kentucky: Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Army of Eastern Kentucky: Humphrey Marshall
  • Army of the West: Earl Van Dorn

District of Arizona: Henry Hopkins Sibley

  • Army of New Mexico: Henry Hopkins Sibley

Forces in Richmond: Charles Dimmock

Union Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

Major-General USA

George Brinton McClellan
John Charles Frémont
Henry Wager Halleck

Major-General USV

John Adams Dix
Nathaniel Prentiss Banks
Benjamin Franklin Butler
David Hunter
Edwin Denison Morgan
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
Ulysses Simpson Grant

Brigadier-General USA

John Ellis Wool
William Selby Harney
Edwin Vose Sumner
Joseph King Fenno Mansfield
Irvin McDowell
Robert Anderson
William Starke Rosecrans
Philip St George Cooke

Brigadier-General USV

Samuel Peter Heintzelman
Erasmus Darwin Keyes
Andrew Porter
Fitz-John Porter
William Buel Franklin
William Tecumseh Sherman
Charles Pomeroy Stone
Don Carlos Buell
Thomas West Sherman
John Pope
George Archibald McCall
William Reading Montgomery
Philip Kearny
Joseph Hooker
John Wolcott Phelps
Samuel Ryan Curtis
Charles Smith Hamilton
Darius Nash Couch
Rufus King
Jacob Dolson Cox
Stephen Augustus Hurlbut
Franz Sigel
Robert Cumming Schenck
Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss
Benjamin Franklin Kelley
John Alexander McClernand
Alpheus Starkey Williams
Israel Bush Richardson
James Cooper
James Brewerton Ricketts
Orlando Bolivar Willcox
Michael Corcoran
George Henry Thomas
Ambrose Everett Burnside
Henry Hayes Lockwood
Louis Blenker
Henry Warner Slocum
James Samuel Wadsworth
John James Peck
Ormsby McKnight Mitchel
George Webb Morell
John Henry Martindale
Samuel Davis Sturgis
George Stoneman
Henry Washington Benham
William Farrar Smith
James William Denver
Egbert Ludovicus Vielé
James Shields
John Fulton Reynolds
William Farquhar Barry
John Joseph Abercrombie
John Sedgwick
Charles Ferguson Smith
Silas Casey
Lawrence Pike Graham
George Gordon Meade
Abram Duryée
Alexander McDowell McCook
Oliver Otis Howard
Eleazar Arthur Paine
Daniel Edgar Sickles
Charles Davis Jameson
Ebenezer Dumont
Robert Huston Milroy
Lewis Wallace
Willis Arnold Gorman
Daniel Butterfield
Horatio Gouverneur Wright
Edward Otho Cresap Ord
William Nelson
William Thomas Ward
John Gross Barnard
Innis Newton Palmer
Seth Williams
John Newton
Winfield Scott Hancock
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden
George Wright
Isaac Ingalls Stevens
Thomas Williams
George Sykes
William Henry French
William Thomas Harbaugh Brooks
John Milton Brannan
William Wallace Burns
John Porter Hatch
David Sloane Stanley
William Kerley Strong
Albin Francisco Schoepf
Lovell Harrison Rousseau
James Scott Negley
Thomas John Wood
Richard W Johnson
Adolph Wilhelm August Friedrich Von Steinwehr
Joseph Bennett Plummer
John Gray Foster
George Washington Cullum
Jeremiah Tilford Boyle
Christopher Columbus Augur
Schuyler Hamilton
Jesse Lee Reno
George Washington Morgan
Julius Stahel
John McAllister Schofield
Thomas Jefferson McKean
John Grubb Parke
Zealous Bates Tower
Jefferson Columbus Davis
James Henry Lane
John McAuley Palmer
William High Keim
James Abram Garfield
Lewis Golding Arnold
Frederick Steele
William Scott Ketchum
Abner Doubleday
John Wynn Davidson
Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana
David Bell Birney
Thomas Francis Meagher
Henry Morris Naglee
Andrew Johnson
James Gallant Spears

Brigadier-General USA (Staff)

Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (Quartermaster-General)
Henry Knox Craig
Lorenzo Thomas (Adjutant-General)
James Wolfe Ripley (Ordnance)

Confederate Generals

Note: Italics, awaiting confirmation of the commission

General ACSA

Samuel Cooper
Albert Sidney Johnston
Robert Edward Lee
Joseph Eggleston Johnston
Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

Major-General PACS

Leonidas Polk
Braxton Bragg
Earl Van Dorn
Gustavus Woodson Smith
Theophilus Hunter Holmes
William Joseph Hardee
Benjamin Huger
James Longstreet
John Bankhead Magruder
Mansfield Lovell
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Edmund Kirby Smith
George Bibb Crittenden
John Clifford Pemberton
Richard Stoddert Ewell
William Wing Loring
Sterling Price

Brigadier-General PACS

Alexander Robert Lawton
Benjamin McCulloch
Charles Clark
John Buchanan Floyd
Henry Alexander Wise
David Rumph Jones
Henry Hopkins Sibley
John Henry Winder
Richard Caswell Gatlin
Daniel Smith Donelson
Samuel Read Anderson
Benjamin Franklin Cheatham
Daniel Harvey Hill
Jones Mitchell Withers
Richard Heron Anderson
Robert Augustus Toombs
Samuel Jones
Arnold Elzey
William Henry Chase Whiting
Jubal Anderson Early
Isaac Ridgway Trimble
Daniel Ruggles
Roswell Sabine Ripley
Albert Pike
Paul Octave Hébert
Joseph Reid Anderson
Simon Bolivar Buckner
Leroy Pope Walker
Albert Gallatin Blanchard
Gabriel James Rains
James Ewell Brown Stuart
Lafayette McLaws
Thomas Fenwick Drayton
Thomas Carmichael Hindman
Adley Hogan Gladden
John Porter McCown
Lloyd Tilghman
Nathan George Evans
Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox
Robert Emmett Rodes
Richard Taylor
James Heyward Trapier
Samuel Gibbs French
William Henry Carroll
Hugh Weedon Mercer
Humphrey Marshall
John Cabell Breckinridge
Richard Griffith
Alexander Peter Stewart
William Montgomery Gardner
Richard Brooke Garnett
William Mahone
Lawrence O’Bryan Branch
Edward Johnson
Maxcy Gregg
Raleigh Edward Colston
Henry Heth
Johnson Kelly Duncan
Sterling Alexander Martin Wood
John George Walker
John King Jackson
George Edward Pickett
James McQueen McIntosh
Bushrod Rust Johnson
James Patton Anderson
Howell Cobb
George Wythe Randolph
Joseph Brevard Kershaw
James Ronald Chalmers
Joseph Lewis Hogg
Ambrose Powell Hill
James Johnston Pettigrew
Carter Littlepage Stevenson
Daniel Leadbetter
William Whann Mackall
Charles Sidney Winder
Robert Ransom
John Bell Hood
Daniel Marsh Frost
Winfield Scott Featherston
Thomas James Churchill
William Booth Taliaferro
Albert Rust
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne
Samuel Bell Maxey
Hamilton Prioleau Bee
James Morrison Hawes
George Hume Steuart

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