Hoping to destroy Brig. Gen. Francis Herron’s and Brig. Gen. James Blunt’s divisions before they joined forces, Confederate Maj. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman placed his large force between the two Union divisions, turning on Herron first and routing his cavalry. As Hindman pursued the cavalry, he met Herron’s infantry which pushed him back. The Rebels then established their line of battle on a wooded high ridge northeast of Prairie Grove Church. After the failure of two Federal assaults, a spirited artillery duel kept the opposing forces from gaining any advantage. Hearing the cannon fire from Herron's fight, Blunt moved his division toward the sound of the fighting and assailed the Confederate left flank. Hindman parried Blunt’s advance but was unable to make any further progress against Herron. Though the battle ended as a stalemate, nightfall saw Hindman's force retreating to Van Buren establishing Federal control of northwest Arkansas.
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