Pea Ridge | Elkhorn Tavern | Mar 8, 1862
Though Union Gen. Samuel R. Curtis' men had been badly beaten during the fighting on March 7, they still held a strong position south of Elkhorn Tavern. That night, Curtis consolidated his forces, bringing up the divisions of Jefferson C. Davis and Peter J. Osterhaus—the same troops that had successfully driven Benjamin McCulloch's Confederates from the field at Leetown. On the morning of March 8, a furious artillery bombardment wrought havoc on the Southern line. Immediately following, Gen. Franz Sigel led a Union assault, driving in the Confederate right. Davis' division soon followed, attacking the center. Lacking ammunition and sufficient artillery support, Van Dorn's Southerners were compelled to withdraw to the Huntsville road, where they were able to escape past Curtis' right flank. Though the Confederate army had been allowed to escape relatively intact, the Union victory at Pea Ridge solidified Federal control over Missouri for the next two years.