Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas Page4    

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 1: Shoup Chooses the Position
Tour Guide: Confederate infantry marched up the road to the left and arrived in time to hear the Southern cavalry skirmishing with General Herron’s Federals at Walnut Grove (about two miles east
of here). General Francis A. Shoup decided to deploy his division along the ridge from the road to beyond the Borden house [Stop #4] east of this location. Upon arriving, General Hindman approved the disposition, noting the position was “an exceedingly strong one.” Dr. Hugh Rogers’ house sat across the road northwest of here

William J. Bechmann III photo


(5-05) Prairie Grove Battlefield today offers hundreds of acres of preserved battlefield and both walking and driving tours. Tour Stop One on both tours is just north of the Hindman Hall parking lot and marks the spot where the second phase of the battle began on the afternoon of December 7, 1862, when General James G. Blunt's Federal division attacked the left side of the Confederate lines. Blunt's attacks were beaten back, as were Confederate counterattacks
Dale Cox photo


(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 2: Latta House & Cellar
Tour Guide: While not on the original battlefield, the Latta house and cellar (along with the other structures) remind us that there were four family homes on the ridge where the Confederate Army waited for the Federals. Warned of the approaching conflict, Mrs. Borden took her three children west along the ridge, stopping at the homes of Dr. Hugh Rogers and William Rogers before reaching the William Morton house [Stop #13] with the other families. When the fighting got near, the twenty men, women, and children hid in the Morton cellar, similar to the one west of the Latta House
William J. Bechmann III photo


(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 3: Ravine
Tour Guide: This natural ravine runs north and south through the Prairie Grove ridge. Soldiers in General James F. Fagan’s Confederate brigade lay here around noon waiting for the Union Army. When the 20th Wisconsin Infantry appeared to the east, the Southern troops poured a heavy fire of small arms into the blue ranks, before charging toward the Borden house [Stop #4].
William J. Bechmann III photo


(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 4: Borden House & Orchard
Tour Guide: The heaviest fighting of the day took place around this house and orchard. After the battle, General Herron reported 250 dead within a 100-yard radius of the house. One soldier stated the ground was “muddy with blood” on the hillside where Confederate cannons under the command of Captain William D. Blocher sat during the battle. More information about this area can be found by taking the short walk to the Borden house

William J. Bechmann III photo


(2011) Enlarge Borden House
Borden House Interpretive Marker (Map)
Borden House Panorama
Tour Guide: The Borden House Sector. Some of the heaviest fighting of the day took place around this house and the orchard to the south. Archibald Borden, a prosperous farmer, owned most of the fields within a 1/2-mile radius of the house. Before the Civil War, he served as Postmaster of the Ada Post Office. The house which stood here during the battle was burned sometime during the war. Borden built the present structure, a close copy of the original, around 1867. Confederate snipers hid in the upstairs windows during the battle. Early in the fighting, Brig. Gen. Jo Shelby's Missourians were stationed in this area. Among their numbers was the later infamous outlaw, Frank James. Capt. William Blocher's Arkansas battery was positioned about 50 yards east of the house. Herron's infantry swarmed up the ridge from the north and northeast, overrunning the house and battery but were halted near the southern edge of the orchard by massed fire from Shelby's and Fagan's brigades. In the seesaw fighting, the house changed hands several times. After the battle, Herron reported 250 dead within a 100-yard radius of the house and ground around Blocher's battery was said to be "muddy with blood"
William J. Bechmann III photo


(5-05) Heavy fighting raged around the Borden House and adjacent orchard. Federal officers estimated that as many as 250 men were killed in a 100-yard radius of the house. Federal troops charged up the ridge and past the house into the orchard, only to find themselves cut to pieces by well-positioned Confederate infantry. The house was burned at the end of the battle, but was rebuilt on the same foundations after the war
Dale Cox photo


(5-05) This is a view looking east from the Borden House to the right flank of the Confederate line. This section of the field was held by Colonel Jo Shelby's hard-fighting cavalry
Dale Cox photo

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