Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas Page6    

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 6: Confederate Right Flank
 
Tour Guide: Colonel Emmett MacDonald’s Missouri cavalry positioned themselves at the edge of the ridge. Captain Westley Roberts’ located his Missouri battery, composed of the only rifled cannons in the Southern Army, just up the ridge where he and his men withstood a heavy bombardment from the Union guns
 

William J. Bechmann III photo

  

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 7: Borden Wheatfield
 
Tour Guide: Lieutenant Joseph Foust’s Union Missouri battery set up just east of this location and pounded the ridge with his cannons. Just north of the battery was the 94th Illinois Infantry, which was supposed to be a part of the first Federal charge of the day, but they never left the wheat field. This regiment served as the left flank of Herron’s Army with the end of its line abutting the Illinois River. Ordered to lie down in the field, the Illinois troops saw the Confederate bullets and shells go over their heads, resulting in very light casualties for the regiment
 

William J. Bechmann III photo

     

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 8: Illinois River Ford
 
Tour Guide: Northeast of this location is the main ford of the Illinois River. General Herron crossed with a small number of troops only to be driven back by Confederate artillery fire from the ridge. Learning of a northern ford, the Federals placed Captain David Murphy’s Missouri battery on Crawford’s Hill to the north and began pounding the ridge with his cannons’ fire. After silencing the Southern guns, the majority of Herron’s men used the main ford, then positioned themselves in this prairie and faced the ridge to the south. Captain Frank Backof’s Union Missouri battery sat just a few yards north of here
 

William J. Bechmann III photo

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 9: Borden Cornfield
 
Tour Guide: General Herron’s infantry advanced through the Borden cornfield south of here to assault the ridge. After both attacks failed, Confederate counterattacks crossed this ground only to be shattered by Union cannons firing canister at ranges of less than one hundred yards at times. One soldier commented afterwards, that you could walk a long distance without touching the ground because of the dead bodies in this field and along the slope of the ridge. After heavy casualties for both armies, the fighting shifted to the west
 
William J. Bechmann III photo

     

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 10: Position of the 20th Iowa
 
Tour Guide: Just west of here were the lines of the 20th Iowa Infantry, which served as the right flank of Herron’s Union Army. The Confederates began to mass on the ridge to the southwest in order to attack and overwhelm this regiment, which would give the Southerners a victory over Herron’s command. Before the attack began, two cannon shots from the northwest signaled the arrival of General Blunt’s Federals who quickly advanced up the ridge to the west. This forced the Southerners to move their troops to face the Union threat to their left flank. The 20th Iowa charged with Blunt’s soldiers, which included members of the Cherokee and Creek Nations in the 1st and 3rd Indian Home Guard
 
Panorama from Battlefield Tour Stop 10
 

William J. Bechmann III photo

 

(2011) Enlarge Battlefield Tour Stop 11: Morton Hayfield (West Overlook)
 
Tour Guide: The heaviest fighting on the western end of the battlefield took place just north of here in the Morton hayfield. General Mosby M. Parsons ordered a Confederate charge composed of his men in the Missouri Infantry brigade and Colonel Robert G. Shaver’s Arkansas Infantry brigade out into the field. The Southern troops suffered heavy casualties from the Union artillery before withdrawing to the wooded ridge. Robert West and his family sat out on the hill to the north and watched the entire battle

 
William J. Bechmann III photo

     

(2011) Enlarge  Detail Battlefield view from West Overlook
 
William J. Bechmann III photo

 

(5-05) The West Overlook is detached from the main Prairie Grove Battlefield park area, but can be accessed by following the driving tour. The well-designed facility overlooks the Morton Hayfield, where Union and Confederate soldiers battled late into the afternoon. As was the case on the eastern end of the line, the fighting here also ended in a draw after both sides sustained heavy casualties
 
Dale Cox photo

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