During the first months of 1862, Union forces under General Curtis steadily drove Van Dorn’s Confederate Army out of Missouri. Crossing into Arkansas, Van Dorn resolved to counterattack with a sweeping flanking manoeuvre following the Bentonville and Cross Timber roads, leaving his supply train behind for speed. As his army homed in on the Union rear, it was detected by Union scouts. Curtis performed a rapid pivot to avert the flanking operation, and bitter fighting ensued, in which two Confederate Generals McCulloch and McIntosh were slain. Overnight, the Confederates held Elkhorn Tavern, but without supplies were almost out of ammunition. The next morning, Curtis ordered a counterattack, and a charge led by General Sigel routed the Confederate forces. Following the defeat, the remnants of Van Dorn’s forces were ordered across the Mississippi to reinforce the Army of Tennessee, abandoning Arkansas.
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