Seeking to clear secessionist forces out of Missouri, Union General Samuel R. Curtis pursues General Sterling Price into northwest Arkansas, only to be attacked by the combined Confederate forces of Price and General Ben McCulloch (under overall command of Major General Earl Van Dorn). The Battle of Pea Ridge commences on March 7 to the east of Bentonville, Arkansas, with the Confederates attempting to outflank Curtis's forces. On March 8, Curtis's Army of the Southwest counterattacks and achieves a decisive victory. The battle is an important early turning point in favor of the Union, which maintains formal military control of Missouri for the remainder of the war. Secessionist bushwhackers and Confederate raiders still present an ongoing problem for the Union in Missouri and Kansas.
Thursday, March 6, 1862 to Saturday, March 8, 1862