Battle of Pea Ridge
or Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas
MARCH 6 - 8, 1862

(Official Records, Series I, Volume VIII, page 626)

SAINT LOUIS, March 19, 1862.

 General CURTIS,
Commanding Army of the Southwest:

GENERAL: I was by no means surprised at General Sigel's conduct before the battle of Pea Ridge. It was precisely in keeping with what he did at Carthage and Wilson's Creek. After your expedition started I received documentary proofs from Generals Sturgis, Schofield, and Totten, and a number of other officers, in regard to his conduct on those occasions, which destroyed all my confidence in him. It was for that reason that I telegraphed you so often not to let Sigel separate from you. I anticipated that he would try to play you a trick by being absent at the critical moment. I wished to forewarn you of the snare, but I could not then give you my reasons. I am glad that you prevented his projects and saved your army. I cannot describe to you how much uneasiness I felt for you. You saved your army and won a glorious victory by refusing to take his advice. I do not believe he has been made a major-general. If so, I shall ask to have him sent to some other department.

A large number of extra teams have been sent you from Tipton and Sedalia via Linn Creek, and horses and wagons will be sent to Rolla as fast as possible. The drafts for transportation in Tennessee have been so urgent as to greatly embarrass us. We are doing everything in our power to supply you.

It is not intended to advance across Boston Mountains on any consideration. My instructions are not to advance to Fort Smith, but to keep the enemy south of Boston Mountains till he can be turned and cut off from his main source of supplies. He has already evacuated Pocahontas, and we hope soon to hear of his leaving Jacksonport. If Van Dorn does not fall back for the defense of White River and leave Arkansas he will be obliged to retreat south of the latter river. In either case you will be relieved of his presence.

Yours, in haste,



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