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

(Official Records, Series I, Volume VIII, page 653)


Cross Timber, March 31, 1862.

The following order of Major-General Halleck, commanding the department, having just been received, is published, that the officers and soldiers of this command may know that during their long winter marches they have neither been forgotten nor their merits unappreciated at home.


 Saint Louis, March 5, 1862.

SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY OF THE SOUTHWEST: You have nobly performed the duty assigned you. You have made a long and fatiguing march in midwinter over almost impassable roads, through snow, deep mud, and swollen streams. You have driven the enemy from Missouri into the barren mountains of Arkansas It is not your fault that he did not stay to give you battle. Fighting, however, is but a small part of a soldier's duty. It is discipline, endurance, activity, obedience to orders, as much as steadiness and courage in the battle-field, that distinguishes the veteran from the recruit.

Let not the honors you have won in this campaign be tarnished by any excesses or improprieties. All officers must maintain order and enforce discipline in their commands. You have an active foe before you. Be vigilant, and ready to take advantage of the first opportunity to fight him.

By command of Major-General Halleck:


 Assistant Adjutant-General.

These high compliments are fairly earned. You were foremost in the great interior movements south. You have driven the enemy under your fire and at the point of your bayonets from Missouri; restored the flag of the Union to Arkansas; routed the foe from all his strongholds, and since the foregoing order of General Halleck, in a three days' hard-fought battle against three times your own number, have achieved a signal and most decisive victory, scattering, demoralizing, and almost destroying the combined forces of the enemy. You have shown to the general commanding the department, to your friends at home, and to the people of the United States that your activity and endurance in midwinter are only equaled by your prowess, bravery, and invincible determination in battle.

Your praises are in every mouth throughout the loyal States; you have carved out a history, and the name of the Army of the Southwest will live, the result of your diligence and valor.

The following congratulation, written since the news of this battle reached General Halleck, was received a few days ago:

Saint Louis, Mo., March 10, 1862.

Major-General CURTIS,
Commanding Army of the Southwest :

I congratulate you and your command on the glorious victory just gained. You have proved yourselves as brave in battle as enduring of fatigue and hardship. A grateful country will honor you for both.



This victory, so decisive and thus commended, by no means insures you repose. You must expect to bear further trials of your endurance and valor. The general will confide in you as in veterans, and will rely upon your discipline, devotion, and well-tried bravery to give tone and effect to our further movements, supported, as we shall be, by gallant forces now joining our standard. While we rejoice we should not forget to contribute kindness to our wounded comrades and a tear to the memory of those who lie buried on the field, and reverently to ascribe thanks to the God of Battles, who giveth us the victory.

A grateful people will provide for and comfort the bereaved, and the rocky cliffs of the Ozark Mountains will remain monuments to the memory of those who fought and fell for their country at the battle of Pea Ridge.

By command of Major-General Curtis:


 Assistant Adjutant-General


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