WILLIAM L. SHEA holds a Ph.D. from Rice University and is Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He is co-author, with Earl Hess, of Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West, an alternate selection of the History Book Club and the Book-of-the-Month Club.
War in the West: Pea Ridge and Prairie Groveby William L. Shea, Grady McWhiney
Early 1862. Union forces under Major General Samuel R. Curtis drive Confederate forces led by Brigadier General Sterling Price out of Missouri and into Arkansas. The Confederates. now representing combined forces under General Earl Van Dorn. Commander of the Trans-Mississippi District, counter-attack and strike Curtis's isolated Union army at Pea Ridge in March 1862. Despite being outnumbered and almost surrounded, the Union army wins a stunning victory. Nine months later, a new Confederate army under Major General Thomas C. Hindman tries again. At Prairie Grove in early December, a furious and bitter battle results in another Confederate defeat. The matter of Missouri is decided on two cold, rocky battlefields atop the Ozark Plateau in Northwestern Arkansas. Never again would the Confederates make a serious effort to recover Missouri; never again would they make a serious effort to stop the conquest of Arkansas. The story of dramatic campaigns, ferocious battles, and grim heroism that decided the outcome of the Civil War west of the Mississippi.
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