Battle of Cane Hill
The Battle of Cane Hill was fought during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 on November 28, 1862 in Washington County, Arkansas
Washington County, Arkansas
Washington County is a county located in the northwest part of the U.S. state of Arkansas. As of 2010, the population was 203,065. The county seat is Fayetteville. Washington County is Arkansas's 17th county, formed on October 17, 1828, and named for George Washington, the first President of the...

. Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 troops under Brig. Gen.
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 James G. Blunt
James G. Blunt
James Gillpatrick Blunt was a physician and abolitionist who rose to Union major general during the American Civil War.-Early life & career:...

 drove Confederates
Confederate States Army
The Confederate States Army was the army of the Confederate States of America while the Confederacy existed during the American Civil War. On February 8, 1861, delegates from the seven Deep South states which had already declared their secession from the United States of America adopted the...

 under Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke
John S. Marmaduke
John Sappington Marmaduke was a career military man and a West Point graduate. He is known for his service as a Confederate Major general during the American Civil War...

 back into the Boston Mountains
Boston Mountains
The Boston Mountains area is a high and deeply dissected plateau located in northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma portion of the range is locally referred to as the Cookson Hills. The rocks of the region are essentially little disturbed, flat-lying sedimentary layers of the Paleozoic...

 in northwestern Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...


The Battle of Cane Hill was part of a Confederate attempt to drive the Union forces back into Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

 and recapture ground lost during the Pea Ridge campaign
Battle of Pea Ridge
The Battle of Pea Ridge was a land battle of the American Civil War, fought on March 6–8, 1862, at Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas, near Garfield. In the battle, Union forces led by Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis defeated Confederate troops under Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn. The outcome of the...

 of early 1862, when Union forces had secured parts of northern Arkansas. Now, Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman
Thomas C. Hindman
Thomas Carmichael Hindman, Jr. was a lawyer, United States Representative from the 1st Congressional District of Arkansas, and a Major General in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War....

 moved his army of 11,000 soldiers into Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith, Arkansas
Fort Smith is the second-largest city in Arkansas and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County. With a population of 86,209 in 2010, it is the principal city of the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area, a region of 298,592 residents which encompasses the Arkansas...

, and prepared to move across the Boston Mountains into the extreme northwestern corner of the state. Awaiting him there was Blunt with 5,000 troops. Hindman hoped to attack Blunt's force, which was over 70 miles (112.7 km) from the nearest Union reinforcements. Hindman dispatched Marmaduke and 2,000 cavalry troopers to hold Blunt in place while Hindman moved the rest of his force through the mountains.

Blunt disrupted the Confederate plan by advancing south when he heard of Marmaduke's approach. Marmaduke was not prepared to meet Blunt, who was 35 miles (56.3 km) further south than expected. Marmaduke's troops were surprised and outnumbered when Blunt suddenly attacked on November 28. Marmaduke began a hasty retreat and ordered Col.
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Jo Shelby
Joseph O. Shelby
Joseph Orville Shelby was a noted Confederate cavalry general in the Trans-Mississippi Theater of the American Civil War.-Early life and education:...

's cavalry to fight a delaying action while the rest of the Confederates headed for the mountains. Blunt pursued Marmaduke's forces for 12 miles (19.3 km) before the Confederates reached the safety of the hills. Though the conflict lasted for nine hours, casualties were light. The Union troops suffered 41 men killed or wounded, while the Confederates lost 45.

This small engagement was a prelude to a much larger clash at the Battle of Prairie Grove
Battle of Prairie Grove
The Battle of Prairie Grove was a battle of the American Civil War fought on 7 December 1862, that resulted in a tactical stalemate but essentially secured northwest Arkansas for the Union.-Strategic situation: Union:...

, Arkansas, nine days later. Blunt's advance left him dangerously isolated from Union forces in Springfield, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Springfield is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. According to the 2010 census data, the population was 159,498, an increase of 5.2% since the 2000 census. The Springfield Metropolitan Area, population 436,712, includes the counties of...

, but when Hindman attacked again on December 7, he again failed to expel Blunt from northwestern Arkansas.

See also

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