Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Civil War Photo Friday: Sterling Price
General Sterling Price's Missouri Confederate army had enjoyed success the previous year, culminating in the Battle of Lexington, when his forces briefly held a portion of the Missouri River in the center of the state. Supply problems and a precarious position with Union armies to the east and west soon forced him to move south, and he eventually in and around Springfield in the southern part of the state. Now, in February 1862, a large Union army under General Samuel Curtis marched south to push him from the state entirely.
Price realized he was outnumbered and abandoned Springfield on February 12, leaving a rearguard to skirmish with the advancing bluecoats at several points. They held out at creeks, where the thick underbrush reduced the effectiveness of the Union artillery and the creek impeded any Yankee charge. None of these skirmishes lasted very long, however. Their purpose was to slow down the Union advance. Once Union troops and artillery appeared in large numbers, the rebel rearguard would retreat to the next creek and set up another defense.
This rearguard action bought Price some time to close up with a Confederate force marching out of Arkansas under General Van Dorn. All these maneuvers would culminate in the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 6-8. I'll post more on that when the time comes. A good online summary and driving tour of the Pea Ridge campaign can be found at The Civil War Muse.
Price is one of the many historical figures who get a walk-on role in my Civil War novel A Fine Likeness. Jimmy and his band of bushwhackers meet him as he's passing through Boonville during his doomed 1864 campaign to retake the state. There's an excellent biography of this interesting general titled General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West. You can read my review of it here.