Answers to Trivia from the Archives

November 2012

Q. What battle between the Union “Army of the Frontier” and a Confederate force under Maj. Gen. Thomas Hindman  took place in Northwest Arkansas 150 years ago this December?

A. Prairie Grove

Major General Thomas Carmichael Hindman (Library of Congress)

Thomas Hindman hoped to regain territory lost to the Confederacy after the Union victory at Pea Ridge in March 1862, and set out Fall 1862 with a force of 11,000 — including a brigade of American Indians commanded by Col. Stand Watie. On December 7, 1862, he moved his troops between two divisions of the Army of the Frontier commanded by Brig. Gen. Francis Herron and Brig. Gen. James Blunt, totaling about 9,000 troops. Hindman hoped to defeat each division separately before they could unite, but was unsuccessful in his encounter with Herron. Hindman then established defensive positions on a wooded ridge northeast of Prairie Grove Church, and an intense artillery duel began. At the same time, Blunt's division reached the battlefield and unsuccessfully attacked Hindman again, after following the sound of fighting through the woods to reach the battle. The battle was a tactical stalemate, but because he failed to defeat the Union divisions before they united, Hindman was forced to retreat during the night.  The Confederacy was never able to recapture Northwest Arkansas.

Read a teenage girl's eyewitness account of the battle »


Q.  At the battle of Mine Run in fall 1863, Union Gen. George Meade planned to surprise and overwhelm Ewell’s Corps by quickly crossing what river?

A. The Rapidan. 

For more information on Mine Run, check out:

Mine Run Video Diary

See sketches from Mine Run in Harper's Weekly »

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