Friday, December 7, 2012

The Battle of Prairie Grove: The Human Toll

One hundred and fifty years ago today, the battle of Prairie Grove was fought near Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Confederate army altogether suffered casualties of 1,483 men (204 killed, 872 wounded, and 407 missing); the Union army suffered losses of 1,233 men (175 killed, 808 wounded, and 250 missing). The human toll of the battle is seen more clearly in the casualty lists that give personal names and a description of the wounds. Here are two Confederate casualty lists from the battle of Prairie Grove:

Captain Henry West’s Arkansas Battery:  Situated on top of a ridge, the Borden House was the epicenter of the battle. West’s Battery was positioned near the base of this ridge when “The fire of several Federal batteries was soon concentrated on him, and his loss in men and animals was quite heavy.” This action resulted in the following casualties:
“Killed: First Sergeant John B. Whitsitt, Corporal H. T. Boatright, Private Peter Gallagher. Wounded: Privates Thomas J. Lane, left arm off; R. J. Irvin, slightly in face; Charles Clifton, slightly in leg and head. Missing: Private Albert Brooks.”

Captain William D. Blocher’s Missouri Battery: Blocher’s Battery was positioned near the Borden House and was the target of several Union assaults. The Battery’s casualties were: “Killed: Privates Joseph Leech and John Conn. Wounded: Corporal A. Choate, arm off; Privates H. J. Cox, right arm off; M. D. Dunnaway. left hip; Louis Hillborn, left foot; James Keel, in the chest; -----Tyree, left hand off; Musician Sol Catharina, supposed fatally. Missing: Martin, wounded by fall of horse; Alex McComas, left arm off; S. B. Clary, left arm; Hardy Tucker, in breast. Missing: Ogden Bryant, Patrick Cain, David Cheatham, Peter Fitzpatrick, James Gibbons, Larry Gallagher, Patrick Grady, ----- Hogan, E. W. Johnston, ----- Sanders, Daniel Wilson”

For those of you who enjoy battlefield tramping, the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is well worth a visit.

Source of quotes: W. E. Woodruff, With The Light Guns In ’61-’65: Reminiscences Of Eleven Arkansas, Missouri and Texas Light Batteries, In The Civil War (Little Rock: Central Printing Co., 1903; reprint ed., Little Rock: Eagle Press, n.d.), p. 87, 89.

No comments:

Post a Comment