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Eleven Paintings…One Battle…One Artist
This collection of Pea Ridge paintings are the permanent collection of artwork at the Pea Ridge National Military Park in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Each image was also used on the wayside exhibits that are along the historic sites within the park.
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Flush with their success at the Elkhorn Tavern on March 7, Generals Price and Van Dorn slept in the yard of the tavern. Van Dorn was confident that the next day would bring the great victory that he longed for. After midnight on the morning of March 8, two couriers brought word of the defeat of McCulloch’s half of the army at Leetown and that the survivors were marching around Elkhorn Mountain to join Van Dorn. As both armies spent the night preparing for the next days battle, Van Dorn had neglected to order up his ammunition and supply wagons that were still miles away. An oversight on Van Dorn’s part or believing that these wagons were moving with the rest of his army, this mistake would prove fatal for his Army of the West on March 8.
At dawn on the morning of March 8, the Army of the West quickly ran out of ammunition and was forced to flee the battlefield. After the battle, Van Dorns troops felt cheated by his actions.
Brigadier General James S. Rains may have said it best when he stated, By God, nobody was whipped at Pea Ridge but Van Dorn!
My troops bivouacked upon the ground which they had so nobly won almost exhausted and without food, but fearlessly and anxiously awaiting the renewal of the battle in the morning.
Major General Sterling Price, commanding Missouri State Guard
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