The Battle of Cane Hill took place on November 28, 1862 in Washington County, Arkansas. Brigadier General James G. Blunt and his Union troops faced off with Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke and his Confederate troops. The conflict was part of the Prairie Grove Campaign that took place in 1862. The battled resulted in a Confederate tactical victory.
On November 28,
1862, Brigadier General James G. Blunt led Union soldiers from the Department
of Missouri into a battle against Brigadier General John Marmaduke and
Confederate soldiers from two cavalry brigades.
In late November
1862, Brig. Gen. John Marmaduke’s cavalry was detached from Van Buren by Major
General Thomas C Hindman and sent north to occupy the Cane Hill area. After
learning of Marmaduke’s movement, Brig. Gen. James Blunt advanced in an attempt
to meet and destroy Marmaduke’s command. The Union frontline encountered
Colonel Joe Shelby’s brigade, who fought a delaying action to protect their
supply trains. Until he was able to establish a strong defensive perimeter on
Cove Creek, where he could resist a strong attack, Shelby gradually gave ground
to the Union soldiers.
Following the battle,
Union troops withdrew to Cane Hill while the Confederate troops returned to Van
Buren. Marmaduke and the two cavalry brigades he led fought well bringing a
tactical victory to the Confederates. However, Marmaduke’s withdrawal set back
Maj. Gen. Hindman’s plans for recapturing northwest Arkansas.
It is estimated
there were a total of 475 casualties at the Battle of Cane Hill. Of those 475
casualties, 435 were Confederate soldiers. The Confederate’s may have obtained
a tactical victory at the Battle of Cane Hill, however, a victory at Prairie
Grove just a few weeks later solidified Union control over the region.