March 8, 1862
Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern)
On the third day of combat, a Federal counterattack and dwindling Confederate ammunition supplies leads to Union victory. Action had begun on the night of March 6, when Confederate Gen. Earl Van Dorn had set out to outflank the Union position near Pea Ridge. Learning of Van Dorn’s approach, the Federals had marched north to meet his advance on March 7, halting the Rebel attack. Van Dorn had then led a second column to meet the Federals in the Elkhorn Tavern and Tanyard area, and by nightfall, the Confederates controlled Elkhorn Tavern and Telegraph Road. On March 8, however, Union commander Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, having regrouped and consolidated his army, counterattacks near the tavern and, by successfully employing his artillery, slowly forces the Rebels back. Running short of ammunition, Van Dorn abandons the battlefield. The Union will control Missouri for the next two years.