Return to the Great Battles Home Page

Confederate General McQueen McIntosh


Confederate Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn


Union Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis

       The Battle of Pea Ridge (March 7 8, 1862), also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, was a major battle of the American Civil War fought near Leetown, northeast of Fayetteville, Arkansas. Federal forces, led by Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, moved south from central Missouri, driving Confederate forces into northwestern Arkansas. Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn launched a Confederate counter-offensive, hoping to recapture northern Arkansas and Missouri. Curtis held off the Confederate attack on the first day and drove Van Dorn's force off the battlefield on the second.  This American Civil War battle was one of the few in which a Confederate army outnumbered its opponent. By defeating the Confederates, the Union forces essentially established Federal control of most of Missouri and northern Arkansas. They had more battles to fight in southern Arkansas.

An engraved version of the Arkansas Battle


The Armies at Pea Ridge.  Blue is Union, Red is Confederate

Battle of Pea Ridge
Battle of Elkhorn Tavern Fact Box


The Battle of Pea Ridge, Ark. by Kurz & Allison


March 7 8, 1862




Near Leetown, northeast of Fayetteville, Arkansas


Union victory



 United States

 Confederate States

Commanders and leaders

Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis

Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn

Units involved

Army of the Southwest

Trans-Mississippi District




Casualties and losses