New York Herald
Nov. 6, 1862
A writer for the New York Herald traveling with General John Schofield filed this report after Fayetteville was recaptured in late 1862, not long before the Battle of Prairie Grove.
INTERESTING FROM ARKANSAS.
Movements of the Army of the Frontier.
Success of Gen. Schofield’s Plans.
Advance Upon and Capture of Fayetteville.
Destruction of a Rebel Camp and Rout of the Enemy
Our Fayetteville Correspondence.
Army of the Frontier, Fayetteville, Ark., Oct. 28, 1862.
Voliate Powers of the Rebels — Advance Upon Fayetteville — The Pickets Driven in — Retreat of the Rebels to the Boston Mountains — Capture of Fayetteville — Losses on Both Sides During the Capture of a Camp, &c, &c.
The rebels are decidedly hard to catch. Notwithstanding our frequent night marches and forced marches in pursuit of them, we seem to be no nearer to bagging the game than we were a month ago. Last night General Schofield had accurate information that they were encamped, six or seven thousand strong, in the immediate vicinity of this place. In a few minutes the whole army was in motion, and great hopes were entertained that at last our chase was about to prove successful. We left Osage Springs just at dark, and by two o’clock in the morning were at Fayetteville, having made twenty-three miles over very bad roads. General Schofield, with the infantry and trains, came by the direct route, while General Totten, with a force of cavalry and artillery, came by the way of Elm Springs, and General Heron, with a mixed force of artillery, cavalry and infantry came up on the wire road, by way of Mudtown, from Cross Hollows. Every precaution was taken to keep our advance a secret from the enemy, but without avail. On arriving here everything was found perfectly quiet. The enemy’s pickets were posted all around the town, but fled on our approach. Several shots were interchanged; but nobody was hurt.
The enemy had evidently been prepared for a sudden flight, and our arrival had been looked for for three days; but a night advance had not been anticipated under such circumstances of difficulty; consequently the enemy was compelled to move with such haste that many sick and wounded had to be left behind. He took refuge in the Boston Mountains, a short distance from the town, amid the fastnesses of which he is almost secure from the pursuit for the present. The enemy’s force here is estimated at seven thousand by the inhabitants, but they seem to be kept in as much ignorance of secesh military matters as we are. Last evening the town was in possession of the rebel army, and before daylight it was in possession of the Union army, and the change was effected so quietly that many citizens knew nothing about it until they saw the position of things this morning. They were utterly astonished. About four o’clock this morning General Heron, with the First Iowa cavalry and the Seventh Mis- ...