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1862 March 19: News of Island No. 10, New Bern, and Pea Ridge

March 19, 2012

Stop the presses, literally. News about Island No. 10 at the New Madrid bend in the Mississippi River, the Battle of New Bern in North Carolina, and probably the Battle of Pea Ridge.  All come from March 19, 1862, issues of  The Prescott Journal and The Hudson North Star.

The Battle of Island No. 10 actually lasted from February 28 through April 8, 1862.  Island No. 10 had been held by the Confederates from early in the war and gave them an excellent site for stopping Union efforts to invade the South via the Mississippi River.  On the night of  March 13-14, the Confederate commander at New Madrid decided to to evacuate the town and its two forts and to move his soldiers to Island No. 10 after only one day of bombardment by the Union’s heavy siege guns.  This is probably the “victory” that both newspapers are claiming.  But the Union’s gunboats and mortars arrived on March 15 and the siege of Island No. 10 is dated from that.  More information on the final taking of Island No. 10 will be forthcoming in April.

The Battle of New Bern was part of the Burnside Expedition and took place on March 14, 1862, near the city of New Bern, North Carolina.

The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought March 6–8, 1862, at Pea Ridge in Benton County in northwest Arkansas.  It was a Union victory, with great loss on both sides.  Samuel R. Curtis led the Union troops and Earl Van Dorn the Confederates.  Generals Ben McCulloch, James M. McIntosh (1828-1862), and William Y. Slack (1816-1862) were killed or mortally wounded, and Sterling Price was wounded.  Among colonels, Louis Hébert (1820-1901) was captured, and Benjamin A. Rives was mortally wounded, with two other colonels captured and another wounded. There doesn’t seem to have been a Colonel Wood at the Battle of Pea Ridge. (See the Pea Ridge National Military Park’s Order of Battle.)

Prescott Journal 

U N I O N   V I C T O R I E S.

We stop the press to announce the latest news by telegraph from St. Paul:

The fight was still raging at Island No.10, and it is probably captured. The particulars are not given.

Another fight has taken place in Texas county, Ark., in which the rebels were routed, with the loss of 100 killed and many prisoners taken, among the latter three Colonels.  Our loss was about 50.

But the crowning victory was the taking of Newbern [sic], N. C., by Burnside [Ambrose E. Burnside].  It was one of the most desperate fights of the war.  After four hours’ fighting the rebels, 10,000 strong, were driven from all their positions, losing 200 prisoners, all their guns and ammunition, and 3,000 stand of small arms.  Their loss is not known.  Ours is about 90 killed, and 400 wounded,

The Union ball is still rolling!

Hudson North Star

T H R E E   M O R E   V I C T O R I E S ! !



Despatches to St. Paul this morning are more cheering than ever.  We have only time and space to say that the Burnside Expedition has taken the city of Newbern [sic] in North Carolina—defeating 10,000 Rebels and taking 50 pieces of artillery, 3,000 stand of arms, two hundred prisoners, immense quantities of stores, &c. &c. &c.  We lost 60 killed and wounded.

The gunboat expedition has driven the rebels from Island No. 10 and captured all their guns, ammunition, transports &c.

Another victory has been gained by our forces in Arkansas, under Col. Wood, where after [__]1 fighting the rebels were utterly routed and many prisoners taken—among them, three Colonels.  That’s the way to do it !

1.  An unreadable word due to the microfilming job. The word was too far in the gutter of the bound newspaper.


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