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A Long and Bloody Conflict: Military Operations in Missouri and Kansas, Part II

An essay by ,
U. S. Air Force Command and Staff College
At the Battle of Pea Ridge, Confederate cavalry and infantry, along with Native American troops, attack Union cannon and infantry.
The start of 1862 witnessed the federals in their most precarious position of the war in Missouri. Sterling Price’s Missouri State Guard (MSG) controlled the interior of the state – including large sections of the strategically vital Missouri River Valley. Guerrillas ran rampant through the interior as well. It was up to the newly-installed commander of the Department of the Missouri, Major General Henry W. Halleck to restore the Union’s fortunes in the states. Halleck was not idle over the holiday season of 1861, as he instructed Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis, commander of the recently-formed Federal Army of the Southwest, on his plans for the upcoming campaign season.