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Battle of Prairie Grove
New York Times Articles


Battles of Cane Hill and Prairie Grove--

Prospect of Another Fight near Van Buren --Mail Captured--Gen. Herron, &c.

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1862.


          Another great battle has been fought in Northwestern Arkansas. The speculations of your correspondent, concerning the probability of an immediate, uninterrupted advance to Fort Smith, were premature. The battle of Cane Hill was not decisive. I think that the battle of Prairie Grove was; but MARMADUKE and HINDMAN are fortifying themselves somewhere in the vicinity of Van Buren, and another battle must yet be fought before our army can reach the Arkansas River. The enemy must be conquered in a third engagement. We may hope that then, at last, they will abandon the attempt to Winter in Missouri, and will withdraw the remnant of their disheartened forces into Texas or Louisiana. The idea of wintertering in Arkansas does not enter, I am satisfied, into the plans of either army. ULTRA! BEYOND! is the motto on the banners of both; and whichever party falls to make that purpose good, must, of necessity, fall back, for the want of forage and supplies. No mail has yet reached us from the battle-field, although more than a week has elapsed since the conflict. Official reports from the Generals came by telegraph; but except from two regiments, not even the lists of killed and wounded have been received. It is supposed that the mail was captured by some roving scoundrels somewhere between Springfield and the army. Three great battles have now been fought upon the frontier since the opening of the war. The battle of Wilson's Creek, under LYON, was a victory followed by immediate retreat. The battle of Pea Ridge, under CURTIS, was a victory, just at the last hour, when the whole National army had supposed themselves on the verge of defeat. The battle of Prairie Grove, or of Fayetteville, under HERRON and BLUNT, was a brilliant and unqualified success. Such is the testimony of the officers and soldiers who were upon the field, many of whom participated in both the former fights. This is all the more gratifying, because nearly all the troops at Prairie Grove were raw soldiers, who had never been under fire before. The Twenty-sixth Indiana Volunteers, the Thirty-seventh Illinois Infantry, the First Missouri Cavalry, and MURPHY's Battery, of the First Missouri Artillery, were all, or nearly all, the veterans in the second and Third Divisions, under Gen. HERRON,-- and these divisions bore the brunt of the battle. Every regiment distinguished itself; all but one, for conspicuous bravery -- one, I am sorry to say, for conspicuous cowardice. I will not name it, but your correspondent is informed that the Colonel waved his sword around his head, and crying aloud "Come on, boys', who'll follow me?" gallantly charged -away from the foe. Little is known here of the order of battle, except that the enemy seem to have learned a lesson from Gen. BLUNT at Cane Hill, and at Prairie Grove they practiced it upon him, with a slight variation. At Cane Hill, the First Division of our army, under BLUNT, fell upon MARMADUKE's Division, and thrashed it soundly before HINDMAN could come to its assistance. At Prairie Grove, MARMADUKE and HINDMAN, with their whole force, succeeded in passing BLUNT by a flank movement in the night, and fell upon the two divisions under HERRON; but HERRON was obstinate, and would not yield, so that BLUNT coming up, relieved him and won the day. One circumstance serves to show how gallantly our boys fought. Our army numbered one to the enemy's three, yet their dead numbered three to our one. Gen. HERRON, the hero of this fight, is a young man, only 25 years of age. He is a native of Pittsburgh, but he has been a banker in Dubuque, Iowa, for the last five or six years. At the outbreak of the rebellion, he was Captain of a volunteer company in that city. His men and himself offered their services at once to the Governor, and were connected with the First Iowa Volunteers, one of LYON's regiments in the battle of Wilson's Creek. In that battle, Capt. HERRON escaped unhurt; but at Pea Ridge, himself and his horse were shot at the same instant, I believe. At this time, he had been promoted to the Lieutenant-Colonelcy of the Ninth Iowa, but in fact, commanded the regiment. Wounded in the ankle, and unable to escape, he was taken prisoner by the rebels, and carried to Fort Smith, where he witnessed MCCULLOCH's funeral. After his exchange, he was promoted to a Brigadier-Generalship, and it is supposed that, in a short time, he will be authorized to wear two stars upon his shoulder, instead of one. KICKAPO. Colonizing the Blacks. VIEWS OF BRIG.-GEN. N.B. BUFORD. Brig. Gen. N.B. BUFORD has written a letter to President LINCOLN, urging the advantages of the African Coast as a place for colonizing the blacks. He says: If it is decided by the Government to organize and discipline as soldiers a large body of the free men of color, and also to colonize such of the intelligent of the same class as may prefer to be deported, would it not be deemed advisable to acquire a large territory on the west coast of Africa, and establish there a military colony under such wise regulations as would secure liberty and justice to the colored race, as well as the white man, and by grants of land foster agriculture" I would not send exclusively colored troops to the colony. While I would send the greater number of that race, I would not exclude any of our people of any color from acquiring property and becoming citizens of the colony; out I would have all men's rights to be equal. At first it would be a military colony, securing protection to all men, and in the future, when the population should be fifty thousand registered voters, all of whom could read a constitution, it might be erected into a State. The idea is entertained by but few persons that the whole celored population of this country is ever to be sent back to Africa, or colonized anywhere beyond our limits; but it is desired by many that an opportunity should be afforded for a part of them, and they the most cultivated and christianized, to become settled in Africa and become the teachers of that benighted land. Such a colony as I have mentioned, governed by men who are intelligent and just, and fostered by this great country, would soon repay us by the enlargement of our commerce, consuming our manufactures, employing our shipping and returning us the products of the tropics. If the present Congress should pass the bill introduced by Mr. HICKMAN, December 8, "For the suppression of rebellion, treason, and insurrection, and for other purposes," which authorizes the President to raise regiments of Africans, or colored persons of the United States, for seven years, and officer them with men of collegiate education, either white or colored, the troops might be selected and disciplined in six months so as to be fitted to compose two-thirds of the military force of the colony, the remaining one-third to be taken from the regular army. If Angola could not readily be obtained, the territory which has Mossamedee Bay as its center, in fifteen degrees south latitude, might be easily obtained, as it pays no revenues to Portugal; the country back of which is described as rich, healthy, and producing everything peculiar to the tropics. It would not be admissible to incumber this letter with quotations from the travelers who have described the productions of the western coast. I have before me Dr. TAM's visit to the Portugese possessions in 1841; Rev. I. LEIGHTON WILSON's Western Africa, in 1856; Missionary Travels, by Dr. DAVID LIVINGSTONE, 1856; TUCKEY's visit to Congo, in 1816, and the Forty-fifth Annual Report of the American Colonization Society, all of which concur in saying a civilized population would develop as many sources of wealth and enjoyment in Africa as in America. N.B. BUFORD. Brigadier-General United States Volunteers,

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