DESCRIPTION: "Come ye gallant sons of I-o-way, come listen to my song... About the gallant charge at Prairie Grove, An' we an' Southern rebels on equal numbers strove." The singer describes a federal victory, the burial of the southern dead, and their widows' mourning
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Randoph)
KEYWORDS: battle soldier death Civilwar
Dec 7, 1862 - Battle of Prairie Grove
FOUND IN: US(So)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Randolph 222, "Prairie Grove" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 205-207, "Prairie Grove" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 222)
High, p. 31, "Battle of Prery Grove" (1 text)
cf. "Give the Dutch Room" (subject)
NOTES: The battle of Prairie Grove was one of the more confusing messes of the Civil War. It had little effect on the main war effort (though it contributed significantly to the Union conquest of Arkansas), and so is rarely mentioned in the histories. The battle came about because the Union forces of Schofield's "Army of the Frontier" were scattered.
Two divisions, under Herron, were located near Springfield, Missouri; another, under Blunt, was in an advanced position south of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Confederate general Hindman, observing this deployment, saw an opportunity to defeat the Unionists in detail. He took his force -- somewhat smaller than the combined Union forces but much stronger than Blunt alone -- and on Dec. 6 attacked Blunt.
Unknown to Hindman, Herron's force had been ordered forward a few days earlier. When Hindman learned that Herron was approaching, he tried to get between the two Union forces.
It didn't work. Herron managed to hold off Hindman until Blunt arrived. The Confederates -- many of them raw Arkansas troops who deserted at the beginning of the battle -- wound up abandoning the field. The battle was not a great Union success, but neither was it a great defeat. In the aftermath, they were able to occupy a large part of northern Arkansas.
This song is item dA38 in Laws's Appendix II. - RBW- RBW
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