November 28, 1862
The Engagement at Cane Hill, the prelude to the Battle of Prairie Grove, took place. Union brigadier general James G. Blunt, with 5,000 men and thirty cannon in the Kansas Division of the Army of the Frontier, surprised 2,000 Confederate cavalry and six cannon under Confederate brigadier general John S. Marmaduke while they were gathering supplies. The nine-hour struggle covered about twelve miles over the wooded, rocky terrain between Cane Hill (Washington County) and the Cove Creek valley. While it was a Union victory, casualties were light on both sides. Blunt’s decision to remain at Cane Hill set in motion the entire Confederate force at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), leading to the Battle of Prairie Grove.