On February 17, Confederate troops, under Colonel Louis Hébert, marched north from their camps at Cross Hollows (near present-day Lowell) to assist Price's Missourians. Hébert and Colonel Henry Little, of the 1st Missouri Brigade, placed their troops across the Telegraph Road near the farm of J. Dunagin.
Federal cavalry soon came upon the Southern line. Most of the horsemen veered to either side of the road; but the leading unit did not see the others break away and charged Hébert's line. Hébert's men opened fire, killing or wounding 20 men and 60 horses. Federal reinforcements, supported by artillery, arrived and began firing on the Confederates. Having accomplished his mission of delaying Curtis, Hébert withdrew and joined Price's column. In the hour-long engagement, the Southerners lost 3 men killed and 17 wounded.
The Federals considered Dunagin's Farm (also known as the Battle of Little Sugar Creek) a great victory, although the Confederates regarded it as a minor skirmish of little consequence.