NPS Pea Ridge
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  • Stop 4 - Leetown Battlefield

    Two Generals Die; a painting by Andy Thomas
    Two Generals Die; a painting by Andy Thomas

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    A Crisis in Command

    The general in charge of this half of the Confederate army — Texan Ben McCulloch — had formed his division, some 7,000 strong, just out of sight behind the trees you see in the distance. Before ordering a massive charge into Oberson’s cornfield, “Old Ben,” as his troops called him, rode along the edge if the trees for a final scout. Yankee skirmishers behind a rail fence shot the popular general dead.

    No Confederate soldier or officer saw McCulloch fall. Minutes passed with no word. Finally second-in-command General James McIntosh took over, only to die while leading a charge out of the woods. With no leader to give orders for more than an hour, the momentum that might have led to a swift Confederate victory at Leetown was lost.