The Pea Ridge Staff Ride – Pt. 1

After the success of the May 2009 staff ride of the 1862 Maryland Campaign staff ride chronicled starting here, my partner in instructional crime, Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh was able to secure authorization to teach another staff ride elective at CGSC, this time with the 1862 Pea Ridge Campaign as its focus. (Terry is an uber-expert on the war in Arkansas in 1862, having done his doctoral research at the University of Arkansas under Dan Sutherland on the subject.) The first iteration ran last year with me assisting Terry, while a second was completed a few weeks ago without me, as I was teaching an elective on World War I instead.

battle-of-pea-ridge

Before the actual ride, the instructional team and students went through a prep phase, which consisted of six class meetings in which they discussed the following subjects based on the following readings:

Lesson 1: The Civil War, Causes and Course
William L. Barney, “Civil War (1861-65): Causes,” in The Oxford Companion to American Military History, edited by John W. Chambers II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 126-28

Herman Hattaway and Ethan S. Rafuse, “Civil War (1861-1865): Military and Diplomatic Course,” in The Oxford Companion to American Military History, 128-34, OR Williamson Murray, “The Industrialization of War,” in The Cambridge History of Warfare, edited by Geoffrey Parker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 223-39

William W. Freehling, “Why Civil War Military History Must Be Less Than 85 Percent Military,” North & South 5 (February 2002), 14-24

Lesson 2: The Civil War Soldier: Experience and Motives
Albert Castel, “Mars and the Reverend Longstreet: Or, Attacking and Dying in the Civil War,” in Winning and Losing in the Civil War (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996): 119-32.

Mark Grimsley, “In Not So Dubious Battle: The Motivations of American Civil War Soldiers,” Journal of Military History 63 (January 1998): 175-88.

Lesson 3: The War in 1862
William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Chapters 1-4 (1-87)

LTC Charles R. Schrader, “Field Logistics in the Civil War,” in Jay Luvaas and Harold W. Nelson, eds., The U.S. Army War College Guide to the Battle of Antietam: The Maryland Campaign of 1862 (Carlisle, PA: South Mountain Press, Inc. Publishers, 1987), 255-284.

Lesson 4: The War in Missouri
William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Chapters 5-13 (88-169)

Lesson 5: Civil War Tactics
William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Chapters 5-13 (170-260)

Sharon S. MacDonald and W. Robert Beckman, “Tactics,” in Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, edited by David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000), vol. 4: 1915-19.

Lesson 6: The Opposing Sides
William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997), Chapters 14-15, (261-306)

The next two lessons consisted of students delivering briefs on various Union and Confederate commanders (Curtis, Sigel, Carr, Osterhaus, Davis on the Union side; Van Dorn, Price, McCullouch, Pike, and Hebert on the Confederate) who figured prominently in the campaign. The students were given the following guidance on preparing their briefs:

Lesson 7 and 8: Character Briefs

Each student will be assigned one or more of the major participants in the Pea Ridge Campaign who they will provide a short (about 15-20 minutes) brief on to the rest of the class on 11 or 13 April. The brief will cover the individual’s life and military career up to, including and after the Civil War (skipping the details of the Pea Ridge Campaign), and offer some insights into his character if possible.

You should be able to find all the information you need to put together a satisfactory brief on your subject(s) in general reference works on the Civil War. Those listed below can be found in the reference section of CARL. Of course, you should feel free to go beyond these sources in the course of your research if you wish to do so.

SUGGESTED SOURCES:
Mark Boatner, The Civil War Dictionary (1959)
David S. and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds., Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, 5 vols. (2000)
William L. Shea and Earl J. Hess, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (1997)
Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders (1959)
Ezra J. Warner, Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders (1964)

BIOGRAPHIES (optional, but if you really want to dig deep)
Albert Castel, Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West (1993)
Thomas Cutrer, Ben McCulloch and the Frontier Military Tradition (1993)
Walter Lee Brown, A Life of Albert Pike (1997)
Arthur B. Carter, Tarnished Cavalier: Major General Earl Van Dorn, C.S.A (1999)
Robert G. Hartje, Van Dorn: The Life and Times of a Confederate General (1994)
John F. Marszalek, Commander of All Lincoln’s Armies: A Life of General Henry W. Halleck (2004)
Stephen D. Engle, Yankee Dutchman: The Life of Franz Sigel (1999)
Mary Bobbitt Townsend, Yankee Warhorse: A Biography of Major General Peter J. Osterhaus (2010)
James T. King, War Eagle: A Life of General Eugene A. Carr (1963)
Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes and Gordon D. Whitney, Jefferson Davis in Blue: The Life of Sherman’s Relentless Warrior (2006)

Comments (3) to “The Pea Ridge Staff Ride – Pt. 1”

  1. Love the painting!

  2. It is pretty cool. But, no Chamberlain, no Lee, no Irish Brigade, no Gettysburg, no maudlin depiction of southern sentimentality . . . what was the artist thinking?!?

  3. It is pretty cool. BUT, with no Chamberlain, no Lee, no Irish Brigade, Gettysburg, and none of the maudlin depictions of Confederate sentimentality that we have come to expect in Civil War art . . . what was the artist thinking?