Print this page


Tour Stop

Confederate Memorial in Bentonville Town SquareDirections: This tour stop [ Waypoint = N36 22.340 W94 12.606 ] is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of W Central Avenue and SW A Street near the town square of Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.

  • The simplest way to get to this tour stop is to take exit 88 on I-540 / State Highway 71 and get headed west on State Highway 72.
  • There is a public parking lot [ Waypoint = N36 22.322 W94 12.387 ] located at the corner of E Central Avenue and SE B Street.
  • The Bentonville Town Square is located a couple of blocks west of this parking lot on the north side of Central Avenue. The Confederate Monument [ Waypoint = N36 22.361 W94 12.512 ] is in the center of the town square.
  • One block west of the town square is the Eagle Hotel Historical Marker [ Waypoint = N36 22.340 W94 12.606 ], located at the southeast corner of the intersection of W Central Street and SW A Street.

Bentonville - Eagle Hotel Historical Marker

This historical marker has the following text:

“On the morning of March 6, 1862, Gen. Franz Sigel was eating his breakfast at the Eagle Hotel which stood on this site. He had remained here with 600 men and a battery of six pieces after the main column of his army had passed through Bentonville on its way to the camp on Sugar Creek. Confederate troops under Gen. Van Dorn surprised him and forced a hasty retreat. In 1887 Sigel returned to retrace his route and remarked that he had come back to finish his breakfast.”


Union General Franz SigelConfederate General James McIntoshDescription: Today, the Bentonville Pubic Library [ Waypoint =N36 22.340 W94 12.606 ] stands on the site of the Eagle House where Union Brigadier General Franz Sigel was eating breakfast when his small force of 600 men were attacked by the Confederate cavalry under the command of Brigadier General James McIntosh.

On March 5th Union Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis had reports from one of his spies that Van Dorn was on the move. He sent the following message to Sigel:

“One of my spies fell in with some rebels who stole our wagons 10 miles out on the Fayetteville road. The spy pretended to be secesh, and they told him (the spy) that Price was moving on us; that his artillery passed through Fayetteville yesterday; that some of his force would camp on the Burnt Mill to-night. This may be only a feint, but we had better unite our forces at Sugar Creek, and be ready for any occasion. This place [Cross Hollow] can only be useful as an outpost with a small force. Our stand must be at Sugar Creek, where I hope to join you to-morrow.”

Now Curtis was convinced that he needed to concentrate his forces and entrench at Little Sugar Creek. Curtis sent word to Sigel to leave McKissick's Creek at once and join him at Little Sugar Creek by March 6th.

“The 5th of March was cold and blustering. The snow fell so as to cover the ground. No immediate attack was apprehended, and I was engaged writing. About 2 o'clock p. m. scouts and fugitive citizens came in, informing me of the rapid approach of the enemy to give me battle. His cavalry would be at Elm Springs, some 12 miles distant that night, and his artillery had already passed Fayetteville. Satisfied of the truth of this report, I immediately sent couriers to General Sigel and Colonel Vandever, and ordered them to move immediately to Sugar Creek, where I also ordered Colonel Carr to move with his division.”

The late Winter weather conditions slowed the progress of Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn's Army. When the units in the advance of his army reached Bentonville, they saw the Federal forces under Sigel's command headed northeast as they marched to rejoin Curtis. These advanced Southern units would skirmish with Sigel's rear guard as the Federals hurried to their fortifications at Little Sugar Creek.

Site of Eagle Hotel in Bentonville, ArkansasSigel had begun withdrawing from McKissick's Farm early in the morning on March 6th. The 1st and 2nd Divisions under Generals Osterhaus and Asboth, respectively, arrived at Little Sugar Creek on the afternoon of March 6th. Sigel had remained behind in Bentonville with a small detachment to act as a rear guard for his withdrawal. Around 10 A.M. on March 6th, the leading units from the Southern army caught up with him. Sigel filed the following report:

“I ordered [the Second Missouri under Colonel Schaefer], as well as the Twelfth Missouri, under command of Major Wangelin, the flying battery, under Captain Elbert, and the whole disposable cavalry force, under Colonel Nemett, comprising the Benton Hussars, the Thirty-sixth Illinois Cavalry, under Captain Jenks, and a squad of 13 men of Fremont Hussars, under Lieut. Fred. W. Cooper, to occupy and guard the town, to let the whole train pass, and remain at my disposition as a rear guard.

“At 8 o'clock the train had passed the town and was moving on the Road to Sugar Creek. With the intention not to be too close to the train and awaiting report from Lieutenant Schipper's picket at Osage Springs two hours elapsed, when ten minutes after 10 it was reported to me that large masses of troops, consisting of infantry and cavalry, were moving from all sides towards our front and both flanks.”

Sigel's detachment of about 600 spent the next five hours fighting their way to Little Sugar Creek:

“From the moment we left the town, at 10.30 in the morning, until 3.30 o'clock in the afternoon, when we met the first re-enforcements – the Second Missouri, the Twenty-fifth Illinois, and a few companies of the Forty-fourth Illinois – we sustained three regular attacks, and were uninterruptedly in sight and under the fire of the enemy.”

Van Dorn had failed in his attempt to get between the two wings of the Federal army. But Van Dorn would continue to improvise and came up with a new plan to flank the Federals entrenched at Little Sugar Creek. The next part of the tour follows Van Dorn's Confederate Army in their attempt to put him in the rear of the Federal Army.


The Muse South African