Part I - March to Battle In The Bayonet or Retreat by artist Andy Thomas depicting the 37th Illinois Volunteer Regiment at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Union troops from the command of Brig. Gen. Francis Herron briefly penetrate the Confederate line at the Borden House. Below, the reconstructed Borden House as it appears today in Prairie Grove State Park. In the pre-dawn darkness of December 7, 1862, Federal troops commanded by young Brig. Gen. Francis J. Herron stumbled out from their encampments near the town of Fayetteville, Arkansas onto the celebrated Wire Road named for the telegraph that led from St. Louis, past the earlier battlefields of Wilson's Creek, Missouri and Pea Ridge, Arkansas. This was to begin the third day of a forced march to reinforce another small "army" under Brig. Gen. James Blunt at Cane Hill some twenty-five miles away; already Herron had driven his men seventy miles in the past forty-eight hours. Blunt's was the leading force of forces operating in Missouri-Arkansas and had arrived at isolated Cane Hill in pursuit of raiding Confederate cavalry led by Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke and Col. Joseph "Jo" Shelby when he learned a large force of newly-conscripted Arkansas infantry and veteran Missourians were advancing against him. When Herron received word from department commander Maj. Gen. Samuel Curtis that Blunt had requested support he immediately set his own force consisting of two small divisions plus some cavalry and artillery in motion.