Collected by Irene Carlisle
Transcribed by Mary C. Parler
Bethel Grove, Arkansas
March 11, 1951
Reel 102, Item 4
The Battle of Pea Ridge
My name it is Dan Martin; I was born in Arkansas;
I fled from them dishonored Feds that feared not God nor law.
I left my aged parents, I left my darling wife;
I was forced to go to Rolla to try to save my life.
I jined in Phelps's regiment, I'm not ashamed to tell;
The colonel and his officers they used me mighty well.
'Twas on the sixth of March that we did march away
To fight the Feds and flop-eared Butch, and hear what they did say.
Oh, who is Price a-fightin'? He's fightin', I do know;
Surely it's General Seegle; I can hear his cannons roar;
They marched me down to the Widow Scott's; they countermarched me back;
We knew that Price was fightin' then, and so was General Slack.
They marched me up the Bentonville road, they marched me all that night
And about eleven o'clock next day they led us into the fight;
'Twas done by brave McCoullogh, led on by brave Van Dorn,
At Pea Ridge found us waitin' at the tavern called Elkhorn.
They threw themselves around us in the darkest hours of night,
And planted all their batteries, and waited till daylight;
Next morning soon we all marched out, eager to face the strife;
I never shall forget that day, as long as I have life.
Among the dread confusion we was forced to leave the ground;
The rolling storms of iron balls was cutting thousands down;
To see our friends a-failing, it did our heart provoke;
The sun was dim, the sky was hid with clouds of rolling smoke.
Some took up the left-hand road, and some took up the right;
McCullogh took the straightest shoot, and led us into the fight.
'Twas at the Pea Ridge fight McManus acted quare;
Instead of shooting at the Dutch, he knelt in silent prayer.
We seen a man a-coming, his voice was loud and shrill;
He holloed to the privates: "Our General McCullogh's killed!"
Then Van Dorn he grew very sick, and here he could not stay;
He said, "Boys, make a swift retreat, and I will lead the way."
'Twas at the Pea Ridge fight that Van Dorn lost his hat,
And then for about a half a mile he laid the bushes flat;
Jumped over stumps and scattered tents; all this he did not dread;
The only thing 'twas on his mind, it was a lump of lead.
Plumb to White River he did go; he went in many ways;
He knew that he was badly licked, and Price would get the praise.
When General Price rode down the line, his horse in swiftest pace,
And when he told us to retreat, the tears rolled down his face.
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