• Elkhorn Tavern, Federal Provost Marshal Headquarters and Field Hospital Used by Both Armies

    Pea Ridge

    National Military Park Arkansas

General McIntosh

Brigadier General James McIntosh - Commander, McIntosh's Cavalry Brigade

NPS

BRIGADIER GENERAL JAMES MCINTOSH

Commander, McIntosh's Cavalry Brigade

Born in 1828, McIntosh, a native of Florida, was the son of an Army Colonel killed in the Mexican War. He studied at West Point, but was a poor student, graduating last in the Class of 1849. After graduation, he served in the cavalry on the frontier. When war broke out, he was part of the garrison at Fort Smith, Arkansas. He immediately resigned his commission and joined the Confederacy where he was commissioned a Colonel. He was given command of the 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles and later command of General McCulloch's cavalry forces.

Although he was courageous and daring, McIntosh was also impulsive and reckless, preferring to lead his men from the front instead of concentrating on the duties of a brigade commander. When McCulloch was killed on the first day of the battle, command of the division was thrust upon him. He immediately advanced toward the Union line with his former regiment, the 2nd Arkansas Mounted Rifles.

In a brief exchange of musketry between the 2nd Arkansas and the skirmishers of the 36th Illinois, McIntosh was killed, less than 15 minutes after McCulloch and in nearly the same spot. It is unsure whether McIntosh was trying to scout the Federal lines or if he was trying to recover McCulloch's body. Since he was killed only minutes after taking command of the division, it is uncertain how well suited he was for such a high-ranking position.

Did You Know?

General Earl Van Dorn, of the Confederate army

When Confederate General Van Dorn heard news that Curtis pushed Price out of Missouri, he set out to take personal charge of an attack on Curtis, along with Price and McCulloch. He arrived at Price’s headquarters in an ambulance, braving a severe illness resulting from falling into an icy stream.