As Curtis continued deeper into Arkansas, Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch's Western Army was forced to abandon its winter camp at Cross Hollows and join Price's retreat. The two Southern armies established a new camp in the Boston Mountains south of Fayetteville, Arkansas. On February 22, Curtis halted his army at Cross Hollows after marching nearly 250-miles. Now that Curtis had driven Price from Missouri, he now had to make sure that the Missouri State Guard did not return.
The Confederates had a new commander by now, Major General Earl Van Dorn. On the evening of March 3, 1862, Van Dorn gathered his commanders together and outlined his plans for dealing with Curtis' army. The campaign would begin the next day. The men would travel light, besides their weapons & equipment, they were allowed to carry only a single blanket and rations for three days. The army, now renamed the Army of the West, would march quickly and split Curtis in two. He would first attack the half south of Bentonville. He would then turn and attack the remaining half and capture Curtis's supply base. The road would now be clear for the liberation of Missouri.