150 years ago today in Arkansas a 16,000 man Southern army under under General Earl Van Dorn attacked the flank of a 10,000 man Federal army under Samuel Curtis. Van Dorn's night march had placed them directly in the rear of the Northerners. Van Dorn decided to divide his army, sending McCulloch to attack by a different road. However, the Federals were not where he expected them to be. Curtis did not think Van Dorn would be rash enough to march into his rear, but he still sent one third of his army north to Elkhorn Tavern to protect his supply wagons from the Confederate column.