24Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 21)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 21, 1864 Captain Edwin Jenkins enlisted into the 5th Kansas Cavalry. He was from Kansas City, MO on October 10, 1861. He was promoted from Sgt in Company G to 2nd Lt in Company K on April 1, 1862 and he was promoted to 1st Lt in Company G and on October 17, 1862. He mustered out on December 3, 1864 at Fort Leavenworth, KS.

Captain William W. Webster in Company A of the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment was mustered in as Major and was promoted on July 21, 1864.

Private Andrew Gleason, from Lincoln, Illinois was in Company G of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff in 1864.

Private George Perry, aged 30, was born in Scotland. He served in Company G of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in 1864. His home was in Glacgow in Wabasha County, Minnesota.

Private William Steinhorst, aged 40, was born in Germany and served in Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment. He died at Pine Bluff on this date in 1864.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Private Christian Hanson was born in Moultrie County, Illinois. He served in Company K of the 62nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in 1864 at Pine Bluff.

Emmet L. Lobdell, from Milwauke, Wisconsin, enlisted in Company A of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

George Clark was from Rockport Indiana and served in Company A of the 1st Indiana Cavalry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff in 1864.

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

21Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 20)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 20, 1862 Colonel William Vandever of the 9th Iowa Infantry wrote up his report after skirmishing near Helena. He noted that the night before, about an hour before the sun went down a group of four men serving on picket duty was fired upon by Confederates, wounding three in the 1st Wisconsin Cavalry. The attack on the Federal picket was made about a mile and a half from Vandever’s camp.

The morning of the 20th of September Vandever noted that a picket of seven men were fired upon, stationed a half mile south of Jimison Rice’s house near his negro quarters. This picket was about two and a half miles from Vandever’s headquarters. His report relayed that one of his men was killed and two are missing.

The picket fired into the morning of the 20th was attacked by about fifty Confederates who charged the group of seven men from opposite directions. “My men think they recognized some of the people of the country in both of these parties.” Vandever continued, “From what I learn of negroes I think the attacking party was composed of Anderson’s men and Texans [but] The party who made that attack this morning was led by an officer in gray uniform-a small man, dark hair and whiskers.”

Bands of Confederates in the countryside were quite common. Vandever even made mention that , “I hear of parties hovering around us on all sides.” Before drafting his report, however, he sent out a scout this morning and intelligence places a party of about a hundred Confederates near the Lick Creek Bridge on the Little Rock Road, located about five miles distant from Vandever’s camp.

His report continued, “Last night and yesterday the Rangers were all through the woods, in the neighborhood of Bush’s, about 7 miles out, on the Spring Creek road…I would like more cavalry.” He pointed out that the 6th Missouri (US), “understands the country, and I could make good use of the Fifth Kansas or First Indiana.” He concluded, “I have sent reconnoitering parties to-day on the different roads, with directions to arrest all persons they may find. I have stopped giving passes.”

In a post-script, Vandever wrote, “I have made a number of arrests of persons living near us, who are reputed to be in the habit of riding about a good deal, supposed to be for the purpose of giving information. A gin-house was burned in the evening within a mile of my headquarters.”

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Also on September 20, 1862 Brigadier General E.B. Brown drafted a report to Brigadier General James Totten that was full of intelligence on operation in Missouri and in Arkansas. Of the latter he noted that Confederate General Thomas C. Hindman relocated his headquarters to Yellville. Hindman was reportedly in Little Rock at the time of the report on business.

He also made mention of, “A notorious jayhawking preacher by the name of Turner, of Gadfly, was 7 miles south of this place a few days ago in company with three others and one of our spies.” He continued, “In the night the spy stole part of their arms-two guns, a revolver, and an immense bowie-knife of Turner [and] With the knife and pistol he attacked the party, stabbed Turner twice fatally, shot one of the others in the breast, and the other two men ran away.” Brown noted, “The story is true; Turner was taken home in a dying condition.”

* * *

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Also on September 20, 1862, information was sent to General Schofield that placed McBride with two thousand men eight miles north of Pocahontas and he wrote of a force at Smithville and another three miles south of Pocahontas. He observed five pieces of artillery under McBride’s command. A prisoner relayed that troops were scattered from Little R ock to Pocahontas, “and are concentrating near Pocahontas and Smithville to wait for Price or Hindman. Boyd’s dispatches stop here.”
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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

19Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 19)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 19, 1862, General Orders Number 135 was drafted at Washington, D.C. This document explained the included states that constituted the Department of the Missouri for the United States forces west of the Mississippi River. The Department was made up of Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, and the Indian Territory and it was to be commanded by Major General Samuel R. Curtis, whose headquarters was at Saint Louis.

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

18Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 18)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 18, 1861 Brigadier-General William J. Hardee wrote to Major General Leonidas Polk in Columbus, Kentucky that he expects to bring Polk four thousand men, including their arms and twelve pieces of artillery, as he notes, “in tolerable condition.” He continued, “The greater portion of my cavalry I shall feel compelled to leave here [Pittman’s Ferry], and one regiment of infantry, not yet organized, for the protection of the hospital supplies and the inhabitants in this part of the State.”

Because Hardee would be low on cavalry numbers, he wrote that Mississippi’s Colonel Wirt Adams would be joining his command. “One of my regiments of infantry has just been organized, the others are improving in their drill, and are able even now to get from one position to another with tolerable facility” Hardee concluded.

That same day Hardee drafted a dispatch to Major General Albert Sidney Johnston expressing his pleasure at the news that Johnston was assigned to the command of Department Number 2 in Columbus. Hardee relayed, “which I may be permitted to say, without disrespect to your predecessor, gave me great pleasure.”

Hardee then got right to business telling Johnston that he received orders from Polk to move his command to the Mississippi River. The shortest route would include a path recommended by Polk, “by the way of the Point Pleasant plank road, which is the shortest route for me to take in order to join your command in Kentucky by many miles, but at present this route is impracticable for cannon.” This was the reason Cleburne was on detail to repair the plank road: “I shall start Colonel Cleburne with his regiment in the morning to put the road in thorough repair [and] In the mean time I shall get my wagons repaired, my mules shod, and every-thing in readiness for a forward movement.” In conclusion, Hardee told Johnston, “After leaving a sufficient force here and at Pocahontas to guard our hospitals and supplies, I hope to be able to join you with 4,000 effective men.”

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On September 18, 1862, Brigadier-General J.M. Schofield wrote to Brigadier-General Fredrick Steele in Helena, Arkansas that he just received orders from General Halleck to contact Steele for a cooperative effort to prevent an attack into Missouri. Halleck urged upon Schofield the significance of a cooperation with Steele. Halleck told Schofield that a force under the command of Thomas C. Hindman was then invading southwest Missouri, while another force, the strength of which I have not yet learned (but it is by no means small), is moving from Batesville toward Rolla.”

Concerned about a double-pronged attack, Halleck relayed that he would not be able to hold off an attack of that sort. As dynamics shifted in the trans-Mississippi, troops were likewise shifted from one garrison to another or from one camp to another. One example of this included the men in Helena. “I am not able to see any necessity for your force remaining at Helena.” Said Halleck. “If it is not strong enough to move on Little Rock, and thus divert a portion of the force moving into Missouri, it should be united to mine, and thus be made strong enough for the purpose… Indeed, I fear the move on Little Rock has been too long delayed to be effective now, even if made successfully.”

The following is a plan laid out by Halleck to Schofield, which was in turn shared with Fredrick Steele:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

“I see now only two ways in which your force can be made available to assist in checking the rebel movement upon Missouri, and it is my opinion that one or the other of them should be adopted at once. The one is to retrace your steps to Batesville and strike in the rear the force now threatening Rolla; the other is to move your force by the river to Cape Girardeau and thence across the country for the same purpose. You can judge probably better than I which of these would be preferable; or perhaps some other plan may suggest itself to you. Should you come to Cape Girardeau, your cavalry might, I believe, come by land, taking the route followed by Colonel Daniels, of the First Wisconsin Cavalry. Whatever plan you may adopt, general, I hope you will move quickly. There is more at stake upon it than you can well appreciate where you are. New troops are coming in rapidly, but there is great deficiency of arms. This will be supplied in due time, when we will have force sufficient to speedily regain what we have lost, unless by attempting to hold advanced positions we lose everything.”
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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

17Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 17)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 17, 1861, Brigadier-General William J. Hardee drafted a letter to Major-General Leonidas Polk regarding a few topics, one of which was the current state of his ill troops. Hardee began by informing Polk that it took four days for his previous dispatch to arrive, having been sent out on September 14. Hardee, then at Pittman’s Ferry, told his friend and fellow general that he acknowledged the fact that Polk was now over all military operations in Arkansas and Missouri. Hardee added that he would, “comply cheerfully with your orders to move my command to the Mississippi River.”

Hardee had just given Colonel Patrick Cleburne orders to move his command, “as soon as practicable and repair the Point Pleasant plank road [and] I agree with you that this route, if practicable, which I shall soon ascertain, is the shortest and easiest by which I can place my command in supporting distance of your force.”

He then addresses the ill troops in his command. He began, “I am much embarrassed by the number of sick.” Hardee related that this morning’s report noted nine hundred sick in a command of a total of 4,529 present. “This number does not include that part of my command at Pocahontas, numbering about 1,100 men.”

As soon as Cleburne’s command completed the repair of the plank road, Hardee told Polk that he would transport his command to Point Pleasant, “with the least practicable delay.”

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On this date in 1862, troop levels were tallied for the District of Arkansas. The following information was given for Arkansas:

-Cooper’s (Indian) Brigade: 296 officers; 6,961 men; 7,559 aggregate present

-Carroll’s Brigade: 183 officers; 3,156 men; 3,828 aggregate present

-Rains’ (Missouri) Brigade: 7 officers; 303 men; 327 aggregate present

-Nelson’s Division (Sweet’s Brigade): 136 officers; 1,614 men; 2,492 aggregate present

-Nelson’s Division (McRae’s Brigade): 182 officers; 2,435 men; 4,221 aggregate present

-Roane’s Division (Shaver’s Brigade): 118 officers; 1,372 men; 2,528 aggregate present

-Roane’s Division (Garland’s Brigade): 66 officers; 970 men; 1,317 aggregate present

-McBride’s Brigade: 137 officers; 2,145 men; 2,991 aggregate present

-Parsons’ (M.M.) Brigade: 471 men; 760 aggregate present

-Parsons’ (W.H.) Brigade: 69 officers; 862 men; 1,110 aggregate present

-Artillery Battalion (Shoup’s): 25 officers; 568 men; 681 aggregate present

Totals: 1,219 officers; 20,875 men; 27,614 aggregate present

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Remarks:

-Colonel O. Young’s brigade of General H.E. McCulloch’s command, near Austin, Arkansas, informally reports effective strength about 3,000. Five regiments.

-Colonel H. Randal’s brigade, of the same command, near Austin, informally reports effective strength about 3,000. Five regiments and one battalion.

-Anderson’s unattached company, about 60 men, on duty as Partisan Rangers east of White River.

-Chrisman’s squadron, about 150 men, encamped near Little Rock.

-Nutt’s unattached cavalry, about 90 men, at Post of Arkansas, with Garland’s brigade.

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

17Sep/16

Fort Curtis in Helena, Arkansas

Summer Winding Down at Fort Curtis in Helena, Arkansas

Summer Winding Down at Fort Curtis in Helena, Arkansas

The site of the reproduction Fort Curtis is in the middle of the battlefield in Helena, Arkansas. If you were standing where this photo was taken, you would have gotten a front row seat to the final Confederate plunge into the jaws of the Union lines of cannons across town. Thousands of Federal soldiers awaited the Confederate attack and the fort began to belch out double stands of grape. The Confederate attackers never had a chance in take the Delta community from the Federals. Today Fort Curtis is at the corner of Columbia and York Streets in downtown Helena, Arkansas. It is owned and maintained by the Delta Cultural Center.

16Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 16)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 16, 1864 Captain John I. Worthington of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry (US) drafted a report to Lieutenant James Allison, Acting Adjutant of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry in Fayetteville that he completed his escort of a wagon train, including a skirmish on September 13.

Worthington began his dispatch noting that he left out of Fayetteville with ninety-nine mounted men of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry and escorted a wagon train going north on September 12.

The following day on September 13 the wagon train was left at Callahan Springs and with seventy-five men Worthington went to Brownsville, “where we attacked and disbanded a squad of Brown’s and Jefferson’s men, killing 3.” That evening, Worthington wrote that his men returned to the wagon train where they encamped for the evening.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

The following day on September 14, Worthington’s men left the wagon train on Sugar Creek and made their way to Rodgers Crossing on the White River. It was here that the Federals came into contact with the combined forces of Carroll, Etter, and Raly, “who were marching to attack the train near Keetsville.” Worthington then noted that they charged the Confederates dispersing them, killing five men in the process and wounding a large number of the enemy. They captured Lieutenant Rogers of Company L of the 8th Missouri Infantry Regiment. They also captured Confederate mail. From there Worthington marched on to “the Shark place on War Eagle Creek and from there to Fayetteville. “

During the scouting mission of four days they killed eight men and wounded between ten and twelve. Thirty-five guns and eleven horses were also captured during the scout.

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

15Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 15)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 15, 1862, Waldo P. Johnson wrote to Major-General Sterling Price that he has already reported to Major-General T.H. Holmes, “who confirmed and engaged my authority, modifying it in one particular only, requiring me to report to him alone officially the result of my efforts at recruiting in Missouri, and requesting me at the same time to advise you [Price] of the change.”

He related that soon after arriving in Little Rock, he dispatched, “about 30 persons to different parts of Missouri for the purpose of enlisting and swearing into the service of the C. S. Army all the able-bodied men they could meet with, to have them reported at camp for organization and instruction, remaining here myself, at the request of General Holmes, for the purpose of having an interview with Governor Jackson, who was then expected daily.”

He then noted that yesterday, September 14, 1862, “the Governor turned over to General Holmes all the State property at his place, embracing a large amount of clothing and other army stores; also all now in Mississippi.” He continued, “The Governor also made an order turning over all the State guards now in Missouri to the Confederate States, requiring them to report to me, withdrawing from all persons all power to recruit in future for the Missouri State Guard.”

“I have not seen General Parsons, but arrangements are on foot to turn his entire command over to the Confederate States service, and I think it will be successful, as Governor Jackson, General Hindman, and General Parsons are all trying to effect it in a manner satisfactory to the men.”

The dispatch also gave intelligence that, “Quite a large number of troops has already been organized along the southern border of Missouri, and from all the information I have obtained I believe there are many more to be collected and organized.”

Regarding the drama that becomes commonplace in war, but significant nonetheless in Trans-Mississippi studies, Johnson tells Price, “But unfortunately there have been feuds and difficulties of almost every kind among them, which have annoyed General Holmes very much, but I think he has adjusted most of the embarrassing cases, and I hope in future, if possible, to avoid difficulties of a like character. They have been such as are incident to the organization of volunteer forces everywhere.”

The communication also included drafted troop number that included four thousand under General McBride’s command and likewise for General Rains’ command, “Many of the troops of the former belong to the State.” He related that Coffee has from eight hundred to twelve hundred troops under his command, “and from all I can learn there is largely over 30,000 troops in this State, but many of them without arms…But as arms are being collected and received from the east of the river it is hoped that all will be armed ere long.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Information was then given on how a raid into Missouri was being fine-tuned as troops amassed in northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. Johnson tells Price, “All I meet with are anxious that you should cross the Mississippi River, and many hope that the result of the late great battles, with the movements that must necessarily follow, will enable you to enter the State of Missouri from the southwest, while this army enters at another point, and that they may meet you in the central other important portion of the State.”

He then includes some personal observations on General T.H. Holmes, calling him , “a plain, quiet man, makes no show, but works hard, and I judge from what I have observed that he intends to leave nothing undone in preparing for a forward movement.”

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.

14Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 14)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 14, 1864 a scouting mission from Helena to Alligator Bayou was coming to a conclusion. Lieutenant Alexander F. Rice of the 60th United States Colored Troops wrote his report on September 15. His five-day scouting expedition began on September 9. The expedition marched five miles on that first day and camped at Thomas’ Station on the Saint Francis River. They camped there until the following evening. During that first day Rice frequently sent out squads, capturing one man by the name of William Bailess, and two horses.

From Thomas’ Station, Rice marched to Mrs. Rodgers on September 10, fifteen miles distant. He wrote that at Rodgers, they broke camp the following evening at 8pm. While there they captured two men and a horse.

When the scouting expedition parted, Rice sent some men back to Thomas’ Station while the remainder, “came down the river in skiffs.” He wrote, “Camped until the morning of the 14th…Captured while there 5 mules and 2 horses, also 1 prisoner and 1 carbine.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Throughout the expedition Rice ended up capturing five men:

*William Bailess and Peter Nance: Captain Briscoe’s company (Dobbin’s regiment)
*James Copelin and Urbin Day: Captain Coates’ company (Dobbin’s regiment)
*Joseph A. Echles, adjutant, Sixth Texas Cavalry.

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Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to info@arkansastoothpick.com.