25Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 25)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn this date in 1862, Major-General Samuel Curtis wrote to Brigadier-General Schofield that new intelligence shows Rains and Coffee at Fort Smith. Other information communicated included a line that noted Albert Pike was under arrest.

Curtis also tells Schofield that General Thomas C. Hindman had about three thousand troops and was en route to Fort Smith, “to try and resist Kansas troops.” He noted that McBride was then at Batesville and there were no troops in the Northern part of the state. Curtis relayed that General Sterling Price had gone back to the east and that General T. Holmes was in command of the Confederate troops in Arkansas, who, “Talks of driving me from the State. Will have a good time of it. News reliable.”

* * *

On this date in 1864, Major Eagleton Carmichael of the 15th Illinois Cavalry Regiment wrote a report on a scout that left Helena on August 22. He reports that he left Helena on board two steamboats: the Dove and the Homeyer. From Helena they steamed up to the Saint Francis River and landed four miles above the mouth of the Anguille River. It was here they disembarked. From there they travelled from the landing to Hughes’ farm, then to Doctor Ward’s, “by way of Gill’s; thence to Weatherly’s, Dayle’s, and Mrs. Roberts’, “crossed lower mouth of Cow Bayou, on the Mickey’s; from there to Linden; from Linden to Madison, passing several places I do not remember the names of; from Madison to Mount Vernon, through large settlements, where I heard there was a detachment of rebel cavalry, but found none; from Mount Vernon to McDaniel’s, where I remained at part of the night of the 23d; from McDaniel’s we returned by a different route to the upper mouth of Cow Bayou.”

As they traveled through settlements, Carmichael reports that he divided his command where he could. He reported, “While they were there they were scattered through the settlements in small squads, conscripting and getting what horses they could.”

While out on the scouting mission, Carmichel’s men were able to capture some enemy troops. He noted, “We captured Lieutenant J. M. Grigg, Company A, Dobbin’s regiment; Private Thomas M. Short, same company, and Luther Drum a conscript.” His report continued, “We arrested W. F. Pruitt, N. Y. Gill, U. J. Howard, and P. B. Mickey.” Aside from the prisoners of war, they were also able to capture and seize eight horses and five mules. The prisoners were handed over to the provost-marshal while the animals were given to the district quartermaster.

While on the scouting mission, Carmichael noted that a large number of shotguns and rifles were destroyed and that McDaniel’s Mill was burned. “I should have gone to Dick Anderson’s, but could hear of no rebel soldiers in that direction, and it would have detained us nearly a day longer, and could not have reached the boats until the morning of the 25th without overworking our horses.”

* * *

Also on this date in 1864, Major-General Fredrick Steele wrote to Powell Clayton in Pine Bluff that communications had been interrupted between DeValls Bluff and Brownsville. He also noted that the railroad was occupied “in force” by the enemy. He told Clayton, “I fear that Fagan has crossed below Pine Bluff and effected a junction with Shelby.”

A separate dispatch was sent from Clayton back to Fredrick Steele answering, “I do not believe any rebel forces have crossed below this post [Pine Bluff].” Clayton recently sent a scouting party forty miles down the Arkansas River and with relative certainty Clayton believed no enemy troops crossed the river between Pine Bluff and forty miles downriver. Clayton thought that if Confederate troops did cross the river, they must have done so nearer the mouth of the river, “but I do not think such is the case.”

One thing Clayton was certain of was that Cabell and Marmaduke crossed, “to the south of the Saline and Mount Elba, where they had a pontoon bridge.” He related that a scouting party commanded by Lt. Grove, “attacked the rear of Cabell’s brigade under Carwford, near Mount Elba last Monday.” In this attack, Grove was able to capture Colonel Crawford’s horse, one lieutenant, and sixteen troops. It was reported to Clayton that, “The main command was then in the act of crossing…Marmaduke’s brigade crossed day before yesterday.”

This information was given by two deserters that, “came in yesterday from Marmaduke.” Clayton notes the deserters confirmed the action at Mount Elba and they admit, “all of the rebel cavalry (about 15,000 strong) are under Price; that they intend to cross the Arkansas River between Little Rock and Fort Smith; destination Missouri. “This information gave Clayton reason to believe the Confederate cavalry was moving up the south side of the Saline River.

Clayton’s report ended with a note that his men have been foraging “on the other side of the river about fifteen miles from here.”

* * *

Also on this date, Brigadier-General Eugene A. Carr drafts a dispatch to Powell Clayton tell him that “Citizens come into Brownsville today report rebels crossing at Richland.” The report continued, “General Andrews reports they have several bridges across the Arkansas.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

* * *

The James Ginnett Collection has a few entries for August 25, 1864:

-Sgt. Jeremiah Pemberton from Company L of the 13th Illinois Cavalry died in Pine Bluff. He was from Galatia, Illinois.

-George A. Osborn, from Ixonia, Wisconsin served in Company C of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in 1864 in Pine Bluff of disease.

-William F. Morse, age 24, was born in Maine and lived in Morrison County, Minnesota. He was a 2nd Lt and was promoted to 1st Lt. He served in Company I of the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment and eventually was promoted to adjutant.

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.

24Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 24)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 24, 1864, Major-General Fredrick Steele reported that a large Confederate force under the command of General J.O. Shelby raided the railroad in the area between DeVall’s Bluff and Brownsville. In this raid the Federal guard was captured, the telegraph wire was destroyed, and the rails were torn up. Steele also reported that Shelby’s men also burned, “a large quantity of hay and destroy the machines for cutting and pressing.”

Shelby’s command consisted of three thousand cavalry and six pieces of artillery. Steele remembered, “Before sufficient force could be assembled to capture them they were off.” His report was dated August 26 and Steele’s men were still in pursuit of the Confederates two days later.

He fears that a large Confederate force recently crossed the Arkansas River near the Post of Arkansas, “for the purpose of joining Shelby and attacking Devall’s Bluff and the railroad.” Another fear was that Little Rock could be attacked. However it seemed to be Colonel Powell Clayton that knew what was going on in his neighborhood. Clayton believes, “a large cavalry force under Price is now moving upon the south side of the Saline for the purpose of crossing the Arkansas above here and making a raid into Missouri.”

Steele asks for more troops for two reasons. One reason is that General Price, who was reported to have had 15,000 cavalry, including Marmaduke’s division. Steele was informed by deserters, refugees, and others that General rice was now over the cavalry and John Magruder, “of the infantry that are to move against me.”

Another reason Steele needed more troops was that his troops were being lost by expiration of service or be discharges. Before closing his dispatch, Steele was careful to note, “My instructions are to hold the line of the Arkansas.”

Brigadier General C.C. Andrews wrote to Brigadier-General Christopher C. Anderson about the attack:

“There was one station beyond and three this side, at each of which were two companies of the Fifty-fourth Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry. Subsequent information showed that Colonel G. M. Mitchell, commanding the Fifty-fourth Illinois, had concentrated six companies at a station two miles this side of Ashley’s and was resisting the enemy. I sent out from here the available force of three regiments of cavalry, I sent out from here the available force of three regiments of cavalry, under Colonel Geiger, numbering about 750, for observation at least, and in interpose assistance to Colonel Mitchell if possible. Geiger arrived promptly, but Mitchell had been taken. The cavalry commenced to engage Shelby only a few minutes after Mitchell surrender and fought him two hours. The enemy, it is reported, had 2,000 or 3,000 men, and I have reasons to believe that he had forces still back that were not engaged. Our loss was 6 killed and 42 wounded. I think we lost no prisoners. The fight ended by the enemy falling back into the timber toward the north and a little in this direction. Geiger then fell back to prevent the enemy getting between this place and him. Our men did more than hold their own. I have had no communication at all with Little Rock, and do not know what has been going on there yesterday and to-day. Of course i know nothing about operations at Pine Bluff. I am apprehensive that the enemy will move up here from the Arkansas River. My forces have lately been taken away to the extent of two regiments to strengthen Pine Bluff, and the Fifty-fourth Illinois, a veteran regiment, had lately been taken from here to serve as guard for hay contractors. I, therefore, have only about 600 infantry and 1,000 effective cavalry, together with one battery. I yesterday sent to Saint Charles for a gun-boat, which I soon expect to arrive.” This was drafted at 1:30pm.

Thirty minutes later he drafts a similar letter to Major C.T. Christensen, Assistant Adjutant-General in New Orleans, “I am certainly weak, even to hold this place against a serious attack of superior numbers. I ought to be able to move out and whip completely any such force as Shelby has. We are working constantly. I have armed the quartermaster’s employees. A loyal person took pains to travel in some distance to inform me that Price’s movement toward Pine Bluff was a feint; that he would probably attack Little Rock.”

Earlier that morning at 8am, Brigadier-General C.C. Andrews wrote to Captain C.H. Dyer that a loyalist Mrs. Jones, “who lives just below confluence of Bayou Metoe and Bayou Two Prairies”, said she overhead a conversation on August 23 between a couple of Confederate scouts that the Confederates deployed a pontoon bridge over the Arkansas River above Arkansas Post and were to cross by August 24, “that the plan was to attack Little Rock, the railroad, and Devall’s Bluff at the same time.”

At 12:30pm, Andrews added, “At about 12.30 p. m. a man from the First Nebraska came riding in haste up to my headquarters and reported that Shelby had captured Ashley’s Station, where were two companies of Fifty-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry and a detachment of the First Nebraska; that Shelby came upon the railroad from the north; that he had about 2,000 men, artillery, and wagon train; also that he was moving upon the other hay stations in this direction.”

By 2pm, a message arrived from Colonel G.M. Mitchell of the 54th Illinois Infantry Veteran Volunteers at Jones and Lane’s Hay Station noting, “I am surrounded by a large number of cavalry from the north of the railroad. Ashley’s Station surrendered, and hay burned. I have concentrated six companies at this station and will fight to the last; send help if possible. The enemy have two pieces of artillery.”

Andrews goes on to report that, “Colonel Geiger’s skirmishers began to engage the enemy about a mile this side of Jones’ hay station, and he reports that it was only a very few minutes after the firing had ceased at that station that they commenced. He moved on beyond Jones’ Station and there learned from a wounded man, as well as from appearances of things there, that Colonel Mitchell and the six companies with him had been captured. Although the enemy largely outnumbered Colonel Geiger’s command, he engaged him for about two hours in a brisk fight.”

As the Confederates began to retreat, they fell back into a wooded area to the north, “moving at the same time in this direction.” Andrews’ report continues, “At this, Geiger began also to fall back this way. Our men are reported to have fought very gallantly. Copies of reports of casualties in each regiment are inclosed. The number of killed, wounded, and missing is as follows: Eighth Missouri Cavalry, killed, 3; wounded, 36; Eleventh Missouri Cavalry, killed, 3; wounded, 7. Total, killed, 6; wounded, 43.”

Another dispatch from Andrews reveals that the prisoners taken during the action were taken in a southwest direction. The 1st Nebraska’s sutler escaped from the Confederates. It was from this sutler that Andrews learns, “any prisoner who fell out or was unable to keep up (and they were marched fast) was shot.”

W.F. Geiger, during the attack, was with 360 men from the 8th Missouri Cavalry (US), 210 men from the 9th Iowa, and 120 men from the 11th Missouri. His report begins with his command moving as rapidly as possible toward the direction of Ashley’s Station. He wrote, “within one mile and a half of Jones’ hay station I heard cannonading which appeared to be at the station, and deployed the 8th Missouri Cavalry as I marched.” His report continued, “When within a quarter of a mile of Jones’ Station the cannonading ceased, and seeing a line of about 2,000 of the enemy’s cavalry drawn up on the north side of the railroad, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens to cross the railroad with the 11th Missouri and move on the enemy’s left flank, while the 8th Missouri attacked him in front, keeping the 9th Iowa as a reserve.” As Geiger’s troops got into position, “the enemy immediately opened a heavy fire of musketry, which was replied to by our carbines.”

Geiger’s account noted that the skirmishing lasted about two hours, “during which time my line advanced steadily while that of the enemy retired slowly, but in good order.”

The Confederates attempted three charges on Geiger’s left flank, to no avail. Geiger then reports that as he drove the Confederates off the field of battle and into the timber, he, “discovered two lines of dismounted men, who appeared to be endeavoring to outflank me on the left, and get between my force and Devall’s Bluff, [and with] Night coming on, I withdrew my forces, and returned to Devall’s Bluff, arriving at 9 p. m., having marched thirty miles and fought two hours after 2 p. m. with horses that had just returned from a hard scout without having feed for two days.”

Geiger’s recounting of casualties include: “8th Missouri Cavalry, killed, 6; wounded, 38; missing, 1. 11th Missouri Cavalry, killed 3; wounded, 5. Both officers and men behaved as soldiers should. Had my horses been in such a condition that I could have charged the enemy I might have punished him more severely.” Of Colonel Mitchell I know nothing. The officer in charge of my skirmishers said he saw the enemy hurrying the prisoners toward the timber as he advanced.”

J.O. Shelby’s report had the number of Confederate forces at 2500. His march began in Jacksonport , “and had to march within twenty-four miles of Little Rock to Austin to cross Big Cypress at the bridge there, which stream was running out bank full and irresistible.” When he got within six miles of DeValls Bluff, he found the 54th Illinois posted at Ashley’s Station Number1, “in a mixed fortification of logs, dirt, and hay.”

Shelby had the element of surprise on his side. He wrote, “As I debouched from the timber on the green and emerald prairie little squads of Federals were scattered here and there, and away to the east a dozen or more machines were busily engaged baling hay. My column was well closed up and marching in column of fours, and the white covered wagons with the artillery looked very much like a returning Federal Expedition. Very soon, however, their confidence was destroyed, and the rusticating bands dozing away the hot summer hours were fleeing the wrath to come.”

Shelby’s report continued, My forlorn hope of an advance under the brave and intrepid Williams immediately charged the retreating enemy, and a wave of steel overleaped and swallowed up the fleeing blue coats.” Shelby surrounded the fort, and, “the artillery opened at point-blank range, and high over the white bursts of the powder-cloud that drifted and floated away before the battle breeze a white flag waved out as a token of surrender.”

By the end of the action, Shelby reported 150 prisoners and the capture of two hundred small-arms, “besides a large quantity of supplies.”

Shelby then decided to attack Station Number 2, where he captured and destroyed the station and took one hundred more prisoners. Same was true with the third station having taken fifty prisoners at the latter.

Shelby went on to attack Stations numbers 4 and 5, which, according to his report, were more, “stubborn and defiant.” Shelby wrote, “Veteran Illinois and Indiana infantry were in these redoubts, and they had a hatred of surrendering, although I had never asked them to do so.”

The report continued, “The garrison grew uneasy, but over the sea of dark green prairie, over the white puffs of the bursting bombs, and the rippling shots of the skirmishers, a long blue line of Federal cavalry and infantry came looming up, and as they grew nearer and nearer out from the doomed forts the garrison rushed with frantic speed for help and hope too late. As the dismounted men reached the ditches and palisades the reserve cavalry, whose steeds had all the long forenoon been champing impatient bits, dashed away after them in a long, fierce gallop. Sharp and brief the chase. When within 500 yards of their friends the Federals were overtaken, surrounded, ridden over, and Colonel Mitchell and 450 of his officers and men surrendered unconditionally. They were immediately countermarched and double-quicked to the rear, the bullets of their friends all the while ringing fierce, discordant meter.”

Bad news for Shelby included reinforcement for his enemy. “From Little Rock another column had just arrived, and these two bodies were uniting with an ugly look, presaging the coming hurricane.” As the Federal reinforcements entered the field of battle, Shelby sent his artillery and wagon rain to his rear to protect it. Shelby became worried, “for I knew my skeleton animals could never take them from the moist and muddy prairie if a swift retreat was necessary, and now I faced them at an odds of one to five.”

The Federals formed their line of battle and began their push as Shelby fell back.

“Twice they feebly charged with the blare of bugles and the rattle of impatient arms, and twice the old veterans of my command drove them back in confusion and dismay. All day and night they followed me to Austin, which was reached by daylight, where I had left Colonel Dobbin, and where I halted for the day after marching forty miles from sun to sun and fighting six hours.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Throughout the day’ actions, Shelby made off with valuable assets. Shelby wrote of his victory while calculating his recent gains. His report added, “577 prisoners, including 1 field officer and 11 line officers; over 200 Federals killed and wounded; ten miles of railroad track destroyed completely-the ties torn up and burned, the iron heated and bent, telegraph destroyed, bridges and trestle-works ruined; 3,000 bales of hay destroyed by fire; 20 hay machines chopped to pieces; 5 forts razed to the ground; 500 stand of small-arms distributed to my unarmed men; many fine horses captured; 12 barrels of salt brought off the field and given to a command suffering for it, besides supplying. All this was done within blankets, shoes, boots, hats, and clothing. All this was done within six miles of Devall’s, Bluff, and my detail was tearing up the track while the enemy’s bullets, fired at the covering regiments, were throwing the splinters from the ties in their very faces.”
Shelby’s loss included 173 killed and wounded.

* * *

The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for August 24, 1864:

– 3rd Lt. Aaron G. Burleson from Company B of the 19th (Dawson’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment was captured near Pine Bluff.

– John S. Countryman, aged 28, was born in New York. He enlisted in Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

– Robert Poor, aged 21, was born in Ohio and died in Pine Bluff. He was in Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

– Private John Brashears from Company G 5th Kansas Cavalry died on this date of congestion in Pine Bluff.

– Samuel Bently served in Company I of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He was from La Fayette, Wisconsin and he died of disease at Pine Bluff.

– Corporal Patrick Feely, from Murwonago, Wisconsin served in Company H of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He died of disease at Pine Bluff.

– George F. Huck served in Company H of the 1st Indiana Cavalry. He died on this date at Little Rock.

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.

23Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 23)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 23, 1862 Union correspondence from Colonel Clark Wright wrote to Brigadier-General; E.B. Brown, commanding the Southwest Division, “Hindman has at Little Rock and Arkansas Valley, now drilling, 25,000 men.” His dispatch concluded, “There is no doubt but the rebel troops west of the Mississippi will be compelled to come north for subsistence…Texan and Arkansas cannot feed an army, and it will require a heavy force to keep them out [of Missouri].”

The Federal army was also on an expedition from Helena, down the Mississippi and back up the Yazoo River. The expedition lasted from August 16-27, 1862.

On this date in 1863 there were actions at Pocahontas and a skirmish at Fayetteville.

* * *

The James Ginnett Collection has the following information for August 23, 1864:

-Jefferson Holt, from Ashley County, Illinois served in Company D of the 13th Illinois Cavalry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

-Alonzo Verill, aged 33 years old, was born in Vermont and died at Pine Bluff. He enlisted on October 16, 1861 and deserted in the same year. He returned to service in June 1864 when he served in Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry.

-John Lind, aged 18, was born in Sweden and lived in St. Peter (Nicoliet County Minnesota) He mustered in Company B of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

-Private Anderson Moore served in Company I of the 5th Kansas Cavalry. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

-1st Lt. Andrew Fyfe served in Company I of the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment. He was discharged for a disability on this date.

-Roland H. Sprouse, from Fayette County, Illinois, served in Company E of the 62nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

-Freeman Knowlton, Thomas Waldren, and Peter S. Waldren, all of which were from Hebron, Wisconsin, enlisted in Company E of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

-Charles H. Simpson from Whitewater, Wisconsin, died of disease at Pine Bluff.

-2nd Lt. A.C. Allen from Stuneman’s Cavalry was captured near Pine Bluff and was imprisoned in Little Rock September 1, 1864. He served originally in Co. F of 1st (Monroe’s) Arkansas Cavalry. He was released November 17, 1864.

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.

22Aug/16

Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas to Meet August 23, 2016 (Change of Venue)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasFor the month of August, the Arkansas Civil War Roundtable will have a change of venue. We will meet at 5:30p.m. on August 23, at Catfish City at 1817 S. University. We are meeting early, so everyone will have a chance to eat and have some fellowship time before we have the actual meeting and hear our speaker. For those of you that don’t want to eat, the meeting will start at 7:00p.m.

Many thanks to our speaker, Dr. Cheryl White. She talked about Leonidas Polk, Louisiana’sFighting Bishop.

Our speaker for our August 23 will be Ron Kelley who is the Museum Program Assistant at the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, AR. Ron will be talking to us about his new book; Arkansas in the Civil War: 1861: Diary of a State (volume 2).

Below is a listing of the upcoming speakers and subjects for 2016:
Sept. 27th, Tom DeBlack; Civil War Figures
Oct 25th, Hank Simmons; Confederate Bonds
Nov. 24th, Drew Hodges topic to be announced
We do not meet in December

We hope you can make all of our meetings. As you can see we have some great programs this year!

The next meeting of the AR Civil War Roundtable will be Tuesday, September 27 with Dr. Tom DeBlack as our speaker. The Arkansas Civil War Roundtable meets the 4th Tuesday, at 7:00p.m. of every month except December. We meet at 2nd Presbyterian Church at the corner of Cantrell Rd. and Pleasant Valley Drive. 2nd Presbyterian is one block east of the Cantrell exit off I-430.

22Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 22)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn august 22, 1861, Governor of Arkansas Henry Massie Rector wrote to L.P. Walker notifying him of a few things going on with the formation and movement of military units in the state. He begins by telling Walker that the 14th Arkansas Infantry Regiment is now at Yellville. The 14th Arkansas, according to Rector, was, “one of the regiments transferred to General Hardee by agreement with Gibson P. Johnson, as agent of the Department.” Rector continues, “We understand that General Hardee does not wish to receive it.”

The confused governor relates that General Polk, “has dispatched us, requesting the regiment included in the agreement with Mr. Johnson, but the regiment at Yellville is too distant en route to send him with any convenience.”

Governor Rector tells Walker, “General Hardee has ordered the troops first transferred to him from the northwest of the State to headquarters.” He warns, “This leaves McMulloch’s command small, and but a portion of the State most liable to assault not well defended.” Rector concluded his dispatch asking Walker if he would send this regiment, the 14th Arkansas, to McCulloch.
Also on this date in 1863, there was a military action at Pocahontas and a skirmish in Yell County on this date in 1864.

* * *

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

The James Ginnett Collection included a few entries for August 22, 1864:

-Joshua M. Morris served in Company H of the 13th Illinois Cavalry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff

-2nd Lieutenant Samuel M. Ewing served in Company K and was promoted to 1st Lt. of the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment.

-1st Lt. James W. McDonald in Company K of the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment resigned.

-Jeremiah Sullivan from Troy, Michigan, served in Company I of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He died of disease at Pine Bluff.

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.

21Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 21)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 21, 1862, the Federal army was on an expedition from Helena, down Mississippi and up Yazoo River. This expedition left on August 16 and would eventually return on August 27.

On August 21, 1864, Assistant Adjutant-General C.H. Dyer drafted Special Orders Number 61, noting that the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment and the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment to proceed to Pine Bluff and report to Colonel Powell Clayton. The 106th and 126 were under the command of Major John M. Hurt.

Also on this date in 1864 Powell Clayton wrote to headquarters in Little Rock that he had no news of the enemy but he sent two scouts out from Pine Bluff on this date. One scout was sent on the Princeton Road and the other was sent on the Warren Road.

August 21 also saw a skirmish in DeValls Bluff on this date and the Federal army was on day seven of ten of operations in North West Arkansas and South West Missouri.

* * *

Confederate General J.O. Shelby’s report continues from the August 20 entry:

Soon after the expedition to the railroad I sent Captain McCoy to the Saint Francis River, where a large Government boat was hard aground, with fifty men to destroy it. He was successful. Burned the boat and cargo, which consisted of a large quantity of coal for the Mississippi naval squadron. Not long after five steamers, crowded with troops, came up White River to Augusta, where they were ambushed by Colonel Dobbin, and great numbers killed, causing them to beat a hasty retreat.

All the prisoners taken were paroled and sent North, for I was too weak to spare sufficient detachments to guard them to our lines south of the Arkansas River through an enemy’s country, for the entire number captured during the expedition was largely over 1,100. Only a partial list of these prisoners can be furnished, as the record of their names was destroyed on the late expedition to Missouri, having been placed in a wagon devoted to the flames. Those saved, being in another wagon, will be furnished immediately, which will be between 700 or 800. There was not a day that some of my scouting parties did not meet, encounter, and whip in every affair a larger force of the Federals, and such was the terror of our arms that they never came against us only with heavy odds. Everything in readiness to move I reported to General Price on his arrival and started for Missouri on September 19.

* * *

The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for August 21, 1864:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

-Private Thomas J. Wilson served in Company I of the 5th Kansas Cavalry. He died of disease. He lived in Spring Hill, Kansas.

-Sgt. Christian Graybill, from Sullivan, Illinois served in Company A of the 126th Illinois Infantry. He was accidentally killed on Steamer Carrie Jacobs on way to Pine Bluff. [Annie Jacobs?]

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.

21Aug/16

Newest Press Kit Page 2 for Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Students of Arkansas History agree that a definitive atlas of Antebellum Arkansas is challenging to find. This authoritative volume includes newly digitized Arkansas historical sites that have come to represent a vivid picture of the state over one hundred and fifty years ago. This book brings to life the numerous landscapes on which countless human dramas played out during the Civil War in Arkansas. Created by one of the Confederacy’s leading trans-Mississippi cartographers, this indispensable aid to the Arkansas historian and genealogist combines colorful, detailed maps of an atlas with accompanying cartographers notes to facilitate context of the thousands of historical sites included in this atlas:

• Academies: 2
• Battlefields: 4
• Bridges: 192
• Businesses: 119
• Camps: 99
• Churches: 133
• Cotton Gins: 5
• Ferries: 68
• Fords: 240
• Fortifications: 3
• Forts: 5
• Houses: 1,348
• Lakes: 124
• Landings: 30
• Mountains: 316
• Municipalities: 376
• Post Offices: 14
• Prairies: 404
• Schools: 7
• Rivers 925
• Townships 1,567
• Road (segments) 3,409

20Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 20)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 20, 1862, Brigadier-General E.B. Brown wrote to Brigadier-General John M. Schofield in Saint Louis that a spy had returned to their camp from Cross Hollows and reported that a group of Confederates from Van Buren under the command of Rains as well as a group from Fort Smith under the command of Carroll, were moving. “I have not learned what the force is composed of.” Concluded Brown.

Also on this day in 1862, Assistant Adjutant-General Robert C. Newton drafted General Orders Number 5 from the Headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department. The document stated in part III that the District of Arkansas was now composed of the States of Arkansas and Missouri and, “the Indian country west thereof, Major-General Thomas C. Hindman commanding.”

Also on this date in 1862, the Federal army was on an expedition from Helena, down Mississippi and up Yazoo River that left on August 16.

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On this date in 1864, General Fredrick Steele wrote to Major-General E.R.S. Canby in New Orleans that Magruder, “superseded Price, and is at Camden.” The dispatch included information of Confederate movement in south Arkansas. Steele reported that three cavalry brigades under the command of Cabell were seen seventeen miles from Pine Bluff. He related that telegraph service had been interrupted and that a small steam boat en route from Little Rock to Pine Bluff “on private business” was burned by Confederates two days ago [perhaps he is referring to the steamer Miller].

The dispatch went on to note that two day ago there was a brigade of Cavalry at Benton and have since then crossed the Saline River. Steele tells Canby that he has cavalry in pursuit of those Confederates. The dispatch noted that General J.O. Shelby, as of the night before, was ten miles below Jacksonport and McCray was then twenty miles above Batesville.

Pine Bluff had been used as a Union garrison since October, 1863. Steele believed that if Pine Bluff is held, “there is no necessity of keeping a force at Saint Charles, on White River.” However, Steele writes that in the case Pine Bluff does have to be evacuated, “the rebels would probably move on Saint Charles.”

Because of the increased threat in certain areas of the state, General Steele ordered two regiments, from the line of the railroad to Pine Bluff, and I recommend that the command at Saint Charles be sent immediately to DeValls Bluff for temporary service.”

Steele went on to note that if Powell Clayton could not hold Pine Bluff for the Federals, he could retreat across his pontoon across the Arkansas River. Clayton at this date in 1864 had three mon’s supplies readily available to he and his troops. The dispatch concluded with a post script noting the Saline River was low, “and bottom consequently must be practicable for artillery.”

Also on this date in 1864, General Orders Number 65 was issued by the Headquarters of the Department of Arkansas which assigned Brigadier-General Joseph R. West with the U.S. Volunteers to the duty as “chief of cavalry of the Department of Arkansas.”

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A dispatch was sent on this date in 1864 from DeValls Bluff telling Steele that the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment left on a train from that place en route to Pine Bluff. The 106th Illinois was expected to travel with the 126th. In DeValls Bluff, C.C. Andrews, Brigadier-General, wrote to Captain C.H. Dyer in Little Rock, the 1st Nebraska was, “at station two miles this side of Ashley’s now” and “the 3rd Michigan has gone to Brownsville.”

The same dispatch inquired as to whether Dyer would like the 1st Nebraska as a guard for the Federals’ animals. On this date he relayed there were ninety serviceable horses and about two hundred men of the same detachment. “The men are all recruits, unassigned, and have never been drilled [and] It would be well if they could be instructed.” Andrews concluded, “I have recommended Lieutenant-Colonel Stephens’ resignation.

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Also on this date in 1864, Colonel A.H. Ryan in Lewisburg wrote to Brigadier-General E.A. Carr that he had at his post “120,000 rations, about 250 tons.” He went on to say that the only way to move these rations was to use transportation that belonged to the regiments, “and not sufficient to haul the Government property in possession of the regiments.” In the case Ryan might have to abandon the area, “it would force me to destroy about two hundred tons of Government stores, unless transportation can be furnished from Little Rock.”

The report goes on to note that if Ryan were attacked by J.O. Shelby, he told Carr, with what troops are here I think I can hold this place…and if you can spare another infantry regiment I know I can.”

He warns Carr that if anyone thought the Federal army was withdrawing from Lewisburg, that would have a negative effect on the troops and the civilians in the vicinity. “I trust, general, that you will permit the troops that are here to remain…In a moral point of view, as far as this section of the country is concerned, I think it will have a bad effect on our cause, as the people here abouts have been led to believe that we are firmly fixed at this post and they act accordingly.”

“The mere appearance of a withdrawal of troops from this post will seem to them to be an acknowledgement that we are unable or afraid to cope with the forces under Shelby, and I should be sorry to have them believe either.

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Also on this date in 1864, General Carr wrote to Colonel Powell Clayton in Pine Bluff that Clayton needed to keep watch over the telegraph lines near his garrison. He then tells Clayton, “Your troops must not be occupied in guarding plantations when it interferes in the slightest degree with their other duties or their comforts.” In a separate dispatch Clayton responds to this accusation, “Your order in reference to my guarding plantations is unnecessary, as I am not engaged in that business at present.”

Carr goes on to tell Clayton that a wagon train was being sent to forage in the vicinity of Clear Lake and tells Clayton to send a warning of any force of Confederates were moving up the north side of the Arkansas River.

Intelligence report of one hundred Confederate cavalry in Benton, “and a report that Carwford’s brigade had been there two hours before.” He also notes, “The Saline rebels seem to be moving somewhere. 106th and 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment will embark for your post unless something happens.”

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In another report, General Steele sent Clayton a dispatch asking, “What has become of the Annie Jacobs? She was aground yesterday morning.” Intelligence reports from local citizens note that, “the rebels are advancing on us in force from Texas and Louisiana, and Magruder in command at Camden.” He then tells Clayton that General Price had been assigned to the Confederate cavalry. Two regiments of infantry were ordered to Pine Bluff, and, “The steamers are ready to take them.”

Canby has been trying to get the Federal forces to abandon Pine Bluff, but Steele refuses to have Clayton abandon the city. He tells Clayton, “If you cannot hold the place I presume you can retire across the pontoon and come up the other side of the river.”

The report also told of a steamboat Empress that had sixty-three shots put through her along the Mississippi River at Gaines Landing, now in Chicot County. The boat was disabled and towed with a gunboat. The report noted twenty were killed and wounded, including, “the captain’s head was taken off.”

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A report was sent from Powell Clayton to General Steele noting, “Cabell, with about two thousand cavalry, is eighteen miles from here, on the road leading from Mount Elba to Pine Bluff.” He noted the Confederates have been there a few days. “I cannot tell what his object is unless it is to cover movement of troops in this direction.” In another dispatch, Clayton tells Steele, “looks as if a movement was taking place in the rear that they desired to screen.”

To compound his problems with an already-small garrison in Pine Bluff, Clayton reminds Steele that the term for service for the 1st Indiana Cavalry expired yesterday and they would be ordered to Little Rock and sent aboard the Annie Jacobs. Addressing his outposts, Clayton tells Steele, “I have been compelled to mount what is left of the 3rd Minnesota, say about two hundred men.”

Regarding the capture and burning of the Miller, Clayton notes that it was one of the most “pusillanimous affairs upon the part of those on board that I have ever heard of…She was Captured and destroyed by three men.” Clayton and his command felt the brunt of its demise, as mail and stores were en route to the Pine Bluff garrison. Because of this event, Clayton recommends that all official government and military documents be duplicated.

Clayton does realize, however, the dire situation he might find himself in soon. He sends a scouting party to see if the Confederates are crossing the Saline River, which he believes is the case. He tells Steele, “To allow the enemy to obtain this point [Pine Bluff] would be to give them a strong foothold and a good base for operations upon our communications.”

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The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries:

Lemuel Moore, from Atlanta, Illinois, served in Company E of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died at Pine Bluff on this date in 1864. He enlisted in the 106th on August 6, 1862.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

John F. Wilcox, from Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, served in Company A of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died at Brownsville today in 1864.

Robert F. Cass from Company D of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment, died at Brownsville.

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After having left out on an expedition in the Arkansas Delta, Confederate General J.O. Shelby’s report continues from the August 6, 1864 entry:

I now determined to make a direct attack upon the railroad, having received communications from General Price to the effect that he would probably cross it on August 24. So on the 20th I started with 2,000 armed men and Collins’ battery and traveled rapidly in that direction. Big Cypress Creek was running out bank full, which caused me to march almost due south to Austin, forty miles from Little Rock, and then back north again. Leaving Colonel Dobbin at Austin to cover the crossing with his command, I reached the railroad, six miles from Devall’s Bluff. Marching quietly along in column, with no flags flying, and everything well closed up, the appearance presented was that of a returning Federal expedition. The entire prairie was dotted with little knots and groups of the enemy, some cutting hay, some on guard, some drilling, and some lolling listlessly in the sun. Williams, with his advance, broke their noonday sleep with the ring of revolvers, and the surprised and frightened enemy ran away to cover. Sending Colonel Hunter and Major McDaniel down the road to watch Devall’s Bluff, and forming Colonel McCray as a reserve, I opened fire on Redoubt Numbers 1, which, after a few well-directed shots, surrendered. Numbers 2 and Numbers 3 re-enforced Numbers 4 and made a vigorous stand. Dismounting Colonel Shanks’ brigade and bringing up Collins’ battery, I opened with artillery and moved up with the infantry at the charge. The garrisons did not wait, however, until the test came, but surrendered unconditionally. Numbers 5, seeing the result, re-enforced Numbers 6, which was held by Colonel Mitchell and the veteran Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry. They held out well under the splendid and pitiless practice of Collins’ artillery, and I again dismounted Shanks’ brigade and moved forward to the attack. Time was pressing. A very large force of infantry and cavalry came hurrying down from Devall’s Bluff, driving back Hunter and McDaniel slowly and painfully. Another force of similar size came from the direction of Little Rock, and these two columns, like dark clouds, united with a somber, sullen glare. Out from the doomed fort now the garrison rushed for hope and help and made a beautiful run for their friends. I had anticipated this, and held in reserve a sufficient force of cavalry, which now dashed away after the fugitives. In ten minutes they were overtaken, ridden over, and double-quicked to the rear, the bullets from the enemy plowing in among their ranks. While the fight lasted, and before it commenced, large details were tearing up the railroad, burning forage, breaking reaping machines, and destroying all kinds of Federal property. The enemy came down upon me in large numbers, but calling up Jackman and getting in all my detachments, I moved off. They charged twice feebly, but were easily repulsed, and I marched back toward Austin, followed by them and fighting them during all the rest of the day. I traveled all night and reached Austin at daylight, having marched forty miles and fought six hours.

The result of the expedition was gratifying. Over 450 Federals were captured, 300 killed and wounded, 6 forts taken and destroyed, vast quantities of forage destroyed, ten miles of railroad torn up, the rails heated and bent and the ties consumed, the telegraph broken down, and hay machines, oxen, wagons, and supplies used up or driven off. Our loss in killed and wounded, 170.

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.

19Aug/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (August 19)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 19, 1861, Henry Halleck was promoted to Major General. Though he was not in Arkansas at that time, he would find himself in command of Federal forces in Arkansas by mid-war.

On this date in 1862 the Federal army was on an expedition from Helena, down Mississippi and up Yazoo River (August 16-27).

On this date in 1864, the Federal army was on day five of ten of operations in North West Arkansas and South West Missouri.

The James Ginnett Collection included the following from Pine Bluff from August 19, 1864:

-Daniel B. Smith, aged 34 and born in New York, died at Pine Bluff. He served in Company C of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

-First Sergeant Dennis Forrester from Company K of the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment, was discharged for a disability at St. Louis

-William Maynard, from Whitewater, Wisconsin, enlisted in Company C of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

-Horace Bigelow, from Sugar Creek, Wisconsin, enlisted in Company E of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

-Mathias J. Sargeant, from Rockport, Indiana, died in Pine Bluff. He served in Company A (reorganized) of the 1st Indiana Cavalry Regiment.

Interestingly on this date in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln met with abolitionist and former slave Fredrick Douglas. Lincoln was looking ahead asking Douglas for help in relocating slaves north in the event the north was unsuccessful in winning the war.

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.