05Oct/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (October 5)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn October 5, 1864 General Powell Clayton wrote to Dyer to let him know that the steamer Carrie Jacobs arrived in Pine Bluff to reinforce the garrison amid a Confederate threat. The steamer arrived at 4pm and on board were soldiers from the 27th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.

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The James Ginnett collection only had a couple entries today:

James M. Darnell or McLeansboro, Illinois was in Company H of the 13th Illinois Cavalry. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

Chauncey D. Gibbs, aged 19, was born in Ohio. He Served in Company G of the 3rd MN Infantry. He was discharged today on expiration of term.

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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.

05Oct/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (October 4)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasBrigadier-General Elias S. Dennis drafted a report to Major-General J.J. Reynolds on October 4, 1864. Having noted that he received a dispatch sent from September 26, he goes on to say that the weathr has been, “remarkably wet, cold, and unpleasant at this point, and as no preparations have been made for winter the troops are not very comfortable.” Regarding the eager disposition of his troops to be paid, he tells Reynolds, “The arrival of a paymaster will be hailed with delight, as a portion of my command have not been paid for over five months.”

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Another dispatch making it is rounds that day was written by General Fredrick Steele, addressed to Brigadier-General E.S. Dennis, who was then at the mouth of the White River. The information intended for Dennis noted, “The rebels are making strong demonstrations against Pine Bluff [and] I have sent a brigade of cavalry and a regiment of infantry from here to re-enforce General Clayton.”

In the same dispatch, Steele tells Dennis that, “It is probable that Price will soon be driven south [and] Spies report that Magruder will attack both pine Bluff and Little Rock; in this event I have scarcely force sufficient to hold my own.” Due to troop shortages in the case of an attack by Price, General Steele urged Dennis to send him a brigade without haste to DeValls Bluff to report to Steele.

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In another dispatch sent out by General Steele was sent to Major-General E.R.S. Canby. He told Canby that Confederates under the command of Magruder were making demonstrations against Clayton in Pine Bluff. He noted, “All the roads leading there from the south and west and the north bank of the Arkansas are picketed.” The dispatch continued, “I have re-enforced Clayton by a brigade of cavalry and a regiment of infantry, and ordered him to drive in the rebel pickets on the Monticello road, and develop the force at that point.”

Intelligence reports from spies note that, “Magruder anticipates that Price will soon be driven south, in which event he will attack both Pine Bluff and Little Rock, while Price and Shelby fall upon Devall’s Bluff and destroy the railroad.” One problem Steele faces at this moment in the war is the fact that, “My force is being constantly reduced by the muster out of non-veterans.” He noted, “The veteran portions of regiments do not return, as General Halleck promised they should.” Steele closed his frustrated dispatch, “The confusion occasioned by non-veterans being left behind without sufficient date for their muster out is a very serious annoyance.”

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Also on this date, Special Orders 242 was distributed among the Federal army in Arkansas by order of Major-General Fredrick Steele. Sections I and XIII follow:

I. The detachment of the Third Kansas Battery not assigned to Battery K, First Missouri Light Artillery, is hereby temporarily assigned to Battery E, Second Missouri Light Artillery.

XIII. The detachment of the Forty-third Indiana Infantry Volunteers is hereby relieved from duty in this department and will proceed to Indianapolis, Ind., and report at he headquarters of the regiment, for the purpose of being mustered out of the service. The quartermaster’s department will furnish the necessary transportation.

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Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

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In response to a dispatch sent earlier on this date, Assistant Adjutant-General C.H. Dyer wrote to Brigadier-General Solomon, “The brigadier-general commanding directs that your order one regiment of infantry to embark on the steamer Carrie Jacobs and proceed to Pine Bluff.” The troops are to report immediately to General Powell Clayton upon arrival.
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Also on this date General F. Solomon wrote Special Orders Number 113, of which section II follows: “II. The Twenty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry will embark without delay on the steamer Carrie Jacobs, to proceed to Pine Bluff. On arriving at Pine Bluff the commanding officer will report to Brigadier General Powell Clayton.”
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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.

05Oct/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (October 3)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasLieutenant Grove from the Pine Bluff garrison sent a scouting expedition on October 3 toward Mount Elba. While on his scouting mission the command captured a Confederate lieutenant and eight soldiers who was reported to belong to Major’s Texas brigade whao was then stationed at Mount Elba and Chowning’s Ferry. Powell Clayton wrote to Steele in his report that Lieutenant Grove reported, “Major’s brigade had orders to cross the Saline to-day, but failed to do so on account of the rain.” He continued, “A portion of the command at Monticello crossed to Warren yesterday.”

Clayton then told Steele that Grove’s information obtained from his scout did not contradict earlier info sent toe Steele earlier in the day. Clayton continued his dispatch to Steele with important intelligence:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

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“I think there can be doubt but that the enemy are for some reason changing their base. If we had the cavalry re-enforcements have now I think we might strike them a timely blow. In case the Saline should rise and hinder their crossing we may do so as it is. I expect a man in from the Saline to-morrow, from whom we can obtain further information. It may be that more can be accomplished by striking first for Mount Elba and then by going direct for Monticello.”
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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.

02Oct/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (October 2)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn October 2, 1862 General-in-Chief H.W. Halleck wrote to Major-General Samuel R. Curtis in Saint Louis telling him that the military governor of Arkansas has telegraphed that General Fredrick Steele was ordered to send a portion of his force to Sulphur Springs by water. Halleck comments to Curtis, “I fear that you will regret dividing his army, and that the part left at Helena will be useless or lost.” Halleck continues, “Unless you find it absolutely necessary to withdraw General Steele he ought to operate from Helena.”

Regarding the troops needed to perform military operations west of the Mississippi River, hedoes, however, reassure Curtis that, “The moment Cincinnati and Louisville are relieved I can give you more troops from Illinois and Ohio.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

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Later in the day Curtis responds to Halleck that General Fredrick Steele’s movements were, in fact, in accordance with a suggestion make by Halleck, “of the 18th ultimo to General Schofield to co-operate with Missouri troops.” Curtis then tells Halleck, regarding the movement of Steele’s troops via water to Sulphur Springs, “ Water is the quickest and safest route.”

Regarding the division of troops from Helena, Curtis explains to Halleck, “I had to divide the Helena force to do anything, as I do not wish to abandon Helena.” Curtis continued, “Phelps has his heart set on Little Rock, which at this time would be only an incumbrance [but] It is easy to re-enforce Helena if you let me have fresh troops, and the health and discipline of the Army will be improved by the change.”

In Curtis’ reply, he also includes intelligence information. He notes that while, “McBride, with 5,000 or 6,000 men, presses upon Boyd at Pilot Knob, where we hold not half the force.” He continued, “I could not draw from any other source but Helena.”

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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.

01Oct/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (October 1)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn October 1, 1862 General Samuel R. Curtis wrote to Brigadier-General John M. Schofield about several topics. He began with telling Schofield to give building a fort in Springfield, Missouri a second thought. Samuel Curtis has experience with this wth the building of Fort Curtis in Helena, which was still under construction when this letter was drafted. “We cannot keep a large force at such an out-of-the-way place, and therefore we may find such works an incumbrance.”

He tells Schofield, “I am fortifying Helena, and do not object very extensively.” Curtis continued, “I suppose 1,000 men would be a sufficient garrison after we driven the enemy back, as we must do; but let me hear from you about this fort building.” Regarding the logistics behind the labor in building a fortress, Curtis tells Schofield, “Contrabands should be used as far as possible. I use nothing else at Helena.”

Another topic of interest in this dispatch regards the trip Governor Phelps made to Cairo, Illinois to attempt to get Curtis to countermand an order: “Governor Phelps came up to Cairo to get me to countermand orders which I sent for Steele to move promptly to Pilot Knob, in conformity with you suggestions.” He continued, “It seems therefore, General Steele did not start before my orders arrived; probably on the 28th.” He related that, “Governor Phelps is anxious for troops to go into Southwest Arkansas, and seems to think the Arkansas troops are still most of them near Little Rock, and not on the borders of Missouri.” Curtis stubbornly related, “However this may be, I do not countermand, but hope Steele is moving up as I can have more force for your army and that in the southeast of this State.”

“Boyd thinks McBride has 5,000 or 6,000, and he ought to know better than Governor Phelps, as he is much nearer McBride.” Continued Curtis. “All accounts concur in the opinion that a considerable force has been added to the Arkansas conscripts from Missouri and Texas; therefore your force must be massed till it is organized and ready to drive whatever the enemy may have.”

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In another matter, General Schofield wrote to Curtis from Osang Spring, Arkansas telling his about a scouting expedition that was sent out yesterday morning that went several miles, “beyond the camp from which the enemy was driven by General Herron, but could find no trace of them.” He continued, “I therefore returned to this place with General Totten’s division.”

Intelligence gathered from the scouting mission revealed that Confederates were believed to be, “concentrating and intend to try aggressive operations in this part of the State, probably along the interior line, from Hartville and Yellville to Springfield.” Intelligence also included, “Hindman brought some arms to Ozark for his conscripts, and I believe one brigade, about 3,000 strong, under McRae, has since come up [and] I make his forces when concentrated from 25,000 to 30,000.”

Before closing, Schofield tells Curtis that he will be, “ watching the suspected movements as closely as possible, and hope to have reliable information soon. I may have to go for it in force. None of my spies return. Colonel Marsh has arrived.”

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The Military Governor of Arkansas John Phelps wrote to Samuel Curtis in Cairo that recent information from Arkansas. Following is the dispatch in its entirety:

CAIRO, October 1, 1862-10 a. m.
Major General SAMUEL R. CURTIS,
Saint Louis, Mo.:

SIR: Reliable and late information from White River that but a small force on borders of Missouri-McBride, 2,200 (only 1,500 effective); large force at Brownsville, Austin, Little Rock, and vicinity–25,000 to 30,000, with about fifty pieces of artillery. Regiment recently arrived from Texas. Arsenal at Arkadelphia, 60 miles southwesterly from Little Rock–make guns, gunpowder, percussion caps, and a force there.

If force your ordered to leave with General Steele shall be withdrawn, force at Helena inadequate to move either into Mississippi or Arkansas and hold Helena. Present more favorable time to move and obtain supplies in the country than at a later period.

Retrograde move will be disastrous, I fear. Orders to move had been given before Steele received your orders. Boats not now sufficient at Helena to move force ordered. Hope you will countermand your order and send Steele after the enemy in Arkansas.

Am sick. Came here to ask order be countermanded and await your reply. Your orders takes more than half effective infantry, and more than half the field pieces, mountain howitzers excepted.
JNO. S. PHELPS.

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Also on this date in 1862, by command of the Secretary of War and of General T.H. Holmes, section 2 of Special Orders Number 43 is presented verbatim:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

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II. The present production of salt in this department is not sufficient for supplying the army and the people. The price demanded is extortionate, and great inconvenience has ensued and much suffering will result from this cause. It is believed it can be remedied by carrying on the works on Government account; therefore all salt-works within the State of Arkansas and the Indian Territory which are not producing to their greatest capacity will be taken possession of by an agent of the Confederate States, to be designated from these headquarters, who will take steps at once to increase their production to the greatest extent possible. For this purpose he will be authorized to obtain, by hire or purchase, or, if necessary, by impressment, the requisite labor and material. The quartermaster’s and commissary departments will afford him every aid and assistance possible. The agent will set apart monthly for army use such proportion of the salt manufactured by him as may be required by the chief commissary of the department, not to exceed one-half of the amount manufactured. The remainder he will sell to citizens at the price of $1.50 per bushel, or less if the cost of manufacture is below that price, payable in Confederate money, or in corn, wheat, flour, pork, bacon, lard, and such other articles of subsistence as may be necessary, in due proportion of each, limiting the quantity of salt sold to each citizen to a reasonable supply for himself and family. The prices to be paid in salt for articles of subsistence will be regulated by the tariff. This applies when the articles are delivered at the place where produced. When delivered at Government depots the actual expense of transportation will be added. It must be perfectly palpable to everyone that on the successful operation of this order will depend the ability of the ability of the people to provide provisions for another year. As soon as the emergency is past the order will be rescinded. A fair compensation will be allowed the owners of the works seized.
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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.

30Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 30)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 30, 1861 Governor of Arkansas Henry M. Rector wrote a dispatch to the new Secretary of War for the Confederacy. Instead of adding a narrative or interpretation to what Rector had to say on this date in 1861, the whole of the letter is presented to our readers for two reasons: first of all we do not want to misinterpret what is written and secondly, it is important for our readers to read this interesting primary source:

EXECUTIVE OFFICE,
Little Rock, September 30, 1861.
Honorable SECRETARY OF WAR of the Confederate States:

SIR: In accordance with suggestions contained in a communication addressed to me by your predecessor, bearing date the 5th instant, I issued a proclamation calling for five regiments of men designed for General McCulloch’s command, and so informed the general, a copy of the letter addressed to him being inclosed to your Department.

On the 10th instant a proclamation was also issued by General McCulloch calling for 15,000 men from the State of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas-a printed copy herewith transmitted*-the 5,000 from Louisiana to be rendezvoused at the capital of this government, whether organized or to be assembled here as a mass of individuals I have not been apprised. The authorities of Arkansas were neither consulted as to the property of making this call nor advised in any manner that such was the purpose of the general.

To all demands made upon me by the Confederate Government I have therefore and shall continued to comply with as a constitutional duty, besides the personal gratification it affords of being able to minister something to the great cause in which we are all engaged. To the gallantry and patriotism of General McCulloch none can accord higher admiration than myself; nevertheless, I esteem it to be my duty, as the executive of this State, irrespective of considerations personal to myself, to express my disapproval of the attitude assigned the authorities of this government and that assumed for Confederate officers in the proclamation alluded to. May idea of the rights relatively belonging to the States and to the Confederate Government is that those pertaining to the former were by no means abridged by the withdrawal from the old Confederacy an a union with the new Government, but that all theretofore claimed upon the most liberal construction were conceded, both upon policy and principle.

The history of the United States, I believe, furnishes no precedent for the raising of men by proclamation emanating from generals commanding nor from the President. If such had been law or precedent, the intervention of State authority would doubtless have been dispensed with by Mr. Lincoln in his demand for troops from Arkansas. Such, fortunately, was not the practice or the law; and with all deference I submit that no example by authority ought to mar the next sheet of Confederate history.

I am aware that, by an act of the Provisional Congress, approved 28th February last, the President is authorized to receive into the service of the Government such forces then in the service of the States as might be tendered, “or who may volunteer by consent of their State,” meaning its authorities; but I am unadvised if legislation has trenched so far upon State prerogative as to authorize the calling of troops by any but State authority, and shall, if such is the law, reluctantly yield my assent to so serious an innovation upon State rights.

But, apart from policy and law, the practice is attended with discordant effort, confusion, contrariety of opinion, unsatisfactory results, and great waste and improvidence in expending the resources of the country. For instance, if the men called for by General McCulloch are raised by him, those assembled by my proclamation, after great expense to the State and sacrifice to the citizen, will be useless, and have to be disbanded. Again, if General McCulloch may issue proclamation, so may one or a dozen other officers do likewise, destroying all harmony of action, and putting aside State authority entirely. Again, an economy of men henceforth will be as important as that of money. Illy-advised calls, appealing strenuously to the people of particular sections of this State which have sent but few men to the field; others, by applying constant stimulants, have already turned out an overdue proportion. Of these facts Confederate generals can know nothing, whilst the right and knowledge for discrimination rest exclusively with the authorities of the States, and cannot be so well lodged anywhere else.

On a former occasion, July —, General McCulloch issued a proclamation calling for the entire military force of the State, evidently with the most laudable purposes, which met with approval from the necessity of the case, not deeming it probable that an isolated act would ripen into settled practice. I though it unnecessary to call attention to it at Richmond, unless supervenient facts determined that that call was assumed to have been made by an exercise of rightful authority, which now seems to be apparent. There are other persons and officers of the confederate Government of lesser rank then General McCulloch who, claiming to act by direction of your Government, are issuing addresses and proclamations, calling for troops from Arkansas, all which perplex and distract the minds and loyal purposes of the people, and are highly detrimental to the public service and offensive to the rights and dignity of this Government. In view of al which, I beg leave most sincerely and respectfully to request that henceforward all demands which it may be though proper to make upon this State for troops for Confederate service may be addressed to the proper authorities thereof, land that the military officers placed upon our frontiers be advised of the propriety in future of addressing themselves to such authorities in the procurement of troops needed for the Confederate Army.

Very respectfully,
H. M. RECTOR,
Governor of Arkansas.

* * *

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On September 30, 1862 Confederate General T.H. Holmes drafted Special Order Number 42, which consisted of six sections. The order is presented unedited:
I. Special Orders, No. 39, from these headquarters, is hereby suspended so far as the same relates to relieving Major-General Hindman from command of the District of Arkansas, and Brigadier-General Roane of the command of the troops at Pine Bluff, including Garland’s brigade.

II. Brigadier-General Roane will immediately proceed with his command toward Clarendon, and take post on the highlands near that place.

III. Brigadier-General McCulloch, with his entire infantry force, Haldeman’s and Edgar’s batteries, and the cavalry of his division, will move immediately to Devall’s Bluff, take post near that place, and report by telegraph to Major-General Hindman for further instructions.

IV. Brigadier-General Nelson, with his entire infantry force and Daniel’s battery, will proceed immediately to Clarendon, and report to Brigadier-General Roane.

V. Colonel McRae, with his entire infantry force and Woodruff’s battery, will proceed immediately to Des Are, and take post near that place. He will assume command of Pratt’s battery, and report to Major-General Hindman for further instructions.

VI. Colonel Parsons’ cavalry brigade is placed under the orders of Brigadier-General McCulloch.

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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.

29Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 29)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 29, 1862 Major-General William T. Sherman wrote to Samuel R. Curtis in Saint Louis. He began by noting Confederate General Thomas Hindman was back in Little Rock and had reestablished his communications. Since Hindman’s letters dealt with matters west of the Mississippi River, Sherman forwarded those matters to Curtis.

So as to keep Curtis informed, Sherman tells his that he responded to Hindman’s questions about Lieutenant Tollisen, who was, “arrested on the river for being concerned in some guerrilla raid, but had escaped prison; that of the others I know nothing and would refer to you.”

Sherman continued, “Of course I mentioned incidentally the ridiculous portion of his [Hindman’s] communication, his claiming the rights of civilized warfare for ununiformed, cowardly guerrillas, firing form ambush on unarmed steamers loaded with women and children, and his regret that his efforts to teach us the rules of civilized warfare had proven a failure.”

A previous question was raised by Sherman: “To my inquiry, ‘Why this flag of truce from Hindman–where is Holmes?’ I received answer. ‘Holmes is sick.’ [and] Hindman has no right to use a flag of truce if Holmes be at Little Rock; so I infer Holmes is on the march and Hindman sent to Little Rock to kick up a dust.” Sherman pokes, “You can draw your own inference.”

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On September 29, 1864 Lieutenant William Chandler, the Acting Assistant Adjutant General for the District of Eastern Arkansas in Helena drafted for Lieutenant A.F. Rice, commander of a scouting mission, a report of a scout from September 22 through the 28th. Written from Headquarters on Battery D Fortifications in Helena, it leaves historians believing it was drafted from the Colored Troops barracks on Military Road in Helena. The six day scouting mission is recorded in this dispatch.

Rice, having left out from Helena on September 22 at 5pm with twenty-one men from the 60th USCT (United States Colored Troops), they marched out to Ramsey’s Ferry situated on the St. Francis River. There, they crossed the river and murched pstream a mile and camped for the evening at Staton’s where they arrived at 2am.

The following morning of the 23rd they moved out from camp at 6am and continued upriver where at 8pm they made camp in a cane break less than a mile from Alligator Bayou. It was here that they captured a horse found tied in the brush. The horse beloned to John Maley. They picketed the roads in the vicinity and ended up sending six soldiers to observe a few homes for deserters from the 4th Arkansas Cavalry. The troops ended up capturing a deserter Benjamin Davis who belonged to Company I of the 4th Arkansas Cavalry (US). Stephen Oatman was also captured the same night. The latter turned himself in.

By 7am on the 24th the scouting mission made their way a mile to the mouth of Alligator Bayou. Pickets were thrown across the roads and it was here they camped until the following morning.
The morning of the 25th the command marched to Ball’s Point and, “pressed in horses enough to mount ten men.” Rice noted there was no Confederate force to be found in the area. He then, “sent a sergeant and ten men in charge of the prisoners, with a guide, through the canebrakes to Hamlin’s Landing, with orders to keep themselves secreted, with a picket to watch the road, and for them to remain there until I arrived.”

Rice noted that he took ten mounted men, “with Hardin and two citizens, proceeded to Burnt Cane Bend and Cut-Off, on Saint Francis River, also to the head of Fifteen Mile Bayou and Mud Lake.” He wrote that he ended up capturing, “in the rounds 4 prisoners, 3 horses, 1 mule, and 1 revolver; camped at Palmer’s plantation midnight; moved on the morning of the 26th to Council Bend, arriving there at 11 a. m.”

On the 26th at 3pm he took five men and went to Alligator Bayou where they collected some cattle. He wrote that he, “left Hardin with the men and prisoners at Council Bend, with instructions for him to take five men on the morning of the 27th and proceed up the river some five miles to collect some cattle.”

The report continued, “He, hearing of some rebels when he got there, started in pursuit, came upon their party, numbering six, and he reports that he killed 2 of them; the rest escaped.” In the action he ended up capturing three double-barreled guns, which he destroyed. This took place near Fifteen Mile Bayou.

“He came back in the evening, capturing on his return 2 prisoners, 1 a deserter from Battery E, Second U. S. Colored Artillery (light); the other claimed to be a citizen, but had a furlough on his person, which he claims to have written himself, for the purpose of keeping him from being conscripted in the rebel army.”

The morning of September 27, he reported, Rice began at daylight to round up some cattle, “and proceeded with them to Council Bend, bringing some belonging to a man by the name of Cook, that was out with me on the scout, arriving at Council Bend at 12 o’clock.” He continued, “The boat having arrived we proceeded to put the cattle on board.”

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Rice continued his report, “The second squad that were after cattle succeeded in getting about sixty head within one mile and a half of the boat, then had to leave them on account of its being too dark to see to drive them [and] That night left Hardin and eight men on shore mounted, taking the prisoners and balance of the men on the boat, and anchored out in the river until morning.”

On the morning of September 28, they, “landed and took six men and went in search of the cattle, but could not find them, they having strayed off in the canebrake, then went on board the boat, started for Helena, and arrived here at five o’clock last evening.”

Before closing he reported that two prisoners, Benjamin Davis and John West, escaped on September 26. “Davis escaped in the morning at daylight, through neglect of duty of the guard, he going asleep. West escaped in the evening, through the window of the house where the prisoners were kept. We captured and brought in all, told, 5 horses, 1 mules, 14 head of cattle, and 1 revolver.”

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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.