As the Civil War was winding down one hundred and fifty years ago, refugees from every corner of the state were on the brink of starvation. As supply routes faded away and food sources dried up across the state, the Union army and refugees behind Union lines in the Ozarks had another plan. According to a dispatch sent by Colonel M. La Rue Harrison to Brigadier-General Sanborn, “There are in the counties of Benton, Washington, and Madison sixteen fresh colonies as agricultural settlements, twelve of which are well organized.”
The colonies that appeared in North West Arkansas, “number an aggregate of about 1,200 men, mostly armed.” The dispatch noted, “The colonies all build fortifications [and] not less than 15,000 acres will be cultivated this summer by them.”
In the relative safety in the established colonies in the Ozarks, “The colonies on Pea Ridge number 108 men… They tell me they have 4,000 acres under fence, and will cut 800 acres of wheat in July.” With a more dependable food source, the refugees, “are in better spirits than ever before since the war began. We truly have cause to rejoice.”
As the war wound down, thus did the number of military actions in the state. Those that occurred this week one hundred and fifty years ago include a scout from Pine Bluff to Bayou Bartholomew from April 1-4; and skirmishes on April 2 at Van Buren and Hickory Station. For a complete list of military actions in Arkansas during the Civil War, go to www.arkansastoothpick.com.
LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has approved applications for Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Markers in Sevier, Benton and Pulaski counties, ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree announced today.
The approved markers are:
* Sevier County in the Civil War, commemorating the county’s efforts to supply men and materials for the Confederate army. Sponsored by the Sevier County Genealogical Society, the marker will be placed at the Belleville Church and Cemetery
* Skirmishes at Mudville, commemorating Civil War events near what is now Lowell. Sponsored by the Lowell Historical Museum, the marker will be placed near 300 Old Wire Road in Lowell.
* Arkansas Cadets at New Market, commemorating Arkansas youths at the Virginia Military Institute who fought in the battle of New Market. Sponsored by the Downtown Dames, the marker will be placed in Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock.
Through the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker Program, the ACWSC works with local partners to help tell the stories of how the Civil War affected communities around the state. The Commission hopes that there will be at least one marker in each of the state’s 75 counties by the end of the commemoration in 2015. Counties that currently do not have Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Markers are Bradley, Calhoun, Crawford, Franklin, Hot Spring, Howard, Lafayette, Lawrence, Montgomery, Newton, Polk and Sharp.
To date, 116 markers in 63 counties have been approved. Marker applications are available at http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/historical-markers/markers.aspx.
For more information on sesquicentennial plans, visit http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is housed within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.
Little Rock – In commemoration of the 110th anniversary of the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives, the agency will host digitization clinics each Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in its conference room.
For the April digitization clinics, AHC staff invites the general public to bring in material appropriate for scanning on flatbed scanners or for photographing, such as documents, maps or photographs. AHC archivists will scan and save to CDs copies of scanned material for the public. Members of the general public who choose to take advantage of this free scanning service will be asked to share the digital copies with the History Commission for research, exhibits and publication.
“The digitization clinic is a modern twist on the way the History Commission built its collections from the beginning,” said Commission Director Dr. Lisa Speer. “Through the years, our collections have grown thanks to the foresight of historically minded citizens across Arkansas and the U.S. We still like receiving donations of historical manuscripts and records, but we recognize that not everyone is ready to donate their family papers and memorabilia. This digitization clinic provides them with an option to share the content, while maintaining the originals during their lifetime.”
The Arkansas History Commission was created during the 1905 session of the Arkansas General Assembly for the purpose of collecting and preserving Arkansas’s significant wealth of historic material.
For additional information on the Arkansas History Commission and these clinics, please phone 501-682-6900 or email email@example.com.
One hundred and fifty years ago, large numbers of refugees were having an extremely difficult time in Arkansas. According to a dispatch sent to Lt. Colonel John Levering in Fort Smith, “I am very much embarrassed with the very large number of destitute people who are colonizing near the posts of this command. I fear most of these people will be driven from their colonies by rebel bands, who are already making their appearance in considerable numbers.”
Following several years of war in Arkansas, the land was bereft of any sizable crop nor other food supplies to subsist on. As the irregular war comprised of raids by bushwacker bands of roving outlaws on citizens and Union forces throughout the state, the dispatch noted, “The guerrillas have already made their appearance, robbing people within one mile of my lines. On the north side of the river they are quite numerous; near Fayetteville two or three parties, each numbering 50 to 100.”
Many Arkansas citizens had to relocate within the Union lines for protection from the roaming bands of irregulars. The dispatch noted, “The citizens now occupy every cabin and field within five to ten miles of this place and Van Buren, all of whom expect protection from the Government. The organization of companies for their own protection will amount to nothing. They will be so much scattered that they cannot protect themselves.”
As the war wound down in Arkansas, her citizens were left at the mercy of that same army that invaded in 1862.