Saturday 4-6-1861: Secession Convention reconvenes to the news of Virginia and Tennessee leaving the Union which effectively ends any pro-Union resistance. The vote is held, only 5 pro-Union votes are recorded. David Walker calls for the 5 to change their votes so that the measure is unanimous to show that “Arkansas stands as a unit against coercion.” All dissenters change their votes save Isaac Murphy. At 10 minutes past 4 o’clock Arkansas left the Union amid “general acclamation that shook the building to its very foundations.”
Thursday 4-11-1861: Strong Union men appointed military commanders over the objections of Governor Rector. Some of the militia refused to fight under them. A political war breaks out between the Governor and the Secession Convention over who has authority. This continues for the rest of the month. Both the Conservatives and the now out of favor “family” work together to oust Rector.
Friday 4-12-1861: Fort Sumter fired on by Confederate forces to prevent its relief. Confusion reigns. Inquiries are made to the Governor of Missouri who replies that Missouri WILL secede and Arkansas better get out of the way. Pro-Union Arkansas Gazette gives up and calls for resistance to coercion by the Federal government. U.S. calls for 780 Arkansans to “suppress combinations”. Governor Rector refuses.
Thursday 4-18-1861: Seizure of U.S. Stores at Napoleon
Tuesday 4-23-1861: Rumors of Federal troops on the way to Fort Smith prompts Governor Rector to order the militia to seize the Fort. Boatloads of militia reach Fort Smith and find it abandoned by the U.S. Government. The trip back to Little Rock becomes a party and $500.00 damage to the boats are reported. This sets off a wave of pro-Confederate patriotism through most of the State.
Saturday 4-27-1861: Summons issued for the Secession Convention to reconvene.