The first column of the new year reflects that though the new year had begun, it was business as usual in the mustering up of militia troops around the state in a general preparedness for a state of emergency. Following the recent election of Henry Massie Rector as Governor of Arkansas, a series of resolutions passed through the General Assembly in later 1860 regarding the updating of militia laws in Arkansas.
This week’s historical note features an article found in a January, 1861 Des Ark newspaper showing the various demographics in which militia units are formed. Note that some of the troops making up this specific unit “carried the Stars and Stripes from the banks of the Rio Grande to the City of Mexico in triumph, and are of the stock who made their rifles tell with such deadly effect at New Orleans.” This leads today’s historian to believe that this militia unit, and others in general, consisted of a wide range of ages:
[DES ARC, ARK.] THE CONSTITUTIONAL UNION, January 4, 1861
In accordance with our announcement, the members of Company E, of the Arkansas Militia, paraded on Saturday, the 22d ult. The day was pleasant, and the Company turned out in force. We are glad to see that our people are beginning to realize the importance of a well-drilled militia. The turn-out on that occasion was highly creditable to all concerned, showing that our citizens want nothing but proper drill to render them the best soldiers in the world. Some of them are the same men who carried the Stars and Stripes from the banks of the Rio Grande to the City of Mexico in triumph, and are of the stock who made their rifles tell with such deadly effect at New Orleans. Born, as you might say, with rifle in hand, and trained to the use of arms, the Arkansian is a soldier from birth. Where can one find better horsemen than in our midst? Where can one find a people better prepared to bear up under a lengthy march? To the officers of this company, much credit is due for the soldierly way in which they performed their duties. The second battalion muster of this township will come off on the 2d of April, instead of the 1st of March as we previously announced. Hurrah for the Arkansas Militia.