Following the various calls for troops in Arkansas in 1861 was the inevitable call for clothing for the army. Calls for more troops seemed to have backfired as seen in last week’s column as the majority of Arkansas’ state officials had enlisted in the Confederate Army, leaving their state offices vacant. This week’s column deals with yet another factor that plagued the fledgling Arkansas Confederate troops: the want of weaponry.
As noted in an August 1861 newspaper, John A. Jordan had been appointed by the Confederate States government as an agent whose responsibility it was to purchase arms from the citizens of Arkansas. As noted in an advertisement, “He will not only purchase ‘regulation arms,’ such as Muskets and Rifles, both Flint and Percussion made for the army, but also Double Barrelled Shot Guns and Country Rifles.”
Arkansawyers who were in possession of the above-mentioned weapons were urged to bring them to the Little Rock Arsenal where the owners would be reimbursed with cash. The early months of the Civil War saw many Southern units extremely ill-prepared and ill-equipped.
Arkansas troops were facing more logistical issues other than the procurement of weapons; clothing was still paramount on the list of items the Confederates were in critical need of. Though Winter was still several months distant, clothing was being produced in record amounts throughout the South- Arkansas was no exception.
Only a couple weeks following the Confederate victory at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, many Arkansawyers knew that the War would be over sooner than later; it was only a mater of time before things would get back to normal (or would they?).