One hundred and fifty years ago, the Confederate Army was busily preparing the administration of its military infrastructure in the area west of the Mississippi River, specifically Arkansas. Confederate Generals arrived in Little Rock to take their place in their respective districts.
Major General Earl Van Dorn arrived in the capitol city in the later days of January 1862, which, according to a Little Rock newspaper, “does not conflict with General Price, who will retain command of the Missouri troops.” The same article noted that Confederate General Ben McCulloch was “on his way to his command in the west”, and that General Albert Pike “proceeded westward to the Indian Country.
Arkansas’ military infrastructure was like steadily growing. The 26th of January 1862 marked the completion of the railroad between Devall’s Bluff to Little Rock: “The last spike being driven in by our venerable townsman W.E. Woodruff, Sr…The [rail] cars are making regular trips now and we are in communication with White River, a stream navigable all year.”
As Arkansawyers busied themselves building and maintaining the infrastructure, communications were improved throughout the state. Arkansas was making ready for an inevitable invasion from the North.