One hundred and fifty years ago, the summer of 1862 took its toll on soldiers in both armies. As camps became crowded disease became commonplace. As the drought continued, crops failed, soldiers got sick, and Arkansas citizens wore themselves out in a meager and in many cases, poor and desperate existence. What little there was to eat was being devoured by the Confederate and Federal armies scattered across the state.
As US forces made their way to Helena, located on the Mississippi River, Hindman saw the need to strengthen the Confederate position on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff. General Orders Number 27 dismisses General Roane from the Ouachita and moved his HQ to Pine Bluff. Roane is now in command of Jefferson, Bradley, Arkansas, Chicot, Drew, Ashley “and that part of Desha south of Arkansas River…”. Included in his new territory was Arkansas Post.
Among those troops under his command was the 24th Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Organized at Camp White Sulphur Springs in Jefferson County, this unit was one of many that were captured by the Federal Army at Arkansas Post in January 1863.
This week one hundred and fifty years ago saw several military and political actions throughout the state. A few are listed below:
7-12-1862: Skirmish, Bentonville
7-13-1862: Bragg orders Parson’s Missouri Guards to report to Arkansas.
7-14-1862: Skirmish, Batesville
7-14-1862: Skirmish, near Helena
7-15-1862: Action near Fayetteville
7-15-1862: General’s Shelby and Cockrell move into Union controlled Missouri from Frog Bayou.