Arkansas In The Civil WarBy the middle of October 1862, the Confederate forces in Arkansas were few and far between. With organizing camps scattered across the state, Arkansas was steadily trying to build up her defenses against the invading bluecoats. While the Federal army continued to eke out a meager existence from Northwest Arkansas to Helena, the Confederate army was doing all it could do to increase her ranks with able-bodied men.

A letter dated October 13, 1862 from Waldo P. Johnson to Jacob Harrington gives an interesting account of how men were enticed into the Confederate Army in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In this letter, the Confederate Secretary of War and the Commander of the Trans-Mississippi gave a directive to organize Missourian troops into Confederate service for “the term of three years or the War, to be composed of able bodied men.” The order continued with a directive to have the men report to Camp Morgan near Bentonville. The order concluded: “A bounty of $50 will be paid to each recruit.”

With Federal soldiers spread from Northwest Arkansas to Helena in East Arkansas, the continued organization of Confederate troops was ever-more apparent and necessary. Other active organization points across the state included Bayou Meto outside Little Rock and Camp White Sulphur Springs near Pine Bluff.

As the winter drew closer, soldiers in both the Confederate and Federal armies were actively gathering supplies for the cold season ahead.