Following the Battle of Prairie Grove, both armies were in need of supplies to battle the harsh winter climate in North West Arkansas. As Hindman’s worn and weary Confederate soldiers trudged through the frigid marches, licking their wounds, and reorganizing, the need for a plan to replenish sustenance for the hungry Rebs took shape on December 17, 1862 in General Hindman’s General Order Number 67.
In this General Order, Hindman placed the Chief Quarter Master in charge of taking “into possession immediately, for a limited time either by hire or impressments, as many as five hundred wagon teams and drivers of citizens, organize the same into trains under proper agents, and employ them in hauling forage for the command.”
Hindman knew he needed more supplies than could easily be obtained and thus impressed upon the Arkansas citizens in NW Arkansas the need for their help. Areas affected by this General Order were Fort Smith, Van Buren, Dardanelle, and Clarksville. Hindman noted in the conclusion of Section 3 of General Order 67, “ This order or a copy thereof will be exhibited to each citizen whose property may be taken as aforesaid.”
As Arkansas got its second glimpse of the awesome carnage resulting in a large-scale battle, following the large engagement at Elk Horn Tavern (Pea Ridge), citizens and soldiers alike were growing weary. As the cold set in, both armies did what they had to do to survive at the cost of many lives and untold amount of property confiscation and destruction. How long could Arkansas hold up?