One hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansas and her Southern sympathizers were becoming increasingly the target of aggression by the Northern foe. In April, 2013, the focus of domestic terrorism enacted by the Federal army was Eastern Arkansas as nearly a thousand Yankees landed at Wittsburg (on the St. Francis River). The force consisted of cavalry and artillery. According to a Little Rock-based newspaper, “On their way up the river, they landed a considerable force at Linden, in St. Francis county, which secured the whole country across Crowley’s Ridge all the way up to Wittsburg”.
The editorial continued, “I do not suppose the enemy has made a raid in any portion of the Confederacy since the war commenced, where the consequences resulted with as much injury or detriment to the interest to the citizens as the one here alluded to. They robbed the whole country, taking off negroes in large numbers from every one who owned them, taking every horse and mule that they could possibly get hold of, and every thing else of value.”
By breaking the will of the citizenry of Arkansas, the Federal forces enacted an all-out war on the unarmed loyal Southerners within reach. As the Yankees made thrie way from plantationto plantation, they “demanded the money and all valuables of every one they met with, making a general search at every residence, by bursting open drawers, trunks, etc., with revolvers in their hands.”
The editorial concluded with an instance of one of the plundering parties’ loot gained at the residence of a Mr. Samuel Johnson when the Federal army “required Mrs. Johnson to divest herself of every piece of her clothing, stripping her entirely of every garment she had on, save one; at which place they obtained $2,500 in gold and silver, and similar occurrences were common. They carried off about 1,000 negroes, it is supposed. Many who were wealthy as it were on yesterday, to-day are destitute and needy.”