One hundred and fifty years ago, the Confederate army was licking its wounds following a series of devastating failures in Arkansas, including Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge, Helena, and Little Rock. The Headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department was now in Shreveport, LA and the district, up until this day in 1863 was comprised of one command. By orders of Lt. general T.H. Holmes, the Trans-Mississippi district would not consist of two separate commands: Arkansas and the Indian Territory:
“From the difficulty and uncertainty of communication between the two armies as at present situated, and in consequence of the direct intercourse now established between department headquarters and the command of Brigadier-General Steele, it is important that he should make his reports and returns direct.”
It was also this week one hundred and fifty years ago that the Confederate force near Camden began preparations for their winter quarters just west of town. According to soldiers’ diaries, it was this week that daily sermons were preached throughout camps in South Arkansas. The winter of 1863-4 was the winter that saw mass camp revivals and the eventual turning to God by the South.