One hundred and fifty years ago, the Yankees were trying hard to get Arkansas readmitted back into the Union. Since the fall of Little Rock in September of 1863, that had been the goal of the invading army. In February 1864, General Orders Number 2 was issued, noting that “the loyal citizens will take the proclamation oath of allegiance preparatory to reorganizing the State government, viz: Little Rock, Helena, Pine Bluff, Van Buren, Fayetteville, Darda-nelle, Lewisburg, Batesville, and Devall’s Bluff.”
Issued by General Steele, the orders were meant to prepare a rebellious state for readmission back into the Union. Steele began making his preparations for the ill-fated Red River Campaign soon after these orders were drafted.
Military actions this week in 1864 included a skirmish at Rolling Prairie on Feb.4; a skirmish at Mountain Fork on Feb. 4; an expedition left from Helena up the White River from Feb. 4-8; a skirmish on Crooked Creek on Feb. 5; a skirmish on the White River on the 7th; a skirmish at Morgan’s Mills on the White River on the 9th; a skirmish at Tomahawk Gap also on the 9th; a skirmish at Lake Village on the 10th; and a skirmish at Pocahontas on the 10th.