One hundred and fifty years ago, both the Union and Confederate armies had great difficulties holding their men in the ranks following four long and hard years of fighting. By December of 1864, following General Orice’s raid into Missouri, specifically, the Confederates were dealing with troops abandoning their posts.
According to a dispatch sent by Confederate Major-General J.B. Magruder, the Rebs were in dire straits and had to conserve their forage as well. The plan was to, “save corn by dismounting those who are to be dismounted as soon as possible”. Regarding the troops leaving the army before the war ended, the general noted, “I am informed that many of these furloughed men will not return at all. A plot was reported last night in which officers and soldiers were engaged to desert their commands and go north of the Arkansas River.” Magruder’s plan was to, “have stationed troops to intercept the conspirators, with orders to shoot them down.”
Military actions that took place in Arkansas one hundred and fifty years ago this week include an expedition sent from Devall’s Bluff up the White River from the 13th-15th; a skirmish on December 16 near Dudley’s Lake; and a skirmish on the 19th at Rector’s Farm. For a complete list of military actions that took place in Arkansas during the Civil War, go to www.arkansastoothpick.com.