One hundred and fifty years ago, irregular warfare was the norm in Arkansas. While Union and Confederate forces pushed each other across the state for the past 4 years, another war was brewing with the guerrilla fighters that harassed both Union and Confederate troops as well as the civilians scattered across the countryside.
Captain G.W. Suesberry of the 13th Illinois Cavalry in Pine Bluff wrote, “We then moved to Mrs. Voche’s farm, where we arrived at 4 p.m., and had a fight with Captain Husband’s command.” He continued, “Lieut. N. E. Orton, Company F, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry Volunteers, made a gallant charge with his platoon, completely routing the enemy, capturing 3 prisoners and severely wounding 1 man.”
Husband was the Captain of a band of irregulars stationed around the Union garrison in Pine Bluff. Following the incident at Mrs. Voche’s, Suesberry notes, “Captain Husband is also reported killed… We then moved to General Williams’ plantation, where we captured Lieutenant Richardson, of Hicks’ company, and a private of Vaugine’s band.”
Military actions similar to these became more common than not in 1865. Other military actions one hundred and fifty years ago include a skirmish at Bayou Meto on the 24th; a scout was sent from Helena to Clark’s Store on the 24th; an expedition from Pine Bluff to McMilley’s Farm from the 26-28; and a skirmish at McMiley’s Farm on the 27th. For a complete list of military actions in Arkansas during the Civil War, go to www.arkansastoothpick.com.