Arkansas Toothpick- The Civil War Hub of ArkansasAugust 1, 1863 was the first of many days Union General Fredrick Steele used against the Confederate held capitol of Arkansas in Little Rock. The Union will finally take the central Arkansas city on September 10, 1863. On August 1 in 1864, three actions took place. One was a skirmish at Lee’s Creek and a second skirmish is noted to have taken place at the Lamb Plantation in Phillips County near Helena. August 1, 1864 also marked the first day of a five day operation in eastern Arkansas (August 1-5).

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According to Report Number 17 in the chapter on the “Advance Upon Little Rock” in the Official Records, the itinerary of the First Brigade, Second Division, under the command of Colonel William H. Graves, began on August 1, 1864 and the last entry was on September 10, 1864. The following dates are included in his report: August 1, August 6, August 8, August 1317, August 22, August 24, September 1, September 2, September 6, September 7, September 10.

In today’s section of the itinerary, he notes that the last of his brigade, consisting of the 43rd Illinois, the 61st Illinois, and the 106th Illinois as well as the 12th Michigan Regiments of Infantry- they all arrived at Helena, Arkansas after having traveled from Snyder’s Bluff. They encamped on the Mississippi River two miles below town.

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Also on this date in 1864, William E. Decker, from Ixonia, Wisconsin in Company C of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, died of disease in Pine Bluff.

Gabriel Gray was a colored cook from Pine Bluff. He served in Company F of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He died of disease at Pine Bluff.

Captain Charles W.A. Nudd, aged 25, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, resigned from Company A of the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.

Alexander Marlon died at Pine Bluff. Marlon was from Tamaroa, Illinois and served in Company F of the 13th Illinois Cavalry.

Colonel Powell Clayton was promoted to Brigadier-General of U.S. Volunteers.

Patrick Smith, from Mound City, Kansas, from Company D of the 5th Kansas Cavalry, died of congestive chills at Pine Bluff.

Private William S. McKinney, in Company H of the 5th Kansas Cavalry, died of dysentery at Pine Bluff.

Military actions in this “Today in Arkansas During the Civil War” column can be traced better using the Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas. You can trace the same roads they walked in many cases in this atlas. You can find obscure references to communities mentioned in Civil War records that can be located in this atlas. Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas is the perfect companion book for this “Today in History” series.

If you know of any other military actions or other things that happened that we did not post on a certain day, send us an email to