August 14, 1862 marked the eleventh day of a fourteen day expedition to Helena and Clarendon. On this day, Robert C. Newton drafted a dispatch to Brigadier-General Mosby Parsons “via Richland” that Thomas C. Hindman directed Newton to tell Parsons that his Missouri rank would be recognized and that Parsons would command accordingly, “while you are subject to his orders.” Hindman wanted Parsons to move his command of Missouri infantry and artillery as well as the Arkansas cavalry under his command, “to some point near Clarendon, where the Enemy are said to be in some force,” giving Parsons permission to use the best roads he seemed fit, “having regard to water and etc.” Hindman’s purpose for putting Parsons in front of the US force in the vicinity of Clarendon, “is to avail himself of your experience and intelligence to procure minute information of his movement and intentions.”
Newton then related that Colonel William H. Parsons had a cavalry force and an artillery battery north of Clarendon, “and will be subject to your orders.” Newton continued, “the General hopes the present will be for you the beginning of a much longer march towards your home.” The dispatch concluded with information that the Federal army was reported to have pontoon bridges on the White River at Clarendon. Newton wanted Parsons to confirm the intelligence report.
On this date in 1863, forces clashed at West Point on the White River. This engagement was on day twelve of a fourteen day Federal expedition up the White and Little Red Rivers.
On August 14, 1864 there was a skirmish at Fayetteville. It also marked day nine of an eleven day expedition from Little Rock to the Little Red River and day six of seven of operations in Central Arkansas (including multiple skirmishes).
From the August 14 journal entry of Major James F. Dwight (11th Missouri Cavalry, Volunteer Aide-de-Camp):
Dwight’s cavalry expedition report noted that the command remained in camp today. The journal entry noted there was some gun fire from the picks on the Searcy Road. Approximately fifty Confederates were engaged with the Federal picket. After dispatching a scout in the direction of firing, the Confederates fled in the direction of the Little Red River. The journal entry continued:
“Surgeon Foote, with escort of Ninth Iowa, reported having come up the White River in steamer Celeste, sent from Devall’s Bluff in response to dispatch sent from Augusta. The boat landed him above the Red River, and he came through the country till he struck our trail. Reports tumbling into a party last night of five or eight rebels, who fled, firing. Boat arrived up at Friday eve, twenty-five miles below Augusta by the river, which there makes a great bend. A messenger from Captain McAdoo was fired on between here and Searcy to-day by two men. Lieutenant Guirado, with escort, came in at close of day from McAdoo, via Hilcher’s Ferry. Reports no rebels discovered by that command as far as Fairview.”
Meanwhile the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, commanded by Colonel Washington F Geiger, Eighth Missouri Cavalry set out for Devall’s Bluff; the brigade arrived at DeValls Bluff on August 17.
-Also on this date in 1864, Companies B,C,E,G,H, and I of the 3rd Regiment Minnesota Infantry Veterans went from Pine Bluff on Furlough and they rejoined the regiment at DeValls Bluff on October 17, 1864.
-Captain Charles W.A. Nudd of Company A of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment resigned at the age of 25. Nudd is from Hennepin County, Minnesota.
-Second Lieutenant George Jameson, aged 29 and born in Scotland, was from Hastings, Dakota County Minnesota. He was promoted on this date in 1864 to First Lieutenant, Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.
-Thomas Hunter, aged 35, from Rochester, Olmsted County, Minnesota, was commissioned as Second Lieutenant to Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry.
-First Lieutenant Otto F. Dreher, Company F was promoted on this date to Captain of Company A. He was born in Germany and lived in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota before the war. He replaced Captain Nudd who resigned on this date.
-Charles Canterberry, from Company K of the 13th Illinois Cavalry Regiment from Union County, Illinois died on this date at Pine Bluff.
The following is from the report of Major James F. Dwight of the 11th Missouri Cavalry Regiment, Aide-de-camp. Dwight kept a journal of events from August 6 through August 16, 1864 having set out from the vicinity of Little Rock. Dwight was under the command of Brigadier-General J.R. West of the U.S. Volunteers. General West was directed through the August 4, 1864 Special Order telling him to “proceed with all the available cavalry of this district in pursuit of the enemy’s, reported to be on Little Red River, and will pursue them until they are captured or dispersed.”
Sunday, August 14.-Lay in camp all day. Some picket-firing on the Searcy road, and a body of fifty reported. Sent out a scout who scattered them in direction of Little Red. Surgeon Foote, with escort of Ninth Iowa, reported having come up the White River in steamer Celeste, sent from Devall’s Bluff in response to dispatch sent from Augusta. The boat landed him above the Red River,and he came through the country till he struck our trail. Reports tumbling into a party last night of five or eight rebels, who fled, firing. Boat arrived up at Friday eve, twenty-five miles below Augusta by the river, which there makes a great bend. A messenger from Captain McAdoo was fired on between here and Searcy to-day by two men. Lieutenant Guirado, with escort, came in at close of day from McAdoo, via Hilcher’s Ferry. Reports no rebels discovered by that command as far as Fairview.
The following is from the Itinerary of the Third Brigade, Second Division, Seventh Army Corps, commanded by Colonel Washington F Geiger, Eighth Missouri Cavalry. He sat out on August 6, 1864 to join in a cavalry expedition under Brigadier-General West against the rebel forces in the vicinity of Jacksonport and Batesville, Ark.: “August 14.-Took up line of march for Devall’s Bluff, where the brigade arrived on the 17th.”
Brigadier General E.A. Carr compiled a list of military actions, including, “combats, skirmishes, &c.,in District of Little Rock, during the fifteen days ending August 15, 1864. The August 14 entry notes: “August 14.-Dispatch received from Colonel Ryan, commanding Lewisburg, states that Captain Boles returned from scout to Dardanelle, Danville, &c.; had two skirmishes with the enemy. Two of his men wounded; killed 3, wounded 4 rebels, and brought in 3 prisoners. Captain Blansel, of Scott’s company of bushwhackers, killed.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.