The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 15, 1862, a set of dispatches were sent out to the Confederate garrison in Pine Bluff under the command of Colonel Robert G. Shaver. The first dispatch noted to have been sent on this date in 1862 was a dispatch inquiring as to the whereabouts of Major Francis M. Chrisman.

On that same date a directive was sent to the same city to have Major Johnson hold his position on the Clarendon and Pine Bluff Road, “until General Parson has moved upon the line he occupies, he will then report to General Mosby Parsons.”

Another communication on this date in 1862 noted that General Parsons had been ordered to move with his Missouri infantry and artillery and Arkansas cavalry, “to a point near Clarendon to observe the enemy.” The communication continued, “You will have to watch your right flank.”

To clarify an earlier directive, Newton is reminded, “General Holmes directs me to say that office not selected at the reorganization, are to be mustered out of the service: those between the ages of 18 and 35 are subject to conscription.” He then asks for names, “in proper order of rank, of suitable officers for a general Court Martial, and I will order it.” This was in response to a telegraph sent back on August 12, 1862.

In another communication sent on this date, Robert C. Newton tells Shaver in Pine Bluff to, “Try the deserters from General Bragg’s Army, by Court Martial.”

The next dispatch on August 15, 1862 noted, The ‘Sapper and Miners’ are to made solely from your [Shaver’s] brigade.

Yet another dispatch from Confederate HQ in Little Rock reminded Shaver, “Try the deserters, turned over by Captain Hanson, by Court Martial.

The Confederate leadership usually had a zero tolerance when it came to deserters. To allow desertions would have been to undermine his own efforts at rebuilding the Confederate forces. In another communication from Confederate headquarters in Little Rock, Hindman relayed to Shaver, “Send Lieutenant Prescott and the seven men, of Cobbs Company, here in irons.”

Hindman also wrote to the Quartermaster in Pine Bluff advising them to turn over to Captain William M. Rust’s Company, after having been remounted, forty horses, saddles and riggings, “formerly belonging to the 2nd Regiment Carter’s Brigade.”

In a rare act of mercy, Robert C. Newton drafted a dispatch to Colonel R.R. Garland in Pine Bluff that noted General Holmes was willing to pardon the man of Garland’s regiment that was convicted of desertion and sentenced to be put to death. He ordered the man to be put back to duty in the Confederate Army in Pine Bluff.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

On this date in 1862 there was a skirmish in Clarendon and August 15, 1862 also marked day twelve of a fourteen-day expedition to Helena and Clarendon.

-On August 15, 1863 there was a skirmish at Bentonville. This date also marked day thirteen of a fourteen-day expedition up White and Little Red Rivers.

-On this date in 1864, Ananias Patrick from Crawford County, Indiana, in Company E of the 1st Indiana Cavalry Regiment died at Pine Bluff.

-Damon Greenleaf, 1st Lieutenant of Company I of the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry resigned.

-Adjutant George F. Williams, 13th Illinois Cavalry from Springfield, Illinois died at Pine Bluff.

-Arthur Jennings, eighteen year old, born in New York, re-enlisted in Company C of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

-George D. Knox, age twenty-four, born in Pennsylvania, re-enlisted in Company C of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas[/caption]In 1864 on this date there was a skirmish at Carrollton. It was also day one of ten of operations in North West Arkansas and South West Missouri; day seven of seven of operations in Central Arkansas (including multiple skirmishes), and day ten of an eleven-day expedition from Little Rock to the Little Red River.

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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.”

Monday, August 15, 6 o’clock.-Broke camp at early hour and moved back to Searcy, leaving Eleventh Missouri at Goad’s, to await coming up of the Third United States from Searcy to Bayou Des Arc, where First Brigade diverged toward Hickory Plains, and Second and headquarters went on and into camp at Bull Bayou. First Brigade was ordered to Devall’s Bluff by best road.

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