The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn August 21, 1862, the Federal army was on an expedition from Helena, down Mississippi and up Yazoo River. This expedition left on August 16 and would eventually return on August 27.

On August 21, 1864, Assistant Adjutant-General C.H. Dyer drafted Special Orders Number 61, noting that the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment and the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment to proceed to Pine Bluff and report to Colonel Powell Clayton. The 106th and 126 were under the command of Major John M. Hurt.

Also on this date in 1864 Powell Clayton wrote to headquarters in Little Rock that he had no news of the enemy but he sent two scouts out from Pine Bluff on this date. One scout was sent on the Princeton Road and the other was sent on the Warren Road.

August 21 also saw a skirmish in DeValls Bluff on this date and the Federal army was on day seven of ten of operations in North West Arkansas and South West Missouri.

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Confederate General J.O. Shelby’s report continues from the August 20 entry:

Soon after the expedition to the railroad I sent Captain McCoy to the Saint Francis River, where a large Government boat was hard aground, with fifty men to destroy it. He was successful. Burned the boat and cargo, which consisted of a large quantity of coal for the Mississippi naval squadron. Not long after five steamers, crowded with troops, came up White River to Augusta, where they were ambushed by Colonel Dobbin, and great numbers killed, causing them to beat a hasty retreat.

All the prisoners taken were paroled and sent North, for I was too weak to spare sufficient detachments to guard them to our lines south of the Arkansas River through an enemy’s country, for the entire number captured during the expedition was largely over 1,100. Only a partial list of these prisoners can be furnished, as the record of their names was destroyed on the late expedition to Missouri, having been placed in a wagon devoted to the flames. Those saved, being in another wagon, will be furnished immediately, which will be between 700 or 800. There was not a day that some of my scouting parties did not meet, encounter, and whip in every affair a larger force of the Federals, and such was the terror of our arms that they never came against us only with heavy odds. Everything in readiness to move I reported to General Price on his arrival and started for Missouri on September 19.

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The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for August 21, 1864:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

-Private Thomas J. Wilson served in Company I of the 5th Kansas Cavalry. He died of disease. He lived in Spring Hill, Kansas.

-Sgt. Christian Graybill, from Sullivan, Illinois served in Company A of the 126th Illinois Infantry. He was accidentally killed on Steamer Carrie Jacobs on way to Pine Bluff. [Annie Jacobs?]

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