On August 26, 1862 Brigadier-General E.B. Brown wrote to Brigadier-General John M. Schofield that he had new information from McBride who was then at Batesville. McBride, according to the dispatch, was concentrating all the bands in the southeast in Batesville. Brown’s intelligence showed that McBride had three thousand men and six cannons. “His men are dismounted as they arrive at White River.” The report noted.
The report continued with noting that the district south of Forsyth was clear for fifty miles. “There are 400 infantry and 200 mounted near Carrollton [and] there are two points of concentration, Batesville and Northwest Arkansas.”
On August 26, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Anderson carries out his orders received the previous day, to have his whole force report to General Davidson. At daylight, Anderson reported with his regiment and was accordingly assigned the advance of the road leading from Brownsville to Bayou Meto. His report noted that “squadrons D,E,F,and G, under the immediate command of Captain [J.D.] Jenks, were sent forward as advance line of skirmishers, and came upon the enemy’s pickets soon after passing our own outposts, to which place they had been driven on the evening of the 25th.”
Anderson’s regiment was supported by the 3rd Missouri Cavalry (US) and a section of artillery. They began to advance, driving the Confederates back to their rifle pits, a distance of six miles. Anderson reported no casualties in this action, but he noted that Confederate Captain [B.S.] Powell of Marmaduke’s division was left on the field of battle mortally wounded. The afternoon of the 26th, they bivouacked on the road three miles from Brownsville.
On this date in 1864, Brigadier-General E.A. Carr wrote to Powell Clayton in Pine Bluff that Clayton, “must keep close watch of the telegraph line at your end [and] Your troops must not be occupied in guarding plantations when it interferes in the slightest degree with their other duties or their comfort.” Carr then relates to the Pine Bluff commander that he is going to send wagon trains to the area of Clear Lake for the purpose of finding forage. Clayton’s instructions are to , “Watch them if any force is coming up the river on the north side.” With all the havoc Shelby’s men created for the garrison at DeValls Bluff, Carr could not be too careful.
Carr then tell Clayton that reconnaissance teams have been sent out toward Princeton, but by August 26 they had not gotten “much farther than Benton; found cavalry in Benton, and report that Crawford’s brigade had been there two hours before.”
As far as Clayton was concerned, Carr thought it a good idea to send a reconnaissance team from Pine Bluff to scout the Saline River area. “Rebels seems to be moving somewhere.”
Fredrick Steele drafted a communication to Colonel Powell Clayton asking, “Do you know anything about a famous pontoon bridge the rebels are said to have carried to the Arkansas on wagons?” Though short, the dispatch concluded, “They say this bridge was to have been put down near Monroe’s plantation.”
In his response, Clayton related that, “If the enemy have had any bridge they placed across the Arkansas River below Pine Bluff, “it must have been as low down as Red Fork.” Clayton asked, “If the enemy had a bridge as reported, why is it that Marmaduke and Cabell’s commands did not cross upon it?” He continued, “It is certain that they have left the Arkansas River and are now in the vicinity of Marks’ Mills unless they have left within the past two days.” To curtail any false reports and to know of intelligence first hand, Clayton had the intention of sending one hundred men out the following day down the opposite side of the Arkansas River as far down as Arkansas Post, “so that our information will be positive.”
On August 26, 1864, 1st Lt. and Acting Ordnance Officer F.F. Burlock wrote to Powell Clayton in Pine Bluff, “See that every portion of your command is at once supplied with ammunition- infantry 100 rounds to a man with him and 100 in reserve; cavalry, 100 rounds of carbine and 50 rounds of pistol to a man; artillery, 200 rounds to a gun.” Burlock tells Clayton that if he cannot supply the required ammunition to let him know and the balance would be sent immediately.
Also on August 26, 1864, Powell Clayton wrote to Captain C.H. Dyer that a Confederate deserter from the 12th Texas Cavalry noted that there was a camp rumor in the Confederate army that, “the rebel soldiers that Price is going to make a feint on Little Rock in hopes of drawing the troops from this point and [illegible] the Post, which is to be the point of attack.” Clayton reassures Dyer at the closing of his dispatch that he would be sending a scout, “down the north side of the river as far as Arkansas Post tomorrow.”
The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for August 26, 1864:
– Samuel S. Williams served in Company G of the 13th Illinois Cavalry. He was from Ashley, Illinois and he died in Pine Bluff on this date.
– Benjamin Burnhart, aged 26, was born in New York. He mustered into Company I of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment. He lived in Lime Springs, Minnesota.
– John W. Coglay, aged 29, was from Enterprise in Daupin County, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in Company A.
– Corporal Charles J. Parker from Company F of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment was from Mukwonago, Wisconsin. He died of disease 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.