On August 30, 1861, the Confederate Secretary of War L.P. Walker wrote to Arkansas Governor Henry Rector. In transferring Arkansas troops to the Confederate Army, Walker reminds Rector, “it was stipulated, as your excellency will remember, that the State of Arkansas should furnish field transportation, &c., for the troops so transferred and that the Confederate Government should replay to the State all her outlay thus expended.”
Walker also tells Rector, “This Department therefore desires that the immediate agents of the Government, in its own Quartermaster Department, shall take charge of all transportation thus provided for, so that there may be henceforth but one organization engaged in this work, and that directly responsible to this Government.” He continued, “The Department assures your excellency of the ability and willingness of the Confederate Government to provide satisfactorily for the Arkansas troops in this respect in such manner that no loss shall accrue to them thereby.”
In other words, Walker tells Governor Rector that the Confederate QM, “has been directed to make all necessary arrangements for the transportation of the Arkansas troops, with authority to make such purchases of means of transportation, &c now in the possession of the State of Arkansas, as may be deemed necessary and expedient.”
The expenses in transporting Arkansas troops, as have been actually incurred under the stipulation above referred to by the State of Arkansas will of course be paid for by this Government according to the terms therein agreed.”
On this date in 1862, Brigadier-General J.M. Schofield wrote to Major-Genral H.W. Halleck that troops from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas were gathering, “in large numbers” in the northwest section of the state, “for the purpose of invading Missouri.” Schofield told Halleck the Confederates were, “compelled to do for subsistence.” In closing, Schofield asked Halleck for re-enforcement, “as soon as they can be sent me.”
On this date in 1864, Brigadier-General John B. Sanborn drafted a report of a skirmish in Missouri, but the report included intelligence regarding troop movements in Arkansas. He began his dispatch noting that information came to him the previous night that, “Generals Adams, Shelby, and McCray, and Colonels Freeman, Dobbin, Campbell, Sewals, and one other, were there and on Round Bottom between there and Jacksonport, and that the arrangement was for the whole force, which he estimates at 3,500 armed men and four pieces of artillery, to meet at Powhatan and Smithville to-morrow with the idea of advancing into Missouri up Black River, and that they stated that Marmaduke was to cross the Arkansas River, west of Little Rock, and advance into this portion of the State with 5,000 men.” He added, “These men came out to avoid the conscription.”
Sanborn passed on information that the Confederacy’s horses were, “represented to be very poor, and his supplies of all kinds very short.”
Other information given to Sanborn included that many Confederate conspripts have deserted from the ranks. He noted, “Some have come in and many are in the White River hills, which, I think, indicates the enemy is about to move south, and I have rumors from Arkansas that he has received such orders.”
It was also on this date that General Sterling Price, “took up my line of march in the direction of Little Rock.” His report related that he reached Tulip this afternoon after having only moved nine miles. When he reached the south Arkansas community, he left directions for Colonel Harrison’s brigade of Confederates that, if he should arrive in Tulip within three days’ time, he is to, “follow on and form a junction with me, giving him information of the route I should travel” but if he did not arrive in Tulip with three days, Harrison is to report, instead, to the commanding general of the state. Price later remember that Harrison did not take part in the expedition.
Fredrick Steele drafted a letter to Powell Clayton on August 30, 1864 that noted, “Prisoners and refugees report that the rebels are preparing for some important movement.” The movement alluded to included, “going to Missouri, and that part will cross below Pine Bluff and the rest above Little Rock.”
The letter included rumors that the Confederate forces would be attacking Pine Bluff while other rumors had the Rebs attacking Little Rock. The dispatch continued, “A late Washington (Arkansas) [news]paper says the Federals have reoccupied Benton.” Steele noted, “we had 800 Cavalry there reconnoitering [and] I am inclined to think that there may be some humbug about their grand movement.”
Steele noted that some prisoners that were just brought in told Union authorities that Fagan had his HQ in Princeton three days ago, “but that he was ordered to move toward Pine Bluff.” He also included, “Also that the famous pontoon bridge had been taken back to Camden.”
Steele also stated that Sokalski just returned with a flag of truce from the vicinity of Tulip. “They told him there that Fagan was at Monticello, but he did not believe it [and] Everybody said a grand movement was on foot.”
Intelligence at the time this letter was drafted included: Magruder is not at Camden; Fagan still commands the cavalry; Price still commands the Infantry.”
On the same day Powell Clayton wrote to Fredrick Steele that a deserter came inside the Federal lines that evening from Marmaduke’s Brigade. “He confirms what others have reported.” Wrote Clayton. “He says that a pontoon bridge was actually taken to the Arkansas River, but ordered back before they commenced laying it down.”
New intelligence from the deserter show the Confederates moving northward along the banks of the Saline River, “with the intention of crossing the Arkansas above Little Rock.”
Apparently Clayton was up for a promotion to General. In his letter to Steele, he asks, “had i not better wait until the error in spelling my name is corrected before I send my letter of acceptance, the required oath, etc?”
Continuation of Raynor’s Report:
The expedition was slow-moving. The Federals’ progress was dependent upon the speed of the slow-moving gunboat, “and being compelled to anchor every night that the wharf-boat at Eunice Landing was not reached until Saturday about noon, when the transports took the wharf-boat in two and started on our return.”
While at Eunice, Raynor arrested a Mr. Nelson, “who, it was reported to me, had been using his influence and money in assisting the rebellion, and had on more than one occasion mounted his horse and rode for days with guerrilla parties.” He also noted that they, “brought away the watchman on the wharf-boat, a John McDonald, who claims to be a British subject.”
This report is part of a series:
Continuation of Hudson’s report:
On August 30, 1864, After receiving his orders to command an expedition from Helena up the White River with a command of 500 men, Colonel John G. Hudson left Helena on August 29 on two steamers at 8pm and arrived at the mouth of the White River at 6am on this date. Leaving the mouth of the White at 8am, he arrived at Maddox Bayou at 6pm, where his command debarked. The series of Colonel John G. Hudson’s report, broken down by date, can be seen on the following posts:
This report is part of a series:
The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for August 30, 1864:
-Private Lewis Gambrel, from Atlanta, Illinois, served in Company E of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.
-Private Henry Hartman, from Company H in the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment died on this date in Pine Bluff.
-Private Jesse T. Stewart, from Company H in the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment died on this date in Pine Bluff.
-Jacob H. Tucker, from Kinmundy, Illinois served in Company E of the 62nd Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died in Pine Bluff on this date.
-Daniel E. Edwards, from Troy Wisconsin enlisted on this date in Company I of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.
-Orin D. Moffit, from Mukwonago, Wisconsin, served in Company F of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. He died of disease on this date in Pine Bluff.
-Charles H. Taylor, from Troy, Wisconsin, enlisted on this date in Company I of the 28th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment.
-Lewis Gambrel, from Atlanta, Illinois, served in Company E of the 106th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.
-Enlisted August 1, 1862:
3rd Minnesota Infantry:
Company A- John A. Slater, from Chaska (Carver County)
Company A- John Hight, aged 27, from St. Peter (Nicollett County)
Company C- Nelson Olds, aged 28
Company D- Salmon Porter, aged 19
Company D- John P. Hultquist, aged 35
Company D- Andrew J. Dedon, aged 18
Company I- Ira Henderson, aged 23, from York (Fillmore County)
Company I- John Hamblin, aged 20, from York (Fillmore County)
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 email@example.com.