Arkansas Toothpick- The Civil War Hub of ArkansasThere was a lot of activity on this date during the Civil War in Arkansas. August 7, 1862 marked the fourth day of a fourteen-day expedition to Helena and Clarendon and it also marked the third day of a four day expedition from Helena to the mouth of the White River. There was a lot of activity in East Arkansas in the Summer of 1862.

On this date in 1863 the Federal army was on day five of a six-day scouting expedition to Yellville and it also marked the fifth day of a fourteen-day expedition up the White and Little Red Rivers.

This date in 1864 saw two skirmishes: one at Hickory Plains and another skirmish at Bull’s Bayou. This date also marked the second day of an eleven-day expedition from Little Rock to the Little Red River.

* * *

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 7.-Lieutenant-Colonel Calkins, with 250 Third Wisconsin and 50 U. S. Regulars, pushed on at early dawn to Stony Point, eight miles north, with instructions to drive the enemy, if found and not too strong, beyond Stony Point.

N. B.-Found Captain W. C. Robinson, Company C, Glenn’s regiment, Third Brigade (rebel), Arkansas, wounded and paroled here, from Helena fight, in July, 1863; is badly wounded in hip and will die.

Train and guard getting up at 11.30 o’clock, after delay by reason of tongue breaking, and teams weak; moved on at 12.12. Made Cypress Bottom Bayou at 1.45 o’clock; bridge in decent order; declivity to the bottom somewhat steep from the south, gradual slope up from the bottom northward. Road muddy but not bad. Went on to Jackson’s farm, seven miles from Austin, and waited half an hour till train closed up, then to Stony Point, three-quarters of a mile more, where found Lieutenant-Colonel Calkins’ command. He had seen no rebels. Pushed on to Bull Bayou, one mile farther, and went into camp. Some picket-firing. Just as advance neared Bull Bayou the rebels ran and tried to tear up flooring of the bridge, but had not time to do much damage. Colonel Geiger, with First Brigade, reported at 6 o’clock, having come up from Devall’s Bluff, and went into camp on north side bayou. Reports a fight with Jackman and 300 or 400 men at Hickory Plains to-day. A few rebels killed and taken prisoners. Major Snelling, with 250 Tenth Illinois, joined from Lewisburg as we came to camp. A reconnaissance of Third Wisconsin developed a few rebels, fugacious, and firing on north side bayou. Learned that Jackman passed north from Hickory Plains, about two miles beyond bridge, this morning, having come out from neighborhood road near Franklin’s Mill, used by rebels for grinding, on creek four miles south of east from Jackson’s road down the bottom.

* * *

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 7.-At 4.30 p. m. resumed march, and encamped at Bull Creek, a distance of thirty miles, where the brigade joined General West’s command.”

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