The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 1, 1862 Brigadier-General J.M. Schofield wrote to Brigadier General Fredrick Steele, who was then commanding the District of Arkansas that Schofield was unofficially informed that, “General Curtis has leave of absence, and consequently that you [Fredrick Steele] are in command in Arkansas.” Schofield continued, “If this is true (which may God grant) I know that I may now look for the long-expected ‘diversion in my favor,’ which I have been told for the last month or two was about to be made.”

Schofield then asks Steele, “to keep me posted as to your movements, and to keep me informed of everything in Arkansas which may be of interest or importance as affecting my operations in Missouri, and also in what way, if any, I can co-operate with you.”

Regarding the want of a department commander, Schofield presumed that before long that vacancy would be filled. “Meanwhile let us do the best we can without the aid of that important, but as yet unknown, individual.”
A bit of intelligence on Confederate troops in Arkansas in the dispatch includes McBride, as Schofield reported, was at Batesville when this dispatch was drafted with “a few thousand half-armed men.” Schofield reassured Steele, “I shall have very little difficulty in taking care of him should he come this way.”

* * *

The follow is a list of troop levels in Helena, Arkansas (Army of the Southwest) under the command of Fredrick Steele, who was headquartered in the same city.

Officers: 454
Men Aggregate: 9,603
Aggregate present: 13,407
present and absent: 17,247
Officers: 220
Men Aggregate: 4,500
Aggregate present: 7,687
present and absent: 9,514
Officers: 29
Men Aggregate: 716
Aggregate present: 1,068
present and absent: 1,277
-TOTAL: (Infantry, Cavalry, and Artillery)
Officers: 703
Men Aggregate: 14,919
Aggregate present: 22,162
present and absent: 28,033

* * *

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

On September 1, 1864, Colonel Abraham H. Ryan, of the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry (US), clashed with Confederate forces near Beatty’s Mill. Ryan noted that Captain Hamilton and a detail of sixty-five men were sent on a scouting mission to Yell County, when he ran into 160 bushwhackers under the command of Conly. Ryan wrote that Hamilton, “Charging immediately, he put them to fight, killing 2, wounding several, releasing the assistant surgeon and 1 private of the Second Arkansas Infantry, whom the enemy had prisoners.” The dispatch concluded, “He also captured a lot of Spanish brown, which the bushwhackers were using to disguise themselves as Indians. No boats yet. River falling.”
* * *

Continuation of Hudson’s report:

On September 1, Colonel John G. Hudson and his expedition were encamped a mile from the river the previous night and struck camp at 5am. They ended up marching thirty miles and made camp on the Helena and Clarendon Road at 7pm at Mr. Brown’s. The series of Colonel John G. Hudson’s report, broken down by date, can be seen on the following posts:

August 29, 1864
August 30, 1864
August 31, 1864
September 1, 1864
September 2, 1864
September 3, 1864

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The James Ginnett Collection had multiple entries for September 1, 1864:

The following mustered into the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment on this date:

-Company A: John C. Shade from Smithfield, Minnesota and Archibald Rose (29 years old)
-Company D: Benjamin O. Benjamin (26 years old)
-Company E: Peter Newberg (20 years old)
-Company G: William Walters (34 years old), Isaac B. Collier ($0 from Wabash, MN), and Thomas B. Kearney (29 years old)
-Company H: Peter Maurer (30 years old from Lentz, MN), George C. Clark (26 years old from Wabashaw, MN), and Henry Taul (28 years old)
-Company I: James Peck (44 years old from Wabashaw, MN), George W. Herrick (18 years old from Highland, MN), William W. Bain (41 years old from Wabashaw, MN), Joseph Cayou (38 years old from Plainview, MN), John D. Cleveland (20 years old from Reaps Landing, MN), and John Cooley (21 years old from Reaps Landing, MN).
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