On September 26, 1862 Major-General Samuel R. Curtis wrote to Brigadier-General Eugene A. Carr telling him that, according to recent intelligence reports, McBrice moved with a large force to Pocahontas. He tells Carr that more than likely Parsons has already joined up with McBride. “I will probably re-enforce Helena again, but try to get the front in complete order and be ready for all emergencies.” He then notes that General Thomas C. Hindman has already created a considerable-sized force in the western part of the state.
Sometimes dispatches got help up for one reason or another. Consider the below dispatch drafted by Brigadier-General Fredrick Steele on September 26, 1862. It Gets to General Halleck “via Cairo” on September 30 at 10:15 pm. In this dispatch Steele informs Halleck that there is not, in fact, a large force that was trying to threat Missouri from Arkansas. He noted that the “principal” part of General T.H. Holmes’ force was still in Little Rock.
Intelligence gathered from a prisoner-soldier revealed about 15,000 Confederate troops at Brownsville, “and it is reported that there are more at Austin, 25 miles from Little Rock.” He continued, “Refugees and deserters say there are from 25,000 to 40,000 about Little Rock.” The dispatch continued:
“McBride moved from Batesville on the 11th instant, with 2,200 men (only 1,500 armed), toward Greenville, via Pocahontas. Cause of movement; He supposed this army was advancing upon Batesville. Eight thousand troops at Cross Hollows. Schofield requested me to move on Batesville. It is impracticable. My troops would starve. I shall move on Holmes directly. He seems standing off between me and Schofield. My force will be reduced by sickness and those to guard the depots to about 12,000. This command could do splendid service in Mississippi. The fort cannot be completed in less than five weeks. I regard it as an incumbrance, and recommend that it be blow up. I anticipate great difficulty in keeping my command supplied in the interior of Arkansas until the fall rise in White River. It is not navigable for gunboats now.”
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.