On September 5, 1861the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General S. Cooper in Richmond, Virginia wrote to Colonel J. Flournoy in Little Rock to inform General McCulloch that his recent telegram to President Jefferson Davis was received and that, “every effort will be made to increase his force, the only limit being the number or arms.”
Also on September 5, 1861, the Confederate Secretary of War L.P. Walker wrote to Governor Rector. Richmond acknowledged the mustering out of troops under the command of McCullloch and the fact that the troops that mustered out took their weapons with them, “their arms and batteries.” He noted that, “Unless this is remedied disaster may befall him.” He urged, “All the Arkansas troops not exactly in Hardee’s command should be sent to McCulloch without delay, and the arms and batteries should be returned to him, with which to arm other troops willing to join him.”
Due to the, “great importance of this crisis” Walker suggested Rector,”by every means in your power” to get the Arkansas troops of McCulloch’s division to return post haste to service under McCulloch. Walker noted that if this were possible, and, “to incorporate all the organized companies, regiments, or battalions now in your State, but not yet mustered into service, into McCulloch’s division as soon as possible.”
Another recommendation from Richmond included the urging of Rector to draft a proclamation to call for as many troops as possible that would be used to fill , ten or twelve Arkansas regiment, “at least under McCulloch’s command, and to muster the same as soon as possible into service, and to do all in your power to arm them speedily with the arms of the disbanded regiments, or with any other arms that may be procured.”
Included with the above dispatch was an Inclosure to Brigadier-General McCulloch who was then at Fort Smith. The Inclosure included a copy of the laws, “relating to the receiving of troops from other States than those of the Confederacy and for military co-operation with the people of Missouri.”
The dispatch, drafted by Adjutant and Inspector General S. Cooper, revealed, “Intelligence of the separation and withdrawal of troops at this critical juncture has caused painful anxiety, but it is hoped you will be able soon to repair any losses which you have thus sustained by mustering new troops into the service.”
Cooper also related that, “Brigadier-General Pike, it is hoped, will be able with the Indian forces to give special aid to you, either by being present with you or by covering the Indian country and the western frontiers of Missouri, as circumstances may indicate.”
On September 5, 1862, John S. Phelps wrote to Brigadier-General John M. Schofield in Saint Louis that reports have come in placing a large number of guerillas in the extreme southeastern section of Missouri. Intelligance reports have General McBride with six thousand men in Batesville while Colonel S.H. Boyd with the 24th Missouri Volunteers had about two thousand men in the vicinity of Greenville, “so reported, but composed of odds and ends, destined for this army…Colonel boyd is not strong enough to advance.”
Phelps related that it was well-known that if the Union army were to advance upon Little Rock this early in the conflict, “McBride will march to the Mississippi River or to this point, thus placing himself in our rear and cutting off the line of supply of this army.” Phelps’ dispatch continued, “Cannot Boyd be re-enforced and aid materially your operations in Missouri?”
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.