15Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 15)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 15, 1862, Waldo P. Johnson wrote to Major-General Sterling Price that he has already reported to Major-General T.H. Holmes, “who confirmed and engaged my authority, modifying it in one particular only, requiring me to report to him alone officially the result of my efforts at recruiting in Missouri, and requesting me at the same time to advise you [Price] of the change.”

He related that soon after arriving in Little Rock, he dispatched, “about 30 persons to different parts of Missouri for the purpose of enlisting and swearing into the service of the C. S. Army all the able-bodied men they could meet with, to have them reported at camp for organization and instruction, remaining here myself, at the request of General Holmes, for the purpose of having an interview with Governor Jackson, who was then expected daily.”

He then noted that yesterday, September 14, 1862, “the Governor turned over to General Holmes all the State property at his place, embracing a large amount of clothing and other army stores; also all now in Mississippi.” He continued, “The Governor also made an order turning over all the State guards now in Missouri to the Confederate States, requiring them to report to me, withdrawing from all persons all power to recruit in future for the Missouri State Guard.”

“I have not seen General Parsons, but arrangements are on foot to turn his entire command over to the Confederate States service, and I think it will be successful, as Governor Jackson, General Hindman, and General Parsons are all trying to effect it in a manner satisfactory to the men.”

The dispatch also gave intelligence that, “Quite a large number of troops has already been organized along the southern border of Missouri, and from all the information I have obtained I believe there are many more to be collected and organized.”

Regarding the drama that becomes commonplace in war, but significant nonetheless in Trans-Mississippi studies, Johnson tells Price, “But unfortunately there have been feuds and difficulties of almost every kind among them, which have annoyed General Holmes very much, but I think he has adjusted most of the embarrassing cases, and I hope in future, if possible, to avoid difficulties of a like character. They have been such as are incident to the organization of volunteer forces everywhere.”

The communication also included drafted troop number that included four thousand under General McBride’s command and likewise for General Rains’ command, “Many of the troops of the former belong to the State.” He related that Coffee has from eight hundred to twelve hundred troops under his command, “and from all I can learn there is largely over 30,000 troops in this State, but many of them without arms…But as arms are being collected and received from the east of the river it is hoped that all will be armed ere long.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Information was then given on how a raid into Missouri was being fine-tuned as troops amassed in northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. Johnson tells Price, “All I meet with are anxious that you should cross the Mississippi River, and many hope that the result of the late great battles, with the movements that must necessarily follow, will enable you to enter the State of Missouri from the southwest, while this army enters at another point, and that they may meet you in the central other important portion of the State.”

He then includes some personal observations on General T.H. Holmes, calling him , “a plain, quiet man, makes no show, but works hard, and I judge from what I have observed that he intends to leave nothing undone in preparing for a forward movement.”

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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

14Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 14)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 14, 1864 a scouting mission from Helena to Alligator Bayou was coming to a conclusion. Lieutenant Alexander F. Rice of the 60th United States Colored Troops wrote his report on September 15. His five-day scouting expedition began on September 9. The expedition marched five miles on that first day and camped at Thomas’ Station on the Saint Francis River. They camped there until the following evening. During that first day Rice frequently sent out squads, capturing one man by the name of William Bailess, and two horses.

From Thomas’ Station, Rice marched to Mrs. Rodgers on September 10, fifteen miles distant. He wrote that at Rodgers, they broke camp the following evening at 8pm. While there they captured two men and a horse.

When the scouting expedition parted, Rice sent some men back to Thomas’ Station while the remainder, “came down the river in skiffs.” He wrote, “Camped until the morning of the 14th…Captured while there 5 mules and 2 horses, also 1 prisoner and 1 carbine.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Throughout the expedition Rice ended up capturing five men:

*William Bailess and Peter Nance: Captain Briscoe’s company (Dobbin’s regiment)
*James Copelin and Urbin Day: Captain Coates’ company (Dobbin’s regiment)
*Joseph A. Echles, adjutant, Sixth Texas Cavalry.

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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

13Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 13)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 13, 1862, Colonel William Vandever of the 9th Iowa Infantry Regiment, drafted his report after completing his expedition from Clarendon to Lawrenceville and Saint Charles. Before leaving out from Clarendon on September 11, Vandever divided his command. He sent the 1st, 4th, and 5th Missouri Cavalry Regiments as well as the 4th Iowa Cavalry back to the main garrison at Helena, “by the middle or Hickory Ridge road.” He noted that the remaining 900 troops in the 6th Missouri, 5th Kansas, 3rd Iowa, 1st Indiana, and 5th Illinois Cavalry were taken to the lower Helena Road to Lawrenceville, where he made camp on the first night of September 11.

Not long after setting up camp in Lawrenceville, his men were fired upon by the enemy, “from the opposite side of Mattox Bayou by a straggling party of the enemy.” He related that no damage was done, however.

In his report he commented that Lawrenceville is twenty miles from Clarendon, “a little distance south of the lower Helena road.” He then learned that Confederates were near at or in the vicinity of Saint Charles on the White River. This area was being fortified by the Confederates.

On the morning of September 12 Vandever set out for and reached the White River a mile above Saint Charles by noon. He commented that some of the road through the White River bottoms was “very difficult for artillery”. Because of the difficult roads, “I was obliged to cut a way through the cane for near half a mile to a point opposite Saint Charles.”

As they arrived, Vandever wrote that they saw groups of enemy soldiers near the bank. A large ferry was also being unloaded on the opposite side of the river. “The first notice the enemy had of our presence was a shell from one of the howitzers in their midst, quickly followed by another and another.” He continued, “They took the hint and speedily left, taking shelter in a large mill near the bank… Several shells were thrown into this, and soon not a living soul was to be seen.”

Vandever’s report commented that the, “large ferry-boat laid quietly moored to the other shore, and, thinking it important to obtain possession of that, a call was made for two men to swim the river and bring the flat over to our side.” With this in mind, a Lieutenant Hackney and a Sergeant Wilson, both of Company E of the 6th Missouri, “promptly volunteered and gallantly executed the duty.” They found tha the ferryboat was loaded with scrap iron which he notes was taken from a sunken gunboat in the White River below Saint Charles. To keep the Confederates from using the ferry anymore, Vandever commented that, “The flat was destroyed and sunk [and] I did not deem it prudent to attempt a crossing of any portion of my command.” Throughout the operation of retrieving the ferry, examining it, and destroying it, “we were performing this service [while] the rain was falling in torrents.”

As the day came to a close, Vandever and his command withdrew from the vicinity of the White River, “moving back on the road by which I came to the Lambert Plantation, some 6 miles distant, where I encamped for the night.” About the time the men began to set up camp, the sound of artillery was heard in the direction of Saint Charles, not far in the distance, “which I supposed to be an effort of the enemy to shell us out of the woods, but we had left some time before.” He noted that they heard the enemy guns again about 11pm.

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

“Information obtained from negroes and others in the vicinity satisfies me that a large number of laborers have been employed there in the erection of fortifications and that a force of some sort is encamped not far off. The latter fact is evident from the arrival of artillery so soon after our attack upon the place. Owing to an impassable bayou making in from the river, nearly opposite Saint Charles, I could not extend my observations down the river far enough to detect any fortifications.”

On September 13, Vandever wrote in in report that, “from the Lambert farm this morning I set out on my return, and arrived all safe, without the loss of a man.” He included that several enemy prisoners were taken by his command on his route, “mostly soldiers on leave, who will be sent to the provost-marshal.”

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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

12Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 12)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 12, 1862, Colonel William Weer begn a dispatch to Captain Moonlight at Fort Scott, Kansas that gave some military intelligence on the Confederate forces in Arkansas. He wrote that General Thomas C. Hindman was in command of the rebels and that he was being replaced in Little Rock by T.H. Holmes. He continued, “Rains is in command of Missouri troops, about 7,000 [and] The balance of Hindman’s force is composed of Texans and Arkansas troops and Cooper’s Indians, number not known…They have been located about Maysville, Ark., while Rains is at Indian Creek, about 10 miles southeast of Neosho.”

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On September 12, 1864 Colonel Abraham H. Ryan of the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry (US) wrote up his report after having completed his scouting mission from Lewisburg to Norristown and Russelville. During his scout he skirmished with Confederate forces. His report noted that he left out on his mission on the morning of September 9 and travelled to Norristown and Russelville, “charging into both places, killing 2 rebels near Russellville.” His report includes intelligence that had General Sterling Price’s command at 15,000 men with eighteen cannons, “all the men mounted, with the exception of 200, who act as train guards.”

He reported that Sterling Price left Dover Saturday morning in the direction of Burrowsville, “for the avowed purpose of going to Missouri.” Ryan noted that Captain Clean left out on the scouting mission with thirty-eight men and returned with only fifteen, “The remainder are in the brush and will remain till relieved.” Regarding the worn down horses used on the mission, he noted that they, “gave out before reaching the Cadron… Hiding their horse equipments, the party came through on foot, swimming the Cadron eight miles above the ferry- crossing.” From there the report continued, “Captain Clear and five of his men came down on the Chippewa from the Palarm, the other ten coming through by land.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

In conclusion, Ryan included information regarding Gordon’s regiment, noting that they, “left there Saturday a. m., stating that they were to join Shelby, who was to cut the communications of and starve the forces out of Little Rock.”
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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

12Sep/16

Battery C at Dusk

Civil War Helena

The photo above is of one of several metal soldiers that create a small diorama of the Confederate charge on the Union position atop Battery C on July 4, 1863. The park overlooks historic downtown Helena, the Mississippi River, and you can see miles into Mississippi. The park is open daily from 9am-5pm.

11Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 11)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 11, 1864, Major T.W. Scudder of the 5th Kansas Cavalry Regiment included in his report on his expedition toward Monticello that left out on September 9. On this day he wrote that he gathered a detail of eight men for the purpose of sending as a scout toward the Saline River. The detailed left out at sunrise. He wrote, “The men who went to the crossing rejoined me near Cheney’s Store, on the Pine Bluff road, near McGhee’s plantation.” He continued, “Detached by your order Lieutenant Jenkins and Company G, Fifth Kansas, to report to you for scout toward the fords of the Saline River above Mount Elba.”

As they were about eighteen miles from Pine Bluff, they, “heard sharp firing in front.” As Scudder moved forward, he noticed that the advance had already driven the Confederates from the area. He then fell back to the rear of his command. After marching a short distance, he reported that, “firing commenced upon the right flank a little ahead of me.” After driving the enemy force from the field a second time, Scudder advanced a short distance, “when we were attacked almost simultaneously in flank and rear.” Describing the initial reaction of the Federals, he wrote, “The men were for a time thrown in confusion.”

After a short time Scudder rallied him men and , “held the enemy in check for a time.” Captain Kyler of the First Indiana Cavalry Regiment was acting as Scudder’s rear guard, detoured shortly to the left and rejoined the main column. “Here we had a severe contest for our howitzer; the artillerymen abandoned it, with the exception of the sergeant in command; the firing was heavy and continuous.” His after-action report continued, “At this juncture Lieutenant Jenkins, who had heard the firing and pushed with all speed toward us, came up the road in the enemy’s rear, and gallantly charging them, cut his way through, with the loss of 1 man severely wounded.”

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

“I finally succeeded, gallantly assisted by Lieutenant Quinn, Thirteenth Illinois, in getting the gun away and bringing it safely to town [and] From this point until the Warren cross- roads were reached, a distance of four miles, I was hotly engaged in repelling successive charges of the enemy upon our rear.”
Scudder’s report continues, “Reached the cross- roads and found you, colonel, in line of battle, greatly to my relief [and] By your order formed upon the right. After awaiting the appearance of the enemy for some time, with the reminder I marched toward town.”

“In conclusion, I cannot speak too highly of the valuable aid rendered me by Lieutenant Quinn, Thirteenth Illinois; Lieutenant Bonde, Seventh Missouri; Captain Kyler, First Indiana, and Lieutenants Jenkins, Wood, and Stevenson, Fifth Kansas Cavalry. The sergeant commanding the howitzer, for his behavior in standing bravely by his gun recommend through you to the Governor of his State for promotion.”

His casualty reports included: 1 killed, 1 wounded, 4 missing in 5th Kansas (6 total); “Wounded and left,” 4, 1 missing (5 total). His total casualties were 11 from both regiments.

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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

10Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 10)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 10, 1861, Brigadier-General Benjamin McCulloch drafted a proclamation from his headquarters at Camp Jackson, Arkansas. He was facing supply problems; he was facing mass desertion problems; in general, things were dire for the Confederate command in Arkansas as the Summer began to wind down. McCulloch reminded the citizens of Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana, “Every exertion is now being made on the part of our enemies of the North to retrieve their late disastrous defeats on the plains of Manassas and the late battle-field of Oak Hills [and] It now becomes necessary, in order to maintain the glorious achievements of our arms, that a large force should be thrown into the field on this frontier; and having received instructions from the War Department at Richmond to increase the force under my command, I will receive and muster into the service of the Confederate States five regiments of infantry from each of the above-named States, by companies, battalions, or regiments, for three years or during the war.”

He then set places for these new recruits to meet and begin their training for Confederate service. He wrote that those men from Arkansas would rendezvous at Fort Smith and Camp Jackson. “I have in my possession arms sufficient to equip two regiments of Arkansas troops.” Though he did not have enough for all five regiments, he continued, “The remaining three are required to equip themselves with the best they can procure.” The proclamation also related that those men from Texas would meet at Sherman and those from Louisiana would rendezvous at Little Rock. All five Texas and all five Louisiana regiments were to “equip themselves with the best arms they can procure.”

Though arms were impossible to find for all the soldiers from all the states, McCulloch did note that every man mustering into service would be issued, “two suits of winter clothes and two bankers, together with tents, if they can be procured.”

“It is desirable that the forces of the several States should be in the field at as early a day as possible. I call upon you, therefore, to rally to the defense of your sister State, Missouri.” He continued, “Her cause is your cause, and the cause of justice and independence… Then rally, my countrymen, and assist your friends in Missouri to drive back the Republican myrmidons that still pollute her soiled and threaten to invade your own country, confiscate your property, liberate your slaves, and put to the sword every true Southern man who dares to take up arms in defense of his rights.”

McCulloch’s proclamation concluded, “The principles inaugurated in this war by the proclamation of Major-General Fremont should warn the South of the ultimate intentions of the North, and show them the necessity of rallying to the standard of their country (for the time specified above), prepared to fight in defense of their homes, their altars, and their firesides until our independence shall be recognized and its blessings secured to our posterity.”

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Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

On September 10, 1862, General Thomas C. Hindman had a few questions. He began with citing a dispatch he was reading dated September 2 where a “notorious rebel leader of guerrilla bands in Missouri, was caught last night…He is condemned, and as a spy will suffer death.” Hindman directed attention to this statement and inquired, “whether these men termed ‘guerrillas’ are to be put to death when made prisoners or treated as prisoners of war?”

He then gives an example of the horrific acts going on as early as 1862, though we normally have associated “irregulars” as a phenomenon of 1864 and on. Hindman wanted to know, “whether your Government approves the conduct of one Chrysop, of the Missouri State Militia or acting with it, who lately murdered a Confederate soldier acting as hospital attendant at Berryville, Carroll County, Ark., the murdered man being at the time unarmed and the hospital flag in plain view above him. One Captain Gillespie, U. S. Army, commanded the Federal party at the time.”

While addressing some of the heinous acts committed, Hindman was not go ing to leave out the Indian Territory. “Information is likewise asked whether or not your Government approves the conduct of your Indian auxiliaries, who now infest the border counties of Missouri and Arkansas and the Cherokee country, and have in many instances murdered and scalped aged and unarmed citizens, having no connection with the army, ravished and inflicted stripes upon women, burned houses, and committed other enormities.” In conclusion Hindman reassured, “Abundant proof of the facts stated can be obtained if you desire.”

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In 1864 today marks the day of the Battle of Bayou Fourche or the Battle of Little Rock. Instead of drafting a section on this engagement today, we invite our readers to enjoy the following link on the battle at the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Click HERE to read article.
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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.

09Sep/16

Best Known Image of Sultana Can Be Viewed Saturday September 10 in Helena

SultanaWould you like to see the clearest image known to exist of the Sultana only hours before it exploded? This recent new addition to the Delta Cultural Center’s collection can be seen Saturday September 10, 2016 at the DCC in Helena, Arkansas.

Here’s is your chance to see a part of the museum that is usually closed to the public – the curator’s office & collections. Bill Branch, DCC curator, invites you to view the latest additions to the DCC Permanent Collection.

Visitors will see the donations and purchases that have been added to the museum’s collection during the calendar year – 2016.These items include: a World War II wedding dress from a second marriage, construction plans for the 1961 Helena Bridge, a personal photo album made at Southland College, and tintype photograph of a carte de visite photograph of the Steamboat Sultana, and a baseball signed in 1968 by Gene Bearden.

This program is free and open to the public. Come on by 141 Cherry Street in Helena, Arkansas at 1pm.

09Sep/16

Today in Arkansas During the Civil War (September 9)

The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn September 9, 1864, Brigadier- General Christopher C. Andrews, commander of the 2nd Division or the 7th Army Corps (US), wrote a report on the attack on the steamboat J.D. Perry at Clarendon. He reported that the J.D. Perry was transporting some of General Mower’s command when it was fired into, “by about 100 men just below Clarendon, from Clarendon side.” Andrews continued, “I hope you will not forget my need of troops here.”

He noted that under his command he only had eight companies of the 11th Missouri and eight companies of men of the 12th Michigan. “Am worried every hour for lack of means to do the work.”

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On September 12, 1864 Colonel Abraham H. Ryan of the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry (US) wrote up his report after having completed his scouting mission from Lewisburg to Norristown and Russelville. The mission began on September 9.
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The James Ginnett Collection had a few entries for September 9, 1864:

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

Civil War Arkansas: A Military Atlas

-Private John Wesele, aged 39, was born in Bohemia and served in Company F of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

-Private John P. Grantham served in Company F of the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment. He died at home on this date in Irving, Illinois.

-James L. Brady was from Rockport, Indiana and he served in Company A (Reorganized) of the 1st Indiana Cavalry Regiment. He died on this date in Pine Bluff.

-Charles M. Scofield, aged 19, was born in New York. He died at his home in Cannon Falls, Michigan (from Goodhugh County, Minnesota). He served in the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

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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 info@arkansastoothpick.com.