Berryville Expedition

aka: Carrollton Expedition
aka: Huntsville Expedition

Location: Northwestern Arkansas
Campaign: None
Dates: November 10–18, 1863
Principal Commanders: Major Austin A. King Jr. (US); Unknown (CS)
Forces Engaged: Men from the Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry and Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Cavalry (US); Unknown (CS)
Estimated Casualties: 1 wounded (US); 3 killed, 6 taken prisoner (CS)
Result: Union victory

The Berryville Expedition (a.k.a. the Carrollton Expedition or the Huntsville Expedition) took place November 10–18, 1863. Major Austin A. King Jr. of the Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (US) commanded this expedition from Springfield, Missouri, into northwestern Arkansas. He reported his activities to his commanding officer, Brigadier General John B. Sanborn, who commanded the District of Southwestern Missouri.

In compliance with Special Orders No. 231, Headquarters Southwestern District of Missouri, dated November 10, 1863, Major King left Springfield with a command of 200 men. This force was composed of men of the Sixth Missouri State Militia Cavalry (US) and Eleventh Missouri Volunteer Cavalry (US). They marched to Linden, Missouri, and then southeast of Forsyth, where their wagon train was left. They continued south across the White River to Carrollton (Carroll County), killing one guerrilla and capturing two prisoners. They traveled on to Huntsville (Madison County), where two more prisoners were taken. While traveling north to Berryville (Carroll County), two more guerrillas were killed. When they reached Berryville, two more prisoners were taken. From Berryville, they continued on to the Kings River, then north, crossing the White River and up to Roaring River, into Missouri.

Major King detached one squadron under Lieutenant C. Finley to move northeast through the country in search of bands of guerrillas reported in the vicinity. With the main command, King moved up Flat Creek and then back to the cavalry’s post in Springfield, Missouri. The prisoners were turned over to the provost-marshal with descriptive rolls of the prisoners. Lieutenant A. T. Baubie, regimental quartermaster, received the horses.

While on the expedition, King obtained information that Colonel W. H. Brooks of the Confederate States Army was on Rolling Prairie in eastern Carroll County. Brooks had 600 men and likely crossed the mountains south into the Arkansas River Valley. King reported that the country at this time was comparatively quiet and that forage was very scarce. The expedition forces returned to Springfield by November 18.

The Berryville Expedition, which lasted for nine days and covered some 200 miles, was typical of the many military movements in northwestern Arkansas in 1863. Deemed a Union success, the expedition helped gather useful information concerning Confederate troop movements and inflicted some casualties.

For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. 22, part 1. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1888.

James Troy Massey
Harrison, Arkansas


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