Scout from Brownsville (January 17–19, 1864)
A party of Union soldiers from Brownsville (Lonoke County) headed north on January 17, 1864, to connect with the Third Missouri Cavalry Regiment (US) in Searcy (White County), apparently to deliver orders for the Missourians to report to Little Rock (Pulaski County).
The Third Missouri Cavalry had been stationed at Jacksonport (Jackson County) but moved its station to Searcy on January 10, 1864. Four days later, it sent a contingent of soldiers from Company M under Lieutenant Francis Hyatt to the Little Red River to meet a steamboat that was supposed to deliver supplies. After determining that the boat had turned back, the troopers headed back toward the rest of the regiment.
They encountered a band of twenty bushwhackers led by Captain Jim Poe and attacked. Sergeant John Thompson of Company M fatally wounded Poe, and the guerrilla’s lieutenant, a man named Garrison, was also killed. The other eighteen rebels scattered and escaped.
The Brownsville troops and the Third Missouri reached Brownsville on January 19, and the Third decamped for Little Rock the next day. The scouting expedition also reported that Brigadier General Dandridge McRae “is still in that region, but goes alone” and that Colonel A. R. Witt of the Tenth Arkansas Cavalry was located west of Searcy with between 200 and 300 men, not all of whom were armed.
For additional information:
Hewett, Janet B., et al., eds. Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Vol. 34. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot Publishing Co., 1994–2001.
Petty, A. W. M. A History of the Third Missouri Cavalry from Its Organization at Palmyra, Missouri, 1861, up to November Sixth, 1864. Little Rock: J. W. Demby, 1941.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. 34, part 1, p. 96. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1891.
Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System
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