Operations around Bennett’s Bayou and Tolbert’s Mill (February 16–18, 1865)

The operations around Bennett’s Bayou and Tolbert’s Mill were typical of Union maneuvers in the Ozarks region during the winter of 1864 and 1865, when much of the activity centered around hunting the guerrilla bands that roamed the region.

Lieutenant William N. Alsup led a detachment of forty-eight men of the Forty-Sixth Missouri Infantry from their base in Ozark County, Missouri, on February 16, 1865, and marched to Bennett’s Bayou in Fulton County, near present-day Gamaliel (Baxter County).

The next day, they marched east to Bennett’s River, where they encountered and killed a bushwhacker at Tolbert’s Mill. Alsup reported, “Being satisfied that the mill was a resort for rebels and guerrillas, I ordered it burned.” The Missourians killed another guerrilla nearby.

The detachment returned to Missouri the next day, “thoroughly scouting the country through which we passed.”

For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. 48, part 1, p. 116. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1896.

Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System


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