Scout from Cassville, Missouri, to Huntsville and Yellville (November 11–21, 1864)
Soldiers of the Second Arkansas Cavalry Regiment (US) conducted the November 11–21, 1864, scout from Cassville, Missouri, to Huntsville (Madison County) and Yellville (Marion County) in search of Confederate troops and guerrillas operating in northwestern Arkansas.
Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Cameron led 160 men of the Second Arkansas south from Cassville on November 11, 1864, and reached Berryville (Carroll County) the next day, where they encountered Confederate major William J. Lauderdale, who was among several rebel officers in the region gathering stragglers and sending them to their units. The Federals opened fire, wounding Lauderdale and killing his horse. A soldier of the Second Arkansas disobeyed orders and left Lauderdale at a civilian’s house, allowing him to escape.
On the morning of November 13, Cameron sent his wagons and sixty men to Carrollton (Carroll County) while he and the remainder rode up Osage Creek to try to capture Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Fullbright and Major John M. Harrell, who were also gathering stragglers. The officers left before the Arkansas troopers arrived, but they captured five men, severely wounded two (who were left behind), and seized six horses and two mules.
The Federals set out at 3:00 a.m. on November 14 toward Jasper (Newton County), though Cameron sent twenty-five men under Lieutenant Alvis Smith toward Yellville to determine whether there were any Confederate troops in the area. Smith and his men rode to Clapper’s Mill (Boone County), but “finding the rebels too numerous to go farther, he returned, bringing with him six prisoners and the same number of horses and horse equipments.” Cameron’s advance troops also encountered Lieutenant John Dearing of John Cecil’s guerrilla band and fired on him, but the Confederate escaped. The Arkansans entered Crooked Creek the next day, where they located and chased Lieutenant Colonel C. H. Nichols, who also escaped.
Cameron led 100 men toward Yellville on the morning of November 16, where they attacked a party from Lieutenant Colonel John A. Schnable’s command, killing a lieutenant and another soldier and capturing nine men. The Federal column was attacked by guerrillas as it approached Talbot’s Ferry on the White River that evening, losing one horse. They crossed the river the next day and captured Major Jesse Mooney of Schnable’s regiment, along with six other men.
The Federals turned back toward Missouri on November 18, and four of their prisoners escaped before they finished their 400-mile scouting expedition at Springfield, Missouri, on September 21. Cameron reported the movements of three Confederate brigades that had split from Major General Sterling Price’s disastrous Missouri raid and headed toward Arkansas. In addition, he reported, “I brought 22 prisoners, 19 horses, 5 mules, 7 revolvers, 4 McClellan saddles, about $600 of Confederate scrip and $3.45 U.S. money,” along with ten bushels of salt and various firearms and other items.
For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Vol. 41, part 1, pp. 917–919. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1893.
Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System
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