Scout from Pine Bluff to Noble’s Farm (May 4–6, 1865)

The May 4–6, 1865, scout from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) to Noble’s Farm was undertaken by members of a Union regiment to attack a band of bushwhackers but instead resulted in the capture of several Confederate soldiers.

A pair of Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment officers led fifty-man detachments from the Federal base at Pine Bluff on May 4, 1865, with orders to capture Captain R. A. Kidd “and his lawless band of robbers.” Captain Edward Brown of Company I left at 3:00 a.m. to scout along the south side of Bayou Bartholomew, while Captain George W. Suesberry of Company L left at 6:00 a.m. to search along the north side of the bayou.

Suesberry learned around 10:00 a.m. that Kidd and his bushwhackers had headed toward Monticello (Drew County) the morning before, so he continued along the bayou to a Mr. Derrisaw’s place, where Suesberry and his men, at around 3:00 p.m., captured a man named George Wyatt, who said he was a private in the Second Arkansas Cavalry (CS).

The detachments of Brown and Suesberry joined together at daylight on March 5 at John Rodgers’s plantation eighteen miles south of Pine Bluff. They crossed Bayou Bartholomew and rode to Wyatt’s farm, where they captured a man named Clay Haynes, who also claimed to be a Second Arkansas trooper.

They rode on to Noble’s farm, arriving at 3:00 p.m. and capturing Lieutenant Mark Noble of Company C, Second Arkansas Cavalry (CS). (Neither Wyatt nor Haynes are listed on the Second Arkansas’s rosters, however.)

After taking Noble prisoner, the Illinoisans headed back to Pine Bluff, arriving on May 6 having captured three prisoners, five horses, six rifles, and a pistol. Their patrol uncovered no organized Confederate forces.

Lieutenant Noble was released from Union custody on June 10, 1865, after signing an oath of allegiance.

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. 257. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1896.

Mark K. Christ
Central Arkansas Library System


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