Skirmish at Beatty's Mill


Location: Yell County
Campaign: None
Date: September 1, 1864
Principal Commanders: Captain David Hamilton (US); John A. Conly (CS)
Forces Engaged: Third Arkansas Cavalry (US); Unidentified guerrillas (CS)
Estimated Casualties: None (US); 2 killed, several wounded (CS)
Result: Union victory

By 1864, much of Conway County and the surrounding area was routinely overrun by marauding bands of Confederate guerrillas. In April 1864, Colonel Abraham Ryan and the recently formed Third Arkansas Cavalry were dispatched to Conway County to help secure the area. Col. Ryan established his base of operations at Lewisburg (Conway County).

The regiment remained on almost constant watch, as it had been engaged in several skirmishes during scouting missions. On September 1, 1864, Colonel David Hamilton and a force of sixty-five troopers were dispatched upon a short scout into Yell County. On that same day, Col. Hamilton engaged an estimated force of 160 Confederates led by John A. Conly. Upon seeing the approaching enemy, Hamilton immediately ordered a charge, routing the Confederates. The Third Arkansas Cavalry sustained no casualties but killed two Confederates and reported the wounding of several others. Additionally, two Union soldiers of the Second Arkansas Infantry were freed. Hamilton reported that the Confederates had a supply of Spanish Brown (a type of paint) that they apparently were using to disguise themselves as Native Americans.

Hamilton returned to Lewisburg the night of September 1.

For additional information:
Allen, Desmond Walls. Third Arkansas Union Cavalry. Conway, AR: Arkansas Research, 1987.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 1, Vol. 41, Part 1. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1889.

Mike Polston
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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