Skirmish at Crooked Creek

Location: Boone County
Campaign: None
Date: February 5, 1864
Principal Commanders: Captain Charles Galloway (US); Unknown (CS)
Forces Engaged: Unknown (US); Unknown (CS)
Estimated Casualties: None (US); Unknown (CS)
Result: Union victory

Part of Union efforts in northwestern Arkansas to disrupt Confederate operations, this skirmish was one of several encounters over a four-week period in early 1864.

In January 1864, the Second Arkansas Cavalry (US) was stationed in Cassville, Missouri. Colonel John E. Phelps received orders from Brigadier General John Sanborn to move into Arkansas in an effort to disrupt a planned raid by Confederate forces into Missouri. Phelps led his unit into the state to link up with other Federal units.

At the same time, troops from the First Arkansas Cavalry (US) under the command of Captain Charles Galloway were scouting in the area. Leaving Fayetteville (Washington County) on January 10, Galloway moved eastward, receiving reinforcements. Galloway’s troops joined the Second Arkansas in Searcy County on January 22. Over the next week, the Federals moved through the area, fighting several skirmishes against Confederate or guerrilla forces. By January 29, the combined forces had effectively disrupted most enemy operations in the area, and the units separated. On February 5, Galloway moved his command to Rolling Prairie in Boone County.

The same day, Galloway took part of his command on a scout to Crooked Creek. While moving through the area, the Federals attacked a group of about 300 Confederates. Pursuing the enemy, the Union force killed and captured an unspecified number before the Confederates were able to escape.

Three days later, Galloway and his command were joined by Brigadier General Colly Holland and moved to Yellville (Marion County). Galloway and his men continued to scout the surrounding area, using the town as a base of operations.

The Skirmish at Crooked Creek was a very brief encounter during a much larger operation that stretched across several counties and took more than a month. It was, however, typical of the type of engagement fought in northwestern Arkansas during this period, with the Federals seeing to keep enemy forces off balance.

For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 1, Vol. 34, Part I. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1889.

David Sesser
Henderson State University


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