Skirmish at Farr's Mill

Location: Garland County
Campaign: None
Date: July 9, 1864
Forces Engaged: Fourth Arkansas Cavalry (US); Cook’s and Crawford’s Companies (CS)
Casualties: None (US); 4 dead, 6 wounded (CS)
Result: Union victory

On July 4, 1864, the Fourth Arkansas Cavalry (US) was ordered on a scouting expedition to Caddo Gap (Montgomery County). About 250 men of the Fourth Arkansas set out on July 5 and almost immediately began skirmishing with Confederate irregulars. They proceeded to Farr’s Mill near the confluence of Gulpha Creek and the Ouachita River near Hot Springs (Garland County) and camped on July 8.

A detachment of Union troops proceeded into Hot Springs the next day, chasing a band of Confederates through town. About 100 Confederates in Cook’s and Crawford’s bands of irregulars then attacked the camp at Farr’s Mill, where a fierce Federal counterattack drove them off. The Confederates lost four dead and six wounded, while the Fourth Arkansas suffered no casualties in the skirmish.

The Fourth Arkansas continued on to Caddo Gap, gathering Unionist recruits before turning back toward Little Rock (Pulaski County) amid other skirmishes. While the Union cavalrymen suffered no casualties during the fight at Farr’s Mill, the Fourth Arkansas lost one killed, eight wounded, and three missing over the course of the rest of the expedition.

The Skirmish at Farr’s Mill, coupled with the other skirmishes during the Union expedition to Caddo Gap, was typical of operations during the last year of the Civil War in Arkansas as small bands of Union horsemen clashed with Confederate guerrillas or cavalry. It should be noted that while The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies shows the date of the skirmish at Farr’s Mill as July 14, 1864, contemporary correspondence by Hot Springs citizens indicated it took place on July 9.

For additional information:
Rhodes, Larry. “The Charge of the 4th Arkansas Cavalry.” Greater Hot Springs Senior Edition 7, no. 6 (July 2000): 1.

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Vol. 41, parts 1 and 2. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1893.

Mark K. Christ
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program


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