Skirmish at Lunenburg

Location: Izard County
Campaign: None
Date(s): January 20, 1864
Principal Commanders: Colonel Taylor Baxter (US); Colonel Thomas Freeman (CS)
Forces Engaged: Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry Volunteers (US); Freeman’s Missouri Cavalry
Estimated Casualties: 1 killed, 2 captured, 3 wounded (US); 2 captured, 4 wounded (CS)
Result: Union victory

By the winter of 1863, much of Izard County was overrun by lawless bands of bushwhackers and guerrillas. Late that year, Union colonel Robert Livingston, commanding the First Nebraska Cavalry, was dispatched to Batesville (Independence County), having been commanded to bring some order to northern Arkansas.

On January 19, Livingston dispatched a force of approximately forty-four troopers of the Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry Volunteers (US), led by Captain Taylor Baxter, to seek out and engage the Missouri cavalry of Colonel Thomas Freeman, which was known to be operating in the region. (Baxter was the brother of future governor Elisha Baxter.) The next day, Baxter’s force attacked Freeman’s forces camped in the Copper Valley near Lunenburg (Izard County). After a brief fight, the Confederates were driven back but regrouped, expecting a second attack. When no attack came, the Confederates withdrew from the field.

Casualties were light, with one Union soldier killed, Anderson A. Williams. Three additional Union soldiers were wounded. The Confederates suffered four wounded and two captured, according to official records. There is also some evidence that a Confederate soldier who was wounded, William Asa Hinkle, a native of Lunenburg, died of his wounds the following day. The Confederates also suffered losses in the form of captured horses and equipment, which could not be replaced.

The Skirmish at Lunenburg seems to have had little effect on Col. Freeman, as his cavalry continued to remain active in the area.

On May 16, 2010, as a part of the national Civil War Sesquicentennial observance, a marker was placed near the skirmish site.

For additional information:
“Civil War Program in Melbourne, Presentation by William ‘Bud’ Cooper.” Izard County Historian 32 (October 2007): 92–97.

Cooper, William Bud. “The Civil War in Izard County, 1861–65.” Izard County Historian 33 (January 2008): 10–14.

Hammett, Charles. “Civil War Skirmishes in Izard County.” Izard County Historian 7 (April 1976): 25–34.

Mike Polston
CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas


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