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


    During the weekend of July 16-17, several historians/genealogists of Izard County were able to find that there was one death on the Confederate side during the Skirmish at Lunenburg. Working from a genealogy connection made by Freda Cruse Phillips in her book Places of Our People, the group, which consisted of Roger Harvell, Bob Cooper, Bud Cooper, and Sue Chrisco, exchanged information and found that William Asa Hinkle, a native of Lunenburg, was wounded during the skirmish and died the next day. He is buried in the Lunenburg Cemetery. [Editor’s note: The entry has been updated to reflect this.]

    Mr. Denny Elrod

    Anderson (Asa) Williams was brother to my great-great-grandfather Mace Williams, who also served in Baxter’s 4th Mounted Infantry.

    I have copies of the official records of Capt. T. A. Baxter’s report and Col. Livingston’s report to Gen. Curtis on the subject. Capt. Baxter identifies Asa by only “man named Williams.” There is one interesting point here: very few people if any, outside a few in our family, know that Asa also went by his middle name Anderson. I noticed in your article that you called Asa “Anderson A. Williams,” and it made me wonder what the source was. I am very interested in this chapter of our family history. History of Baxter’s 4th is scarce. I have what appears to be a complete roster for Baxter’s 4th, companies A through E. It came from the late Nola James. As Nola is deceased, I have been unable to track down her source.

    Rick Cook