Individuals and Units

Entries - Entry Category: Individuals and Units

Collier, Calvin Lawrence

Calvin L. Collier was a career U.S. Air Force officer who wrote several regimental histories of Arkansas Confederate units around the time of the Civil War Centennial in the 1960s and was one of the founders of the Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas. Calvin Lawrence Collier was born on September 8, 1923, the youngest of the eight children of Robert E. Collier and Nettie Mae Pippin Collier of Dendron, Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in November 1942 and flew thirty-six missions in B-26 “Marauder” bombers during World War II as part of the 451st Bomb Squadron, 322nd Bomb Group, Ninth Air Force. Collier was badly wounded during one mission. He flew planes during the Berlin Airlift …

Collier, Gilbert Georgie

Gilbert Georgie Collier was an Arkansas-born soldier who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in trying to save the life of a comrade during the Korean War. Gilbert Georgie Collier was born on December 30, 1930, in Hunter (Woodruff County), the son of George H. Collier, who was a disabled veteran, and Ollie Collier. He had four brothers and a sister. By 1940, the family had moved to La Grue Township in Arkansas County. He married sixteen-year-old Peggy Connelly of Gillett (Arkansas County) on May 27, 1950. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at Tichnor (Arkansas County), as did another future Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, Lloyd L. Burke. Collier was serving as a corporal in Company …

Cook, Everett Richard

Everett Richard Cook was a Marianna (Lee County) cotton broker who became a World War I flying ace, a successful businessman, and Deputy Chief of Staff of the Eighth and Twelfth Air Forces during World War II. Everett Richard Cook was born on December 12, 1894, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Jesse Cook and Ollie Belle Everett Cook. The family moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1899. After an education in the Memphis public schools, Cook got a job at the Dillard and Coffin cotton firm, where he learned about the cotton business. In 1916, with $1,000 he had saved, Cook moved to Marianna to run his own business from an office in the Bank of Marianna. “I was rather …

Cook, Gilbert Richard

Gilbert Richard Cook, born in Texarkana (Miller County), was a career U.S. Army officer who served in France in World War I and as deputy commander of George S. Patton’s Third Army during World War II. Gilbert R. Cook was born on December 30, 1889, in Texarkana, the son of attorney Joseph E. Cook and Mary A. Young Cook. He attended local schools but was drawn toward a military career, the result, perhaps, of being the grandson of men who had served in both the Confederate and U.S. armies. He was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1908, graduating on June 12, 1912, after serving as a cadet sergeant and playing on the academy’s baseball and …

Cook, Virgil Young (V. Y.)

Virgil Young (V. Y.) Cook was a veteran of two wars—the Civil War and the Spanish-American War—who founded the town of Olyphant (Jackson County) and eventually accumulated thousands of acres of land, running a vast plantation enterprise in northeastern Arkansas. His home in Batesville (Independence County), today known as the Cook-Morrow House, is on the National Register of Historic Places. V. Y. Cook was born on November 14, 1848, in Boydsville, Kentucky, to William Detterline (Bill) Cook and Pernecia Dodds Cook. Cook attended subscription schools in Boydsville, obtaining the equivalent of an elementary education. Kentucky was a divided state in the Civil War, and even though it stayed with the Union, there were many Confederate sympathizers living there. One was …

Cooke, Charles Maynard “Savvy,” Jr.

Fort Smith (Sebastian County) native Charles Maynard “Savvy” Cooke Jr. rose through the ranks of the U.S. Navy from academy cadet to four-star admiral during an extraordinary career spanning more than two decades and two world wars. He survived a sinking submarine; came under attack at Pearl Harbor; had shrapnel strike his helmet on Omaha Beach during the D-Day invasion; attended wartime summits in Casablanca, Quebec, Cairo, Teheran, Yalta, and Potsdam; and stood on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to witness the Japanese surrender. Charles Cooke Jr. was born in Fort Smith on December 19, 1886, on the family farm of Charles Cooke Sr., a local attorney who later served as mayor and U.S. attorney, and …

Craft, Clarence Byrle

Clarence Byrle Craft, a native of California, received the Medal of Honor for his actions on Hen Hill during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. He moved to Arkansas after World War II and died in Fayetteville (Washington County). Clarence B. Craft was born on September 23, 1921, in San Bernardino, California, the son Louis E. Craft and Pearl Collins Craft. His father, a railroad engineer, died in an accident in 1929 or 1930. His mother worked as a cook in the Harvey House restaurant chain, which led her and her children to move frequently. When World War II began, Craft joined the U.S. Army at Santa Ana, California, and shipped out as a private first class in Company G, …

Crawford, William Ayers

William Ayers Crawford’s importance to Arkansas history stems from his service to the Confederacy and his participation in Arkansas’s postwar political crises, the most visible of which was the Brooks-Baxter War. William Crawford was born on June 24, 1825, in Washington County, Tennessee, the youngest of eleven children of William Ayers Crawford and Martha Blakely Crawford. His father was a farmer and breeder of fine horses; he died in 1834. Following his mother’s death in 1840, the orphaned Crawford left Tennessee with older siblings. After passing through Little Rock (Pulaski County) en route to Texas, they changed their original plan and made Saline County their permanent home, farming for a living. In June 1846, Crawford enlisted for service in the …

Crockett, Woodrow Wilson

Miller County native Woodrow W. Crockett served as a combat pilot in both World War II and the Korean War. Entering the service as an artilleryman, Crockett transferred to Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute as an aviation cadet and became one of the pilots of the famous Tuskegee Airmen. Crockett remained in the service of his country for twenty-eight years. He was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1995. Woodrow Wilson Crockett was born on August 31, 1918, in Homan (Miller County). Nicknamed “Woody” as a child, he was the fifth of six children born to school teachers William Crockett and Lucindan Crockett. He grew up in Texarkana (Miller County) and then lived with his sister in Little Rock …

Curtis, Samuel Ryan

Samuel Ryan Curtis was the Union general responsible for the victory at the Battle of Pea Ridge, the capture of Helena (Phillips County), and the repulse of Price’s 1864 invasion of Missouri and Kansas. Samuel Curtis was born on a farm in Clinton County, New York, on February 3, 1805, to Zarah and Phalley Yale Curtis prior to the family’s move to Licking County, Ohio. He married Belinda Buckingham in 1831. The couple had six children. A West Point graduate (1831), Curtis resigned his commission in June 1832. During his civilian life, Curtis served as an engineer for the Muskingum River and the Des Moines River improvement projects, the National Road, and the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Admitted to …

Dalton, Donald

Donald Dalton served as a brigadier general in the Arkansas National Guard. At the end of his career, he was the commander of the Arkansas Air National Guard. Donald Dalton was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 10, 1939, to John and Dora Dalton. His father worked as a baker, and Donald had an older brother and two older sisters at the time of his birth. While he was a child, the family moved to Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Dalton graduated from Central High School in 1957. Dalton enlisted in the Air National Guard as a weapons mechanic that same year. In 1961, he received a commission as a second lieutenant and entered undergraduate pilot training at Laredo …

Darby, William Orlando

Brigadier General William Orlando Darby, born in western Arkansas, is best known for his organization of the First Ranger Battalion during World War II. He was known as an exemplary leader in combat, and he always led his men into battle. Bill Darby was born on February 8, 1911, in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). His father, Percy Darby, owned a print shop, and his mother, Nell, was a homemaker. He had a younger sister named Doris. Darby attended Belle Grove School through the sixth grade and then went to Fort Smith Senior High School. After his graduation in 1929, he received an appointment to West Point Military Academy, where he served as a cadet company commander. He graduated from West …

Dark, John William (Bill)

John William (Bill) Dark was a bushwhacker in north-central Arkansas during the Civil War. From June 1862 to January 1863, he served as captain of Company A, Coffee’s Recruits, a guerrilla band that attempted to thwart Federal advances in northern Arkansas, as well as to conscript state troops. Dark soon gained the reputation as a cruel and ruthless plunderer who preyed on citizens of Searcy, Izard, and Van Buren counties. Bill Dark was born in Arkansas sometime around 1835. Most of his short and violent life remains shrouded in mystery, and what is known about Dark comes through oral history. He was apparently a handsome and literate young man with long red hair. In 1850, the first time his name …

Davidson, John Wynn

John Wynn Davidson was a United States army officer who led the cavalry contingent of the Union army that captured Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1863 and who subsequently feuded with Major General Frederick Steele about Federal policy in the state. John Wynn Davidson was born on August 18, 1824, in Fairfax County, Virginia, the son of William B. Davidson and Catherine Davidson. His father was a West Point graduate and veteran of the Seminole wars in Florida, and his grandfather was a general officer in the American Revolution. John Wynn Davidson followed his father into the army, graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1845. He served frontier duty in Kansas and Wisconsin before fighting in …

Davis, Herman

Herman Davis was an outstanding marksman who distinguished himself in the U.S. Army during World War I. General John J. Pershing listed Davis fourth on a list of the greatest heroes of World War I. Herman Davis was born on January 3, 1888, at Big Lake Island, which later became Manila (Mississippi County), the son of Jeff and Mary Ann Vance Davis. The family operated a country store and supplemented its meager income with hunting, fishing, and farming. Davis quit school after the fourth grade to help support the family. He grew up in the woods and became a hunting guide at an early age, thought to be in his teens. Davis was an accurate shot and in the period …

Dobbins, Archibald

Archibald S. Dobbins was a planter and a colonel in the Confederate army who spent most of the war leading cavalry units in Arkansas and Missouri. Archibald Dobbins was born in 1827, in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of David Dobbins and Catherine (Gilchrist) Dobbins; he had at least six siblings. His parents were farmers, and he grew up near Mount Pleasant, Tennessee. In 1850, Dobbins married Mary Patience Dawson. By the early 1850s, he had moved to Arkansas to establish himself as a planter. He purchased land in Phillips County, as well as land across the Mississippi River in Coahoma County, Mississippi. He became wealthy and established himself as part of the Helena (Phillips County) community. Dobbins did not …

Dockery, Thomas Pleasant

Thomas Pleasant Dockery attained the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate army, commanding Arkansas troops in a number of important engagements on both sides of the Mississippi River. He enjoyed a reputation as a gallant and aggressive commander. One private under Dockery’s command recalled, “It was one of Colonel Dockery’s hobbies to volunteer to take some battery or storm some difficult stronghold.” At his death, the Arkansas Gazette observed that Dockery “was a broad-gauged man. He was as brave and gallant a soldier as the Confederacy produced.” Born in North Carolina on December 18, 1833, to Colonel John Dockery and his wife, Ann, Thomas Dockery eventually moved to Arkansas, settling in Columbia County, where his father established a large …

Dodd, David Owen

During the Civil War, seventeen-year-old David Owen Dodd of Little Rock (Pulaski County) was hanged as a spy by the Union army. He has been called the “boy hero of Arkansas” as well as “boy martyr of the Confederacy.” His story has inspired tributes such as the epic poem The Long, Long Thoughts of Youth by Marie Erwin Ward, a full-length play, and even reportedly a 1915 silent Hollywood movie, which has not survived. Historical markers, monuments, annual reenactments of his execution, and the naming of the David O. Dodd Elementary School in southwest Little Rock are among the state’s recognitions of his life and death. David Owen Dodd was born on November 10, 1846, in Lavaca County, Texas, to …

Dodge, Grenville Mellen

Grenville Dodge was a Union officer who fought in Arkansas at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Throughout his life, Dodge was an engineer, soldier, politician, and railroad builder. Grenville Mellen Dodge was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, on April 12, 1831, to Silvanus Dodge and Julia Theresa Phillips Dodge. Dodge was admitted to Norwich University in 1847 and majored in engineering and military tactics, graduating in 1850. He married Ruth Anne Browne on May 29, 1854, and they had three daughters. Dodge and his family moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1855. Foreshadowing future endeavors in his life, in 1859, Dodge met presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and they talked about railroads. In July 1861, Dodge joined the Union army; he was …

Dorsey, Stephen Wallace

Stephen Wallace Dorsey was a soldier, a U.S. senator from Arkansas, and an entrepreneur involved with railroads, ranching, mail delivery contracting, and mining. Ambitious, smart, and handsome, Dorsey was a prominent and successful man throughout his lifetime. His achievements, however, were frequently surrounded by controversy and scandal. The son of Irish immigrants, Stephen Dorsey was born on a farm in Benson, Vermont, on February 28, 1842. He was the seventh of ten children born to John and Mary Dorsey. When he was a teenager, Dorsey and his family moved to Oberlin, Ohio. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, Dorsey enlisted as a private in the First Ohio Light Artillery. He fought under generals James A. Garfield and …

Douglas, Paul Page, Jr.

Brigadier General Paul Page Douglas, a Paragould (Greene County) native and an air force “ace,” was one of the most highly decorated fighter pilots from 1940 to 1970. In 1940, he joined the Arkansas National Guard, and he retired as commander of the 836th Air Division at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, in 1970. The tactics he developed for the P-47 Thunderbolt during World War II made that plane one of the most successful fighter planes of the war. Douglas was born in Paragould on April 23, 1919, to Bess Douglas and Paul Page Douglas. His father was a conductor on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Douglas attended public schools in Paragould and graduated from high school in 1938. That fall, …

Dunnington, John William

John William Dunnington was a Confederate naval and infantry officer during the Civil War. After serving in the U.S. Navy early in his career, he joined the Confederate navy. He served for approximately nine months in Arkansas and took part in the Engagement at St. Charles and Battle of Arkansas Post. Dunnington was rare in that he held the rank of officer in both the Confederate army and navy during the war and served both east and west of the Mississippi River. John W. Dunnington was born on May 18, 1833, in Christian County, Kentucky, to Francis Dunnington (1798–1835) and Elizabeth Cobey Dunnington (1799–1848), both of whom were natives of Maryland. Dunnington’s brother, Francis C. Dunnington, served on Nathan Bedford …

Earle, Fontaine Richard

Fontaine Richard Earle was a major in the Thirty-fourth Arkansas Infantry (CSA) from Cane Hill (Washington County). He fought in a number of Civil War battles in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and later served northwest Arkansas as a legislator (1866–1867), minister, teacher, administrator, and author. Fontaine R. Earle was born on January 9, 1831, in Pond River, Kentucky. His parents, Samuel Baylis Earle and Jane Woodson Earle, were farmers in Pond River; he had eight siblings. Earle received bachelor’s degrees in arts and divinity from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1858. He moved to Boonsboro (now Cane Hill) in 1859 to become president of Cane Hill College and a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. During the Civil War, he became engaged to …

Earle, Josiah Francis

Josiah Francis Earle was a landowner in eastern Arkansas who served in the Civil War as a Confederate officer. The town of Earle (Crittenden County) is named for him. Born on September 15, 1828, in Camden County, North Carolina, Earle was the second child of Josiah Earle and Nancy Lamb Earle. His father owned a number of trade ships operating in the Atlantic between the United States and the West Indies. At least one source lists Earle as serving during the Mexican War, although it is not clear if he actually participated in the conflict. He moved to Arkansas as a young man, settling in Crittenden County. He appeared on an 1850 listing of residents in Proctor Township, Crittenden County, …

Eberle, Edward Walter

Edward Walter Eberle was a U.S. Navy officer who grew up in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) before beginning a forty-seven-year career that saw him develop several innovations and rise to some of the highest naval posts. Two naval ships, the USS Eberle and the USS Admiral E. W. Eberle, have been named in his honor. Edward Walter Eberle was born on August 17, 1864, in Denton, Texas, to Joseph Eberle and Mary Stemler Eberle, who fled Fort Smith when Union troops threatened to capture the town in 1863. They returned to Fort Smith after the war, and young Edward attended school there before being appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in September 1881. After graduating, he served on the USS …

Edwards, Daniel Richmond

Daniel Richmond Edwards, a native Texan, received the Medal of Honor for his actions during World War I. He also claimed a wide range of other adventures before moving to Arkansas and becoming a Lake Ouachita fishing guide. In its entry on Edwards, the Texas State Cemetery website states: “The events of Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Edwards’ life, from birth to death, are unclear. He was prone to embellishment, a trait most likely enhanced by his celebrity, and records from the time he lived are often incomplete, making many of his claims impossible to disprove and many true events difficult to confirm.” Daniel Richmond Edwards was born on April 9, 1897, in Mooreville, Texas, to Jefferson Dudley Edwards and …

Eighteenth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Eighteenth Arkansas Infantry was a regiment that served in the Confederate army in both the Western Theater and in the Trans-Mississippi. (Another regiment was also briefly known as the Eighteenth Arkansas before being renamed the Third Confederate Infantry.) The unit consisted of ten companies from across central, southern, and eastern Arkansas. The companies represented Jefferson, Dallas, Prairie, Arkansas, St. Francis, Saline, and Ouachita counties. Organized in DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) on April 2, 1862, the regiment joined the majority of Confederate troops in the state as they moved east of the Mississippi River after the Battle of Pea Ridge. The first colonel of the unit was David Carroll from Jefferson County. Moving to Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River …

Eighth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Eighth Arkansas Infantry was a regiment that served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Spending most of its service in the Western Theater, the regiment served for the duration of the war. After Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, a number of military units began to organize. Companies organized in communities around the state and moved to a number of centralized locations to form regiments. Ten companies from northeastern Arkansas organized into the Eighth Arkansas near Jacksonport (Jackson County) on July 13, 1861. The companies were from Jackson, Independent, White, and Randolph counties. The first colonel of the regiment was William Patterson, an attorney in civilian life. The unit received arms captured at the …

Eleventh Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Eleventh Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The regiment was enrolled on July 9, 1861, in Benton (Saline County) by Brigadier General George M. Holt, Arkansas State Militia. Composed of companies and men primarily from Saline County (Companies A, B, D, F, I, and K), the regiment had additional companies from Ouachita, Hot Spring, Columbia, and Hempstead counties. The elected colonel was Jabez M. Smith of Benton, a merchant and lawyer. The regiment proceeded to Memphis, Tennessee, and later to Fort Pillow, Island No. 10, and finally New Madrid, Missouri. There, it garrisoned at Fort Thompson, along with the Twelfth Arkansas Infantry, and operated as pickets in …

Eleventh Regiment, United States Colored Troops (US)

The Eleventh Regiment, United States Colored Troops was organized in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) on December 19, 1863. The regiment was attached to the Second Brigade in the District of the Frontier, Seventh Corps in the Department of Arkansas of the Union army, where it remained until the war’s end in April 1865. Four companies—A, B, C, and D—were mustered in at the time the regiment was organized. Company E was mustered in on March 3, 1864. The new regiment was commanded by white officers who were all from the North. The new recruits, now wearing Union blue, were former slaves from Fort Smith, Van Buren (Crawford County), and surrounding settlements, including Dripping Springs (Crawford County), Kibler (Crawford County), and Alma (Crawford …

Ellis, William

William Ellis was a sergeant in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment who received a Medal of Honor for gallantry in the January 14, 1865, Action at Dardanelle. William Ellis was born in England in 1834. After immigrating to the United States, he was living by 1860 in the household of woolen manufacturer Simeon Ford in Watertown, Wisconsin’s Third Ward. Ellis, then age twenty-eight, was a wool carder in Ford’s employ. After the Civil War began, Ellis enlisted as a sergeant in Company K of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry on October 21, 1861, eventually rising to the rank of first sergeant. The Third Wisconsin organized at Janesville on November 30, 1861, and mustered in on January 28, 1862. The regiment served …

Factor, Pompey

Pompey Factor was a scout for the U.S. Army during the Indian Wars. In 1875, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroic actions during the course of the Red River War. Factor was born in 1849 in Arkansas to Hardy Factor, a black Seminole chief and Indian scout, and an unknown Biloxi Indian woman. The descendants of runaway slaves and Seminole Indians, many black Seminole fought against the U.S. Army in the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). By the end of that conflict, most of them were captured and removed to the Indian Territory. The fear of enslavement, however, drove many black Seminole to migrate to Mexico in the 1850s. Factor’s family was among those who emigrated. Factor and …

Fagan, James Fleming

James Fleming Fagan was a politician and United States marshal from Little Rock (Pulaski County) who is best remembered for his service as a Confederate general. Fagan’s service to the Confederacy includes leading Arkansas troops at the Battle of Shiloh, the Battle of Helena, and the Action at Marks’ Mills. Born in Clark County, Kentucky, on March 1, 1828, James Fagan was the older of two sons of Steven and Catherine Fagan. The family moved to Little Rock in 1838, where Fagan’s father worked as a plasterer during the construction of the Old State House before his death in 1840. Two years later, his mother married Samuel Adams, who was a former state representative, current state senator, and future state …

Fernandez, Josie

Josie Fernandez was superintendent of Hot Springs National Park from 2004 to 2018—the first woman to lead the park. Fernandez served a total of twenty-five years in the National Park Service, with fourteen being spent in Hot Springs (Garland County). Under Fernandez’s leadership, Hot Springs National Park rehabilitated its historic bathhouses and founded community engagement programs such as the Artist in Residence Program. Josie Fernandez was born in Cuba in September 1956; she has one younger brother. Her family eventually fled Cuba for political reasons and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve, settling in Hialeah, Florida, in 1969. She became an American citizen on July 4, 1976. She spent one year at Miami Dade Junior College and …

Fifteenth (Johnson’s) Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Fifteenth (Johnson’s) Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. Organized in January 1862 of six companies, it was composed primarily of men from Columbia, Ouachita, Union, and Lafayette counties. The original command staff consisted of Colonel James M. Gee, Lieutenant Colonel John C. Wright, and Major P. Lynch Lee. The unit was originally organized by Captain John L. Logan of the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, and Gee was elected colonel in January 1862. The regiment was ordered to Memphis, Tennessee, and soon afterward to Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. In February 1862, the Union army began its assault on Fort Henry, and the Fifteenth Arkansas retreated …

Fifteenth (Josey’s) Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Fifteenth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. Not to be confused with the Fifteenth (Northwest) or Fifteenth (Johnson’s), it fought with the Army of Tennessee in all its major engagements until surrender at Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865. The regiment was organized on May 14, 1861, as the First Regiment Arkansas State Troops, consisting of companies from Phillips, Monroe, Jefferson, Desha, Mississippi, and Prairie counties. Its first commander was Colonel Patrick R. Cleburne, an Irish immigrant from Helena (Phillips County). On July 23, 1861, the regiment was enrolled in Confederate service as the First Arkansas Infantry at Pittman’s Ferry, Arkansas. Due to there being another …

Fifteenth (Northwest) Arkansas Regiment (CS)

The Fifteenth (Northwest) Arkansas Infantry Regiment (CS) was established in Bentonville (Benton County) on December 3, 1861. It was the first unit to enter Confederate service from Benton County. It served at the Battles of Wilson’s Creek, Pea Ridge, Iuka, and Corinth, as well as during the Vicksburg Campaign; in Arkansas, it served at Prairie D’Ane, Marks’ Mills, and Jenkins’ Ferry. This unit was reorganized three different times during the Civil War. (It was very common for units to be reorganized as the war progressed, which can make research difficult.) To make matters even more complex, there were three different units operating under the name “Fifteenth Arkansas Infantry” established during the course of the Civil War. The unit added the …

Fifth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Fifth Arkansas Infantry was a regiment that served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Spending most of its service in the Western Theater, the regiment served for the duration of the war. After Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, a number of military units began to form. Companies organized in communities around the state and moved to a number of centralized locations to create regiments. Ten companies from across Arkansas organized into the Fifth Arkansas Infantry at Gainesville (Greene County) on June 28, 1861. The companies were from Poinsett, Bradley, Greene, and Prairie counties. Two companies were organized in Wittsburg (Cross County), which became the seat of Cross County when it was formed in …

Fifty-seventh Regiment, United States Colored Troops (US)

aka: Fourth Arkansas Infantry (African Descent)
The Fifty-seventh regiment of United States Colored Infantry began its service as the Fourth Arkansas Infantry (African Descent). Recruited and organized at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), and Helena (Phillips County), the regiment mustered into Federal service on December 2, 1863, and served with the Seventh Corps in the Department of Arkansas. Thomas D. Seawell received a commission as the regiment’s colonel on August 10, 1863, after previous service throughout Mississippi as captain of Company E in the Tenth Missouri Infantry. He served until the end of May 1864 and received a brevet promotion to brigadier general on March 13, 1865. The Bureau of Colored Troops, commonly known as the United States Colored Troops (USCT), was organized …

First (Crawford’s) Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

aka: Tenth Trans-Mississippi Cavalry
The First (Crawford’s) Arkansas Cavalry Regiment was a Confederate cavalry unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. Also designated as the Tenth Trans-Mississippi Cavalry, it is one of three regiments to be designated First Arkansas Cavalry. Participating in military engagements in Arkansas at Mount Elba, Longview Prairie (Easling’s Farm), Poison Spring, and Marks’ Mills, as well as Price’s Missouri Raid, it was stationed in Texas when Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Theater surrendered on May 26, 1865. The regiment was organized at Camden (Ouachita County) on December 30, 1863, by Colonel William A. Crawford of Saline County. It consisted of ten companies from Clark, Columbia, Ouachita, Lafayette, Saline, and Union counties, with two companies added …

First Arkansas Infantry (US)

The First Arkansas Infantry Volunteers (US) was recruited and organized in Fayetteville (Washington County) by Dr. James M. Johnson of Huntsville (Madison County) following the Battle of Prairie Grove. Johnson and his brother were associates of noted loyalist Isaac Murphy, who later became governor of Arkansas. The unit consisted of unionists from Washington County and other northwestern Arkansas counties including Madison, Newton, Benton, Searcy, and Crawford. The unit was mustered in on March 25, 1863, with thirty-six officers and 810 enlisted men. An April 1 report from Colonel M. LaRue Harrison of the First Arkansas Cavalry makes clear the condition of the first recruits: “The First Arkansas Infantry will number in a few days an aggregate of 830 men; probably 700 of them effective. …

First Arkansas Light Artillery (CS)

The First Arkansas Light Artillery was a militia battery mustered on September 27, 1860, at Fort Smith (Sebastian County) as part of the Provisional Army of Arkansas. The volunteer unit was first commanded by Captain J. G. Reid under the designation of the Fort Smith Artillery. The battery first marched north alongside units under Brigadier General Nicholas Bartlett Pearce to join secessionist forces in southwestern Missouri, before being mustered in as part of the Confederate army. On August 10, 1861, after combining with a large but poorly organized rebel force of Missouri State Guard troops under General Sterling Price, they were attacked by Federal forces at Wilson’s Creek near Springfield, Missouri. During the resulting Battle of Wilson’s Creek, the battery held …

First Arkansas Light Artillery Battery (US)

The First Arkansas Light Artillery Battery was a military unit organized from Arkansas Unionists during the Civil War. The battery served in Arkansas, Missouri, and the Indian Territory. The battery was the first artillery unit raised by Federal forces in the state. Denton Stark, the adjutant of the First Arkansas Cavalry, received permission to raise the unit in January 1863. Recruiting began immediately, and men from Benton, Washington, Madison, Crawford, Sebastian, Franklin, Johnson, and Sevier counties joined the battery. It reached full strength of 110 men by April 1 and began active service in Fayetteville (Washington County). Stark became the first commander of the battery. Although the battery was an artillery unit, it was not armed at this time and …

First Arkansas Union Cavalry (US)

Although Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861, not all of its citizens were committed to the new nation. Support for the Federal government remained strong in the northwest corner of the state, and many Arkansans were eager to defend the Union. Although the Unionists were a minority in the state, Arkansas still furnished approximately 10,000 men for the Northern armies. Those men filled the ranks of ten infantry regiments or battalions, four cavalry regiments, and two artillery batteries. Of these, the First Arkansas Cavalry became the most famous Union regiment raised from the state. After being mustered into service at Springfield, Missouri, in July 1862, the regiment returned to Arkansas and operated as a counter-guerrilla force. Roaming bands of Confederate sympathizers often harassed …

First Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (African Descent) (US)

aka: Forty-sixth Regiment U.S. Colored Troops
In April 1863, an organization of African-American troops was commenced in the Mississippi River Valley under the personal supervision of the adjutant-general of the army, Lorenzo Thomas. His first regiment was mustered into service on May 1, 1863, as the First Arkansas Volunteers of African Descent, designated the Forty-sixth Regiment U.S. Colored Troops on May 11, 1864. The First Arkansas would be one of four regiments of African Americans that was raised in Helena (Phillips County), a fortified city and naval port on the Mississippi River. Arkansas would be credited with 5,526 men in six regiments of African descent for Federal service. Allowing African-American men to serve was due in part to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Militia Act of …

First Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (CS)

As secession loomed in the spring of 1861, thousands of Arkansas men enrolled in volunteer companies and offered their services to the Confederacy. Ten such companies—raised in Union, Clark, Ouachita, Jefferson, Saline, Jackson, Arkansas, and Drew counties—were organized as the First Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment and were transferred to Lynchburg, Virginia. After Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, the 905 men in the First Arkansas mustered into service on May 19. James Fleming Fagan, the captain of the Saline County Volunteers, was elected to serve as colonel of the regiment. The First Arkansas was present but did not see action at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861. The regiment remained in Virginia through the …

Floyd, John Buchanan

John Buchanan Floyd was the governor of Virginia, secretary of war, a brigadier general in the Confederate army, and a lawyer and planter who lived in Arkansas for a period. John Buchanan Floyd was born on the Smithfield Plantation, outside Blacksburg, Virginia, on June 1, 1806. His father, John Floyd, served in the House of Representatives and as the governor of Virginia. His mother, Letitia Preston Floyd, came from a prominent Virginia family. Floyd was the oldest of twelve children. Floyd attended South Carolina College and opened a law practice in Abington, Virginia, in 1829. The next year, he married Sarah Buchanan Preston. The two adopted a daughter. In 1834, Floyd and a brother moved to Arkansas, purchasing a cotton …

Fourth Arkansas Cavalry (US)

The Fourth Arkansas Cavalry was a regiment formed by white Arkansans who supported the Federal government during the Civil War. The Fourth Arkansas Cavalry began organizing in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in November 1863. William Fishback led the effort to recruit part of the regiment. Organized in two battalions of six companies each, the first company was mustered into service in December. LaFayette Gregg was commissioned as the colonel of the regiment and commanded it for its entire existence. The first battalion was originally enlisted as a one-year regiment, but this designation was rejected by the War Department. The battalion was disbanded, and recruitment continued as a three-year unit. The first eight companies of the regiment were organized by May …

Fourth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a unit of the Confederate army that served in the Western Theater during the Civil War. The unit was organized in Lawrence County, Missouri, on August 17, 1861, from companies that marched from Arkansas to join the army organizing in southwestern Missouri. Known as the Southwestern Arkansas Regiment, the unit consisted of companies from Calhoun, Hempstead, Montgomery, Lafayette, Pike, and Polk counties. Evander McNair of Washington (Hempstead County) was selected to lead the new regiment. The regiment organized with only eight companies, but two more joined the unit in November 1861 to bring the unit to full strength. Measles and other illnesses soon struck the unit, and a number of men died or were …

Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry (US)

The Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry (US) was a regiment of Arkansas Unionists raised by Elisha Baxter in 1863–1864. The unit failed to recruit sufficient soldiers to complete its organization and was disbanded in June 1864. Elisha Baxter of Batesville (Independence County) began recruiting volunteers for the Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry Regiment (US) in October 1863, and in November, Major General Frederick Steele, commanding the U.S. Seventh Corps, reported that “Baxter and [William B.] Padgett, two fugitives from Batesville…each expects to raise a regiment.” Captain William Berry, leading men of what would become Company C of the Fourth Arkansas, was involved in the affair at Jacksonport (Jackson County) in late November, the first action involving men of the emerging regiment. Lieutenant …