Entry Category: Military Science - Starting with M

MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opened on May 19, 2001, in the Little Rock Arsenal building, located in MacArthur Park in Little Rock (Pulaski County). It contains an eclectic mix of exhibits, mostly relating to the role of Arkansas and Arkansans in various wars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Little Rock Arsenal building was erected in 1840 and was once part of a major military installation just south of downtown Little Rock. Although accounts vary, many biographers of General Douglas MacArthur say that he was born in this building on January 26, 1880. (Others say he was born in one of the nearby dwellings called Officers’ Row, which is no longer standing.) The property was given …

MacArthur, Douglas

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, one of the six men to attain that rank, was born in Little Rock (Pulaski County). MacArthur Park and the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History in Little Rock bear his name. Douglas MacArthur was born in the Tower Building of the Little Rock Barracks (previously the Little Rock Arsenal) on January 26, 1880, the third son of Captain Arthur MacArthur and his wife, Mary Pinkney Hardy. Arthur MacArthur had served in the Wisconsin Twenty-fourth Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War and was stationed at the Little Rock Barracks. The MacArthurs remained in Arkansas only six months before the captain was reassigned to New Mexico. Before departing Little Rock, Douglas MacArthur was baptized …

Madison, Skirmish at

By 1865, large-scale organized Confederate resistance had collapsed in much of the state. Federal patrols from Helena (Phillips County) and other occupied cities continued to find and destroy bands of the enemy when possible. This skirmish was part of such a patrol. On February 8, 1865, Brigadier General Napoleon Buford dispatched a scouting party of men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John Crebs. Numbering 175, the party departed Helena and moved to the northwest in an effort to find and engage any enemy forces in the area. During the course of the expedition, the Union troops encountered Confederate resistance on a regular basis. Crebs estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 enemy soldiers operated in eastern Arkansas at the time, …

Mankins, Peter “Old Pete”

Peter “Old Pete” Mankins Jr. was an early settler and county official in Washington County, as well as a Confederate guerrilla leader whose command operated in northwestern Arkansas during the Civil War. Peter Mankins Jr. was born in Floyd County, Kentucky, on August 1, 1813, the third of five children of Peter Mankins and Rachel Bracken Mankins. In 1833, he migrated to Sulphur City (Washington County), where his father owned property. A short, stocky man, Mankins (or “Uncle Pete” as his relatives and friends called him) developed a local reputation for considerable physical strength, which he displayed during threshing season by single-handedly lifting two-hundred-pound sacks of wheat. Mankins married Amanda Narcissus Mills in 1836, and they had ten children (one …

Marianna and LaGrange, Skirmishes at

  Part of a three-day expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Moro (Lee County), the skirmishes at Marianna (Lee County) and LaGrange (Lee County) primarily consisted of several guerrilla-style attacks from Confederate forces on a Union detachment moving southeast from Moro toward Marianna. The two opposing forces eventually clashed in a more conventional engagement at La Grange south of Marianna later in the day. On the morning of November 8, 1862, a detachment of Second Brigade, Second Division, Army of the Southwest—consisting of detachments from the Third and Fourth Iowa Cavalry and Ninth Illinois Cavalry—began a march southeast from Moro toward Marianna, on orders from Union brigade commander Colonel William Vandever. Shortly after its departure, the detachment came under attack from a …

Marianna National Guard Armory

The Marianna National Guard Armory, built in 1929, is an Art Deco–style building constructed as part of a statewide armory building program to house National Guard companies based in Lee County. Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Militia Act of 1903—also known as the Dick Act for sponsor Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and wages. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of the Dick Act. The Marianna National Guard Armory was …

Marine Corps Legacy Museum

The Marine Corps Legacy Museum (MCLM) officially opened on November 10, 2001 (November 10 being the birthday of the United States Marine Corps). The MCLM is the country’s only private, historically comprehensive Marine Corps museum. It is sponsored by the Association for the Preservation of U.S. Marine Corps History, Inc., an educational non-profit corporation chartered in Arkansas in 1998. The museum, located on the town square in Harrison (Boone County), is the culmination of ten years of planning and effort by the father and son founders, Captain D. A. Millis and Gunnery Sergeant D. A. Millis II, both retired marines. They and their families serve as volunteer officers of the corporation and the museum; there are no salaried staff members. …

Marks’ Mills State Park

Location: Cleveland County Size: 6.2 acres Marks Mills’ State Park, in Cleveland County on the old Camden-Pine Bluff Road, commemorates a Civil War action that was part of the Camden Expedition of General Frederick Steele. The park contains interpretive exhibits and a picnic area. The park is named for John H. Marks, who in 1834 constructed a sawmill and flour mill at this location. The mills were still operating during the Civil War, making them landmarks for both Union and Confederate troops. In March 1864, General Steele led approximately 14,000 soldiers out of Little Rock (Pulaski County) to join in the Union army’s Red River Campaign. The goal of this campaign was to join General Nathaniel Banks’s troops in northern …

Marks’ Mills, Action at

The Action at Marks’ Mills took place on April 25, 1864, when Confederate troops ambushed a Union supply train, capturing all the wagons and artillery and most of the troops. Confederate soldiers were accused of massacring African Americans at this battle. After the April 18 defeat at the Engagement at Poison Spring, Union forces under the command of Major General Frederick Steele continued to hold Camden (Ouachita County) while Confederate Major General Sterling Price maintained pressure on Steele from the countryside. With supplies dwindling, the acquisition of rations became important to the Union troops. The arrival of provisions from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on April 20 convinced Steele that more materials could be obtained there. Three days later, he dispatched …

Marmaduke-Walker Duel

aka: Walker-Marmaduke Duel
The Marmaduke-Walker Duel was fought during the Civil War between Confederate brigadier generals John Sappington Marmaduke and Lucius Marshall (Marsh) Walker. Marmaduke was originally from Missouri and was the son of a former governor. Walker was originally from Kentucky and nephew of President James K. Polk. Both graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They made their way to Arkansas during the war; Marmaduke was stationed there, while Walker was granted a transfer to Arkansas due to trouble with superiors. Disagreement arose between the two in the summer of 1863 over military actions at Helena (Phillips County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County), where Walker failed to carry out operations as planned and exposed Marmaduke and his men to enemy troops. …

Marmaduke, John Sappington

Missouri native John Sappington Marmaduke was a Confederate general who saw action in several Arkansas Civil War campaigns. While he was a capable cavalry leader, he is probably best known for killing fellow general Lucius M. Walker in an 1863 duel concerning disputes about Walker’s actions at the Battle of Helena and the Action at Bayou Meto in 1863. A Greene County town is named in his honor. John S. Marmaduke was born on March 14, 1833, approximately five miles west of Arrow Rock, Missouri. He was the fourth of ten children born to Lavinia Sappington Marmaduke and Miles Meridith Marmaduke. His father was a successful businessman and politician who held several county offices, was elected lieutenant governor of Missouri …

Massard Prairie, Action at

The Action at Massard Prairie on July 27, 1864, exemplified the hit-and-run nature of the Civil War in Arkansas on the western border: this was a war of raids and ambushes involving small forces, not drawn-out, large-scale battles. As a Confederate victory, it also demonstrated the difficulty faced by Union units attempting to exert control over the state during the war’s later stages. Following the failure of Union General Frederick Steele’s Camden Expedition in April 1864, Confederate and Union roles on the frontier reversed. Union forces now attempted to hold the line of the Arkansas River against Confederate raids, while emboldened Confederates became more aggressive in their operations. An opportunity presented itself to the Confederates in late July 1864. In …

Maury, Dabney Herndon

Dabney Herndon Maury served in Arkansas as Confederate general Earl Van Dorn’s chief of staff at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Maury later led Arkansas troops in northern Mississippi during the Civil War. Dabney Herndon Maury was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on May 21, 1822, to Captain John Minor Maury and Elizabeth Maury. He had one brother. Maury’s father was a career officer in the U.S. Navy who died on active duty. Maury’s uncle, Matthew Fontaine Maury, became his guardian after his father’s death. Maury attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1842 to 1846, graduating thirty-seventh out of fifty-nine cadets in what some called one of the best classes ever to attend the academy. Maury served in …

Maysville, Skirmish at (January 1863)

A small engagement between a Union force of Native Americans and Confederate guerrillas, this action took place in far northwestern Arkansas. Following the Battle of Prairie Grove, the skirmish was an effort by Federal troops to maintain control of the area in the face of increasing guerrilla activity and protect nearby Indians loyal to the Union government. The exact date of the engagement is not recorded in official records. After the Battle of Prairie Grove, Major General John Schofield took command of the Army of the Frontier and ordered Colonel William Phillips to take his Indian brigade to Maysville (Benton County). Phillips’s brigade consisted of the First, Second, and Third Indian Home Guard, a battalion of the Sixth Kansas Cavalry, …

Maysville, Skirmish at (July 20, 1864)

While most Confederate forces in Arkansas were concentrated south of the Arkansas River by the summer of 1864, some guerrilla units continued to operate behind Union lines. A small engagement near the border with the Indian Territory, this skirmish was typical of the fighting during this period. Federal units from Arkansas worked with Union units from other states to patrol the northwestern corner of the state and keep guerrilla activity to a minimum. Cassville, Missouri, was used as both a headquarters for Federal troops and as a staging point for these missions. On July 18, 1864, Captain James Powell of the Second Arkansas Cavalry received orders from the commanding general of the District of Southwestern Missouri, Brigadier General John Sanborn. …

Maysville, Skirmish at (May 8, 1864)

A brief and indecisive engagement on the western edge of Arkansas, this skirmish was part of the war in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) that spilled into the state. Pitting Union Cherokee troops against Confederate-allied Cherokee, this skirmish is typical of the actions fought in the area at this point of the war. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, various tribes in Indian Territory disagreed about which side, if any, they should choose in the coming conflict. The Cherokee Nation split, with some members continuing to support the Federal government and others aligning themselves with the Confederacy. Both sides organized military units to participate in the war, with numerous Confederate units and three Union regiments organized. The Union …

Maysville, Skirmish at (September 5, 1863)

aka: Skirmish at Round Prairie
The September 5, 1863, Skirmish at Maysville consisted of a series of engagements over the course of a single day between Union and Confederate troops in northwestern Arkansas that ended with the complete rout of the Federal force. Originally a mission to escort a Union officer carrying messages, the movement ended with the capture of the messenger and some of his comrades. Captain John Gardner of the Second Kansas Cavalry was ordered to ride from Springfield, Missouri, to join his regiment in the field, carrying dispatches from Brigadier General John McNeil, commander of the District of Southwestern Missouri. Gardner arrived in Cassville, Missouri, on September 1, 1863, and requested an escort of troopers from the First Arkansas Cavalry (US). The …

McClernand, John Alexander

John Alexander McClernand was a controversial Union army general whose frequent machinations against Major General Ulysses S. Grant during several campaigns in the Western Theater of the Civil War and inconsistent performance in battle epitomized the ambitious character traits of a “political general.” McClernand’s most significant military achievement involved the Battle of Arkansas Post in early 1863. Born to John McClernand and Fatima McClernand in Breckinridge County, Kentucky, on May 30, 1812, John McClernand grew up in Shawneetown, Illinois. Although he received very little formal education, he passed the state bar examination in 1832. McClernand also enlisted as a private in a local militia unit during the Blackhawk War of 1832. From 1833 to 1834, he worked as a commercial …

McConnell, John Paul

John Paul McConnell, a native of Booneville (Logan County), was a West Point graduate and four-star general in the United States Air Force. He ended his career as the Air Force Chief of Staff. John McConnell was born in Booneville on February 7, 1908, to Samuel Paul McConnell, a local physician, and Desseau (Dorsey) McConnell. He had two younger brothers. He attended local schools, where he was not an exemplary student. He did, however, gain admission to Henderson-Brown College in Arkadelphia (Clark County) and graduated in 1927 with a degree in biology. McConnell attended Henderson-Brown after he lost an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point due to his young age. Over the next few years, McConnell …

McCook, Alexander McDowell

Alexander McCook was a Union general during the Civil War and commanded the District of Eastern Arkansas. Alexander McCook was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, on April 22, 1831. The son of Daniel McCook and Martha Latimer McCook, he had two sisters and eight brothers. McCook attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1852. After earning his commission as an officer, he spent time teaching at the academy and served with the Third Infantry Regiment on the frontier. Shortly after the outbreak of war in 1861, McCook received a commission as colonel of the First Ohio Volunteers. Seeing action at the First Battle of Bull Run, he received a promotion to brigadier general of volunteers …

McCown, John Porter

Tennessee native John Porter McCown pursued a long military career concluding with service as a major general in the Confederate army in the Civil War. After the war, he moved to Magnolia (Columbia County), where he became a respected citizen and farmer. John P. McCown was born in Sevierville, Tennessee, on August 19, 1815, one of seven children of George Wesley McCown and Mary Caroline Porter McCown. After receiving a basic education in his home state, he accepted an appointment to the military academy at West Point, where he graduated tenth in his class in 1840. After graduation, he embarked upon a long military career, initially as an officer in the artillery, participating in campaigns against western Indian tribes and …

McCrary, Frank Robert

Frank Robert McCrary was a pioneering U.S. Navy aviator who flew the service’s first dirigible and, though many of his greatest accomplishments occurred during peacetime, served in three wars. Frank Robert McCrary was born on October 1, 1879, in Lonoke (Lonoke County), the son of William R. McCrary and Eugenia Witherspoon McCrary. He was an accomplished student, graduating as salutatorian from Lonoke Public High School in 1896. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, the following year. While on summer leave, the young midshipman was sent to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, the first of three conflicts in which he would serve. He graduated in 1901. McCrary became an expert on torpedoes while leading the …

McCright, Ewell Ross

Ewell Ross McCright was an Army Air Corps lieutenant in World War II. While a prisoner of war, he secretly recorded detailed information about fellow prisoners of war while captive in Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany. McCright was awarded the Legion of Merit posthumously in 2004 after his ledgers were published. Ewell McCright was born on December 4, 1917, in Benton (Saline County) to Lewis Ross and Minnie Lee (Donham) McCright. He never married or had children. On December 4, 1940, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He applied for aviation cadet training on June 21, 1941, and was assigned to training as a bombardier on the B-17 on August 6. McCright was a B-17 bombardier with the 360th …

McCulloch, Benjamin

Benjamin McCulloch served in the War for Texas Independence and the Mexican War, and as a United States marshal, before becoming a brigadier general in the Confederate army. McCulloch led Arkansas troops at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Missouri but was killed at the Battle of Pea Ridge in Arkansas. While not a native Arkansan, McCulloch played an important role in the state’s military history. He led Arkansas troops at both the first major battle fought west of the Mississippi River in the Civil War, as well as at the first major battle in the state. Born to Alexander McCulloch and Frances LeNoir McCulloch in Rutherford County, Tennessee, on November 11, 1811, Benjamin McCulloch was the fourth of thirteen …

McDaniel, Irven Granger

Irven Granger McDaniel was a World War II bomber pilot and prisoner of war (POW) who, after returning home, joined his father’s architecture firm and later formed his own, designing a number of noteworthy buildings in Hot Springs (Garland County). Irven Granger McDaniel was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 24, 1923, one of four children of architect Irven Donald McDaniel and Camille Lewis McDaniel. McDaniel’s father had established a practice in Hot Springs by 1930, and McDaniel was a student at Hot Springs High School and taking flying lessons by the time he was seventeen years old. As Europe became embroiled in World War II, McDaniel went to Canada and enlisted in the Royal Air Force on July 4, …

McGehee National Guard Armory

The McGehee National Guard Armory was built in 1954 and reflects standardized plans that featured open floor plans, steel-framed roofs, and concrete block walls—a functional design typical of National Guard armories built during a period when larger facilities were needed. Citizen-soldier militias have had a constant presence in the United States since the colonial era, but it was not until Congress passed the Militia Act of 1903—also known as the Dick Act for sponsor Senator Charles W. F. Dick, chairman of the Committee on the Militia—that the National Guard became an official partner in the nation’s armed services, receiving federal support for training, equipment, and wages. Arkansas’s state militia was organized into the Arkansas National Guard as a result of …

McGraw’s Mill, Skirmish at

During the winter of 1862–1863, Union sympathizers avoiding Confederate conscription officers fled their homes throughout western Arkansas and hid in the Ouachita Mountains, where they joined Confederate deserters. These bands stole supplies from the local population. Civilians in the area were uneasy with this development and urged the Confederate government to act. One of these bands was led by Andy Brown—who was called “Captain”—of Arkadelphia (Clark County). Brown’s band had eighty-three members and was most active in the Ouachita Mountains northwest of Arkadelphia, stealing horses and wagons from nearby civilians. In response to these events, a group of mounted and armed civilians organized in Arkadelphia under the command of Lieutenant Colonel William A. Crawford. Divided into two companies, the men …

McGuire’s, Affair at

A reconnaissance raid, this engagement saw Federal forces charging into the midst of an enemy encampment before withdrawing. Although the skirmish involved a daring attack, neither side reported any casualties. Major Thomas Hunt commanded part of the First Arkansas Cavalry (US) stationed in Fayetteville (Washington County) in October 1863. The Federals knew that Confederate units under the command of Colonel William Brooks were operating in the area, and Hunt estimated that the enemy numbered around 1,000. The Union troops in the area numbered approximately 500. On October 11, Hunt received a demand for surrender of the town and his command from Brooks. Hunt replied that he would not surrender without a fight and immediately reinforced his picket posts and sent …

McIntosh, James McQueen

James McQueen McIntosh served as a Confederate colonel in the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles and as a brigadier general before losing his life at the Battle of Pea Ridge. James McIntosh was born at Fort Brooke, near present-day Tampa, Florida, in 1828. His father was Colonel James Simmons McIntosh of the U.S. Army. The elder McIntosh served in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, during which he was killed at the 1847 Battle of Molino del Rey. The younger McIntosh graduated last in his class the next year from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Serving on active duty with the U.S. Army on the western frontier, McIntosh was promoted to captain of the First Cavalry …

McKennon, Pierce Winningham “Mac”

Pierce Winningham “Mac” McKennon was a talented musician but is more widely remembered as a famous World War II flying ace. He destroyed twenty German aircraft and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross with four clusters, the Air Medal with sixteen clusters, the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Unit Citation, and the Croix de Guerre. Pierce McKennon was born in Clarksville (Johnson County) on November 30, 1919, to Dr. Parma D. McKennon, a dentist, and Inez Winningham McKennon. He had two older brothers. The family moved to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in 1921. He graduated from St. Anne’s Academy in Fort Smith and entered the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) on a music scholarship in 1937, but he left …

McLaughlin, William Heber

William Heber McLaughlin was a Lonoke County farmer and politician who became one of the first American army officers to be wounded in action in France, participating in the first military engagement involving U.S. Army troops in World War I. William Heber McLaughlin, who was called Heber, was born on January 26, 1882, at Atoka, Tennessee, north of Memphis, to businessman William R. McLaughlin and Annie Gillespie McLaughlin. The family moved to Lonoke (Lonoke County) soon after his birth. Around 1907, his father purchased the Knapp Plantation, east of Scott (Lonoke and Pulaski counties) near Toltec, advocating that the mounds on the site be made into a public park to ensure their preservation. They eventually were acquired by the State …

McNair, Evander

Evander McNair was a prosperous antebellum merchant in Mississippi and Arkansas, a Mexican War veteran, and a Confederate general who ranks among Arkansas’s most successful and respected Civil War commanders. Evander McNair was born to Scottish-immigrant parents John McNair and Nancy Fletcher McNair on April 15, 1820, in Laurel Hill, North Carolina. He and his parents moved to Simpson County, Mississippi, in 1821. By 1842, McNair had established a mercantile business in Jackson, Mississippi. During the Mexican War, he served as ordnance sergeant in Company E of the First Mississippi Rifles, a regiment commanded by Colonel Jefferson Davis (future president of the Confederacy). McNair fought at the Battle of Buena Vista and received an honorable discharge. After the war, he …

McRae, Dandridge

Dandridge McRae was a Searcy (White County) attorney who during the Civil War rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate army and led troops in most of the major battles in Arkansas. Following the war, McRae held various state and federal government positions and was active in promoting the state. The town of McRae (White County) is named in his honor. Born on October 10, 1829, in Baldwin County, Alabama, Dandridge McRae was the eldest of eleven children born to D. R. W. McRae and Margaret Bracy McRae. His father was a plantation owner, a lawyer, and a member of the Alabama legislature. Young McRae was tutored on the family plantation. In 1845, he was admitted to …