Units and Organizations

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112th United States Colored Infantry (US)

aka: Fifth Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent)
The 112th United States Colored Infantry was a United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiment formed in Arkansas during the Civil War. Consisting of former slaves, the unit was originally known as the Fifth Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent). The arrival of Federal troops in the state in 1862 brought hundreds of former slaves into Union lines. After the Army of the Southwest took the Mississippi River port of Helena (Phillips County), thousands of slaves made their way to the city and to the protection of the Union forces. Taking advantage of this source of manpower, Federal authorities began to organize military units of freedmen in 1863. The First Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (African Descent) was formed in April 1863 in …

113th United States Colored Infantry (US)

aka: Sixth Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent)
The 113th United States Colored Infantry, part of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), served in Arkansas during the Civil War. Consisting of former slaves, the original unit was known as the Sixth Arkansas Volunteer Infantry (African Descent). The 113th never reached full strength, leading to its consolidation with two other regiments to form a new regiment. When the Union’s Army of the Southwest moved into Helena (Phillips County) in 1862, thousands of former slaves flocked to the city. Recognizing that these freedmen were a potential source of manpower, the Federal government authorized the establishment of African-American units in 1863. A number of units were recruited in Helena, and additional units were recruited in Little Rock (Pulaski County) after that …

Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA)

The Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) dates back to the post–World War I years and the need to care for Arkansas residents disabled during the war. It underwent transformation broadening its scope during World War II and following the Vietnam War. At present, ADVA operates two homes for disabled veterans, as well as two veterans’ cemeteries, and acts as a liaison for state residents and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The first move by people in the state to care for veterans in a systematized manner was the creation of the Arkansas Confederate Home in 1890, which provided care and services to indigent Confederate veterans and their widows. In 1891, the home secured an appropriation from the Arkansas …

Arkansas Mounted Rifles [Civil War]

After Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861, state troops were mustered into the Confederate army in early July. Among them were two regiments, the First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles. These two regiments were formed into a brigade of Arkansas units under the command of Brigadier General Ben McCulloch, who oversaw the organization of these two special regiments at a rendezvous point near Bentonville (Benton County). He intended to use the Arkansas Mounted Rifles as a unique battalion that could not only ride with regular cavalry on horseback but also dismount and fight as infantry. McCulloch also felt that the Arkansas Mounted Rifles would make excellent scouts, given their familiarity with the territory. Their duties in the …

Arkansas Mounted Rifles [Mexican War]

The Arkansas Mounted Rifles was a regiment of volunteers from the state who participated in the Mexican War as part of the U.S. Army. Many of its officers and men came from the upper reaches of Arkansas society, and members of the unit would be involved in the state for years to come. With the outbreak of war in the spring of 1846, Arkansas was asked by the federal government to provide two units for service with the U.S. Army. An infantry battalion of Arkansas volunteers would be used to man forts in the Indian Territory and at Fort Smith (Sebastian County), releasing the regular troops from those posts, and a second unit of Arkansans would serve as cavalry in …

Arkansas National Guard

The Arkansas National Guard consists of the Arkansas Army National Guard and the Arkansas Air National Guard. The Arkansas Guard is commanded by the adjutant general, who is appointed by the governor. While some guard members work full time in their military jobs, most have full-time civilian careers. They conduct their military training a minimum of one weekend a month and an additional fifteen days a year. The Arkansas National Guard and its militia predecessor have furnished troops for every war the United States has fought except Vietnam, when the federal government called few National Guard units into active duty. The Arkansas National Guard and the Arkansas Army National Guard headquarters are at Camp Robinson near North Little Rock (Pulaski …

Arkansas State Guard

The Arkansas State Guard was a military force that performed homeland defense, disaster relief, and search-and-rescue duties during World War II while the Arkansas National Guard was in federal service. From 1942 to 1946, this volunteer military force helped fight floods along the Arkansas and Ouachita rivers, looked for missing persons, and assisted in recovery efforts following devastating tornadoes around the state. The State Guard was authorized by Act 85 of 1929 of the Arkansas General Assembly, which allowed for its organization whenever at least seventy-five percent of the Arkansas National Guard was called into federal service. The need for this type of unit was proven during World War I when, after the three Arkansas National Guard regiments were federalized, …

Arkansas State Troops (CS)

aka: Army of Arkansas
On May 20, 1861, the Arkansas Secession Convention passed an ordinance creating an Army of Arkansas with a First Division in western Arkansas and a Second Division in the eastern part of the state. These were placed under the command of a major general, with brigadier generals heading the two divisions. The Army of Arkansas was to be controlled by the state Military Board, which the convention had formed five days earlier with the power to call out the militia and use it as needed to defend the state. Despite that, the convention elected James Yell as major general, Nicholas Bartlett Pearce of Benton County as brigadier of the First Division, and Thomas H. Bradley of Crittenden County to lead …

Arkansas Wing, Civil Air Patrol

The Arkansas Wing is one of the fifty-two chapters—including all the states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia—that make up the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), which is the civilian volunteer auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. The Civil Air Patrol was formed on December 1, 1941, for the purpose of conducting emergency service operations including search and rescue, homeland security, and disaster relief missions. Today, the CAP continues to perform those duties, as well as educating the public and its members about the value of aerospace and operating a cadet program for youth leadership development. In late 1941, Arkansas pilots foresaw the need to form an aviation unit to take the place of the Arkansas National Guard’s 154th Observation …

Bean’s Rangers

Captain Jesse Bean’s Ranger Company was one of six companies of mounted militia authorized by Congress in 1832. Led by a member of a prominent Arkansas family, the company formed a part of the first mounted battalion in the U.S. Army for seventeen years. Its actions are representative of the militarization of Arkansas’s western border and the area beyond during the territorial period. Influenced in 1815 by a need for economy and a deep-rooted fear of standing armies, Congress had eliminated cavalry, considered by some to be a uniformed elite, from the army. However, the Black Hawk War in Illinois and Wisconsin reminded legislators of the utility of cavalry, and, on June 15, 1832, Congress authorized President Andrew Jackson to raise …

Black Union Troops

aka: African-American Union Troops
aka: United States Colored Troops
Many former African-American slaves and freedmen from Arkansas answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers to help put down the Confederate rebellion. Across the war-torn nation, 180,000 black men responded. An estimated 40,000 lost their lives in the conflict. Lincoln later credited these “men of color” with helping turn the tide of the war, calling them “the sable arm.” The official records from the U.S. government credit 5,526 men of African descent as having served in the Union army from the state of Arkansas. Between 3,000 and 4,000 additional black soldiers served in Arkansas during the war, including in heavy artillery, cavalry, and infantry regiments. In addition, black soldiers manned all of the batteries and fortifications at Helena (Phillips County) …

Churchill’s Arkansas Division (CS)

The largest unit of Arkansas Confederate troops during the Civil War, this division saw action in both Arkansas and Louisiana. It was named for its commander, Major General Thomas James Churchill. The first regiments that eventually belonged to the division were organized in the summer of 1862. After the Confederate defeat at the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, Major General Earl Van Dorn led the majority of Confederate troops in the state east of the Mississippi River, where most remained for the duration of the war. Arkansas was left almost completely defenseless, and the new commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, Major General Thomas C. Hindman, immediately began efforts to raise new units of troops in the state. Numerous …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Gober, Hershel Wayne

Hershel Wayne Gober is an Arkansas native who followed a career in the military with business and government positions. Gober held high-level posts in the Department of Veterans Affairs at both the state and national levels under President Bill Clinton. Hershel W. Gober was born on December 21, 1936, in Monticello (Drew County). One of eight children of Jimmie Price Gober and Wade Harvey Gober, he grew up in Monticello and attended the local public schools. He received his undergraduate degree from Alaska Methodist University (now Alaska Pacific University) in Anchorage. Gober married Olivia DeArmond on April 5, 1956, and they went on to have six children before the marriage ended in divorce. Following graduation from college, Gober joined the …

Hawthorne’s Arkansas Infantry (CS)

Hawthorne’s Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. Most of the companies raised were in response to the 1862 Confederate Conscript Law, so the unit consisted of both volunteers and conscripts. The original commander was Colonel A. W. Johnson, who resigned in November 1862 and was replaced by Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorne. The regiment was enrolled on June 17, 1862, at Trenton (Phillips County) and designated the Thirty-ninth Regiment Arkansas Infantry by the Confederate War Department. It was also referred to as the Sixth Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment by department numeration or the Sixth Arkansas Infantry due to its association with Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorne, who previously commanded the Sixth …

Helena Artillery Battery (CS)

aka: Key’s Battery
The Helena Artillery Battery was a Confederate unit organized in Helena (Phillips County) in 1861. Known as Key’s Battery in honor of one of its commanders, the unit served for the duration of the Civil War. Helena was a prominent secessionist stronghold before the outbreak of war, and several units were raised in the city after hostilities began. The battery was organized on April 27, 1861, and mustered in for three months of state service on April 29. The first commander of the unit was Captain A. W. Clarkson. Moving to Memphis, Tennessee, the battery was transferred to Confederate service on July 6, 1861. Some members of the unit declined to transfer from state service and were discharged at this …

Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers

aka: Bushwackers and Jayhawkers
aka: Guerrillas (Civil War)
Jayhawker and bushwhacker designate the principal warring parties in the Civil War’s guerrilla conflict, although the names were not unique to Arkansas and actually predated the war by many years. While their application and meaning were never precise—a problem compounded by being woven into postwar folklore—they generally bore negative connotations. Originally, “jayhawker” referred to Union sympathizers, “bushwhacker” to Confederate sympathizers, but the distinction lost much of its meaning in the chaos of war. “Jayhawker” originated in Kansas, and according to some authorities, it came into use in the late 1840s. The name was inspired primarily by the predatory habits of the hawk, but it implied, too, the noisy, mischievous nature of the jay. The combination became the “jayhawk,” a bird …

Military Board (Civil War)

The Military Board was a three-man committee formed by the Secession Convention to raise troops in Arkansas after President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers to fight for the United States following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. It served with varying measures of success throughout the Civil War. The Secession Convention passed an ordinance creating the Military Board on May 15, 1861, giving it the authority to call out volunteer troops and militia companies to defend Arkansas and to control forts and armaments in the state, though acting as an auxiliary to the Confederate government. The board would consist of Governor Henry Rector and two advisory members. The first advisory member, appointed on May 16, was Benjamin …

Mississippi River Squadron (US)

aka: Western Gunboat Flotilla
aka: Mississippi Flotilla
aka: Mississippi Squadron
The Mississippi River Squadron was a Union military unit established in 1861 that operated vessels along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Operating under both Federal army and navy command during the Civil War, boats of the unit saw action in and near Arkansas for much of the war. Control of the Mississippi River was a major Union objective from the start of the war. The Anaconda Plan adopted by President Abraham Lincoln called for a naval blockade of the Confederate states and capture of the river to divide the Confederacy. Some ships could enter the mouth of the Mississippi and move up the river, but military commanders quickly recognized the need for a fleet to move down the river …

Monroe’s First/Sixth Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

The First (Monroe’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 Sixth Arkansas Cavalry and First Trans-Mississippi Cavalry, it is one of three regiments to be named First Arkansas Cavalry. Participating in military engagements in Arkansas at Cane Hill, Fayetteville, Devil’s Backbone, Pine Bluff, Elkin’s Ferry, Poison Spring, and Marks’ Mills, along with Price’s Missouri Raid, it was stationed in Texas when Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Theater surrendered on May 26, 1865. The regiment originated in August 1862 with the consolidation of Captain James M. O’Neill’s Thirteenth Arkansas Cavalry Battalion and Captain Patrick H. Wheat’s cavalry squadron. Additional independent and partisan companies were assigned …

Mountain Federals

aka: Mountain Feds
Mountain Feds were Arkansans, primarily from the Ozark and Ouachita mountain regions, who remained loyal to—and fought for—the Union in both conventional and irregular military units during the Civil War. As the threat of war grew following the election of Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860, Arkansas was divided amid calls for secession. Residents of the lowland areas, where there were large plantations and the majority of the state’s enslaved population lived, tended to be in favor of leaving the Union, while the people of the upland regions, few of whom owned slaves, were opposed to secession. In fact, when delegates were selected for the state’s secession convention in early 1861, the majority were Unionist in their tendencies, and the …

Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Nineteenth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was the name of several separate units that served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. The earliest unit organized that became known as the Nineteenth Arkansas mustered in at Nashville (Howard County) in November 1861. The ten companies of the regiment were raised in Pike, Polk, Sevier, and Scott counties. The unit became known as Dawson’s Nineteenth to distinguish it from other regiments with the same number and in honor of its first colonel, C. L. Dawson. While present at the Battle of Pea Ridge, the regiment did not see any action. One of the few units not to move east of the Mississippi River after the battle, the Nineteenth Arkansas served in …

Ninth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Ninth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The regiment was created on July 20, 1861, in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). Comprising mainly companies from southeastern Arkansas, the regiment had units from Drew, Jefferson, Bradley, and Ashley counties. The one company not from that corner of the state hailed from Mississippi County. The elected colonel of the unit was John Bradley, a lawyer and Methodist minister. The unit moved across the Mississippi River, first to Memphis and later to Union City, Tennessee, before entering Kentucky. During the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, the Ninth Arkansas was in reserve at Columbus, Kentucky, on the opposite bank of the Mississippi River. …

Original Tuskegee Airmen

aka: Tuskegee Airmen, Original
Arkansas’s original Tuskegee Airmen were a part of a segregated group composed of African-American Army Air Corps cadets, personnel, and support staff known as the Tuskegee Airmen. There were twelve Arkansans documented who performed and maintained various roles at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Those roles included flight instructor, pilot, flight officer, engineer, bombardier, navigator, radio technician, air traffic controller, parachute rigger, weather observer, medical professional, and electronic communications specialist. Other support staff may have included Arkansans. The term “original” is applied to the individuals who received government and civilian instructional training while at Tuskegee between 1941 and 1946. Approximately 992 pilots were trained at Tuskegee, 450 of whom saw action overseas during the war; four of those were Arkansans. …

Poe’s Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

Poe’s Arkansas Cavalry Battalion was a Confederate cavalry unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Department, entirely in Arkansas, during the American Civil War. It participated in military engagements at Mount Elba, Easling’s Farm, Poison Spring, Marks’ Mills, and Hurricane Creek, as well as undertaking scouting and picketing duties in southern Arkansas. During Price’s Missouri Raid in 1864, it was one of the few cavalry units left behind to keep watch over Federal troops in Arkansas. The unit was organized in November 1863 by a former Saline County judge, Major James T. Poe of the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry. Poe had journeyed home from Louisiana to remove his family farther south from Saline County after the fall of Little Rock (Pulaski County) …

Pulaski Light Artillery Battery (CS)

aka: Totten Artillery Company
While Arkansas militia laws in the antebellum period authorized the formation of four militia companies of artillery, cavalry, infantry, and light infantry in each county, few such organizations existed. Pulaski County was an exception to this, and in the years before Arkansas’s secession, there were four volunteer militia units there, including the Totten Artillery, later renamed the Pulaski Light Artillery. While their service was brief compared to other Arkansas units during the Civil War, the men of the Pulaski Light Artillery played a pivotal role in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, on August 10, 1861. On February 14, 1861, Captain William C. Woodruff composed a letter to Colonel Craven Payton of the Thirteenth Regiment, Arkansas State Militia, informing him …

Second Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

The Second Arkansas Cavalry was the name of several Confederate units that served during the Civil War. These units are not to be confused with the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, which served for much of the war as an infantry regiment. The first unit to be organized as the Second Arkansas Cavalry was based on the Second Arkansas Cavalry Battalion. After the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee in April 1862, the battalion was created from independent companies in northern Mississippi. This unit consisted of five companies from Calhoun, Bradley, Jefferson, Dallas, and Ashley counties. In May 1862, the battalion consolidated with the Sixth Arkansas Cavalry Battalion, which consisted of four companies from Drew, Crittenden, and White counties, along with two …

Second Arkansas Cavalry (US)

Arkansas seceded from the Union in 1861, but support for the Confederacy was not universal among the population. In the mountains of north-central Arkansas, groups of men formed secret societies to resist Confederate authority (known collectively as the Arkansas Peace Society). Hundreds more fled to southern Missouri to escape persecution by secessionist forces. In other parts of the state, far from the Union lines, people were forced to bide their time and keep quiet. As a distinct minority in a state frenzied by war, many Arkansas Unionists could ill afford to have their true sympathies known. During the summer of 1862, the Union army made its way to Helena (Phillips County) after an abortive attempt to capture Little Rock (Pulaski …

Second Arkansas Infantry (African Descent) (US)

aka: Fifty-fourth U.S. Colored Infantry
The Second Arkansas Infantry (African Descent) was one of the many African-American units formed following the Emancipation Proclamation. The regiment was raised under the commands of Lieutenant Colonel George W. De Costa and Major George W. Burchard in early 1863 and was composed primarily of freed slaves in the Arkansas River Valley. Before the unit could officially report for muster as part of the District of Eastern Arkansas, it found itself engaged in the Battle of Helena. On the morning of July 4, 1863, Confederate forces under the command of Lieutenant General Theophilus Holmes organized a three-pronged attack on the fortified Union position at Helena (Phillips County). The attack would ultimately fail, securing eastern Arkansas as a Union supply stronghold …

Second Arkansas Infantry (US)

The Second Arkansas Infantry Regiment served in the Federal army during the Civil War. Comprised of white Unionists, the unit served almost exclusively within Arkansas. Efforts were made to organize units of white Unionists in the state with the arrival of Federal forces in 1862. The Second Arkansas began recruitment in September 1863 in Springfield, Missouri. The unit recruited Unionists who fled Arkansas, as well as pro-Union men who remained in the northwestern corner of the state. Recruiting for the regiment was slow, and when the organized companies met in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in January 1864, only four companies were able to meet the minimum number of men required. Even before these units moved to Fort Smith, the regiment …

Second Arkansas Infantry Battalion (CS)

The Second Arkansas Infantry Battalion was a Confederate unit that served in the Eastern Theater during the American Civil War. It was one of only three Arkansas units to serve in Virginia, along with the First and Third Arkansas Infantry regiments. Decimated during the Seven Days Battles, it saw its survivors discharged or transferred into the Third Arkansas Infantry. In September 1861, three independent companies organized at Hot Springs (Garland County), Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and El Dorado (Union County). On the recommendation of recruiting officers for the First Arkansas Infantry, they journeyed to Virginia to join that regiment. When the three companies arrived, the First Arkansas had the required ten companies. On October 29, 1861, the three new companies …