Entries - Entry Type: Thing - Starting with U

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District

Although technically a part of the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has played a vital role in the development of civilian transportation infrastructure and water resources since Congress passed the first river and harbors bill in 1824 and charged the corps with maintaining navigational channels. Work on the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi rivers received first priority, but as settlers moved farther west, attention soon focused on other navigable streams. Until 1916, Congress authorized only navigational improvements on rivers. Flood control only entered the corps’ mandate indirectly, as levees were considered navigational aids. However, as agricultural and transportation needs grew and the national economic importance of the lower Mississippi River Valley became evident, politicians found it easier …

U.S. Highway 62

aka: Highway 62
U.S. Highway 62 crosses the northern counties of Arkansas. It passes through eleven counties, from Washington County in the west to Clay County in the east. Some portions of Highway 62 were proposed by William Hope “Coin” Harvey, who wanted to facilitate automobile traffic to his tourist destination, Monte Ne (Benton County). Route U.S. Highway 62 begins in El Paso, Texas, and runs through ten states to Niagara Falls, New York. It is the only east-west highway in the United States that connects Mexico to Canada. The entire length of the highway is 2,245 miles, of which 329.9 miles cross the state of Arkansas. U.S. Highway 62 enters Arkansas from Oklahoma as a two-lane highway. It runs through Summers (Washington …

U.S. Highway 63

U.S. Highway 63 enters Arkansas at Junction City (Union County) and leaves Arkansas at Mammoth Spring (Fulton County). Between these two cities, it also serves Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), West Memphis (Crittenden County), and Jonesboro (Craighead County). Much of the highway is part of the interstate system, including sections of I-530, I-40, I-55, and I-555. Route U.S. Highway 63 extends from Ruston, Louisiana, to Benoit, Wisconsin, a path of 1,286 miles. In Arkansas, it travels through fourteen counties, covering a little more than 400 miles. The highway enters Arkansas in Junction City, a municipality that exists in both Arkansas and Louisiana, making it the southernmost community in Arkansas. The four-lane highway runs concurrently with U.S. Highway 167 from its origin …

U.S. Highway 64

aka: Highway 64
aka: U.S. 64
U.S. Highway 64 crosses the state of Arkansas, connecting Fort Smith (Sebastian County) to West Memphis (Crittenden County). It passes through eleven counties of the state. In western Arkansas, it travels the Arkansas River Valley and parallels Interstate 40; in eastern Arkansas, it transverses the Mississippi River Delta significantly north of the Arkansas River and the interstate highway. Route Highway 64 runs 2,326 miles from Arizona to North Carolina, passing through six states, including Arkansas. Its route covers 246 miles in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas as a four-lane bridge over the Arkansas River. It rises over the Harry E. Kelley River Park, Belle Point, and the Fort Smith National Historic Site and continues through Fort Smith as Garrison Avenue. …

U.S. Highway 65

aka: Highway 65
aka: U.S. 65
U.S. Highway 65 is a major north-south corridor in Arkansas. Passing through eleven counties, the highway includes Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Little Rock (Pulaski County), Conway (Faulkner County), and Harrison (Boone County) among the cities it serves. Route U.S. Highway 65 begins in Clayton, Louisiana, and crosses Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa before ending in Minnesota. The entire highway is 966 miles, of which 313 miles are in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas as a two-lane road in Chicot County not far from the Mississippi River. It runs parallel to the railroad tracks through Eudora (Chicot County), Chicot (Chicot County), and Lake Village (Chicot County), where it widens to four lanes. The highway continues north to McGehee (Desha County) before cutting …

U.S. Highway 67

aka: Highway 67
U.S. Highway 67 stretches from the southwestern corner of Arkansas in Texarkana (Miller County) to the northeastern corner of the state north of Corning (Clay County). It passes through thirteen counties, generally following the course of the military road known as the Southwest Trail, which was established across Arkansas during territorial times. In 2009, the Arkansas General Assembly designated a portion of the road as the Rock ’n’ Roll Highway—a reference to the musical heritage of the road. RouteU.S. Highway 67 extends 1,560 miles, beginning in Presidio, Texas, at the border with Mexico, and ending near Sabula, Iowa. The Arkansas portion of the highway is roughly 280 miles. The highway enters Arkansas in the city of Texarkana as a divided …

U.S. Highway 70

U.S. Highway 70 runs from southwestern Arkansas through Hot Springs (Garland County) and Little Rock (Pulaski County) to West Memphis (Crittenden County). It passes through thirteen counties in Arkansas. Until the completion of Interstate 40, it was the main highway linking Little Rock to Memphis, Tennessee, and it continues to be the principal route bringing travelers to Hot Springs. Route U.S. Highway 70 begins in Globe, Arizona—originally a mining settlement—and runs east 2,385 miles to Atlantic, North Carolina—an unincorporated community on the East Coast. About 280 of those highway miles are in Arkansas. The highway enters Arkansas about eight miles west of De Queen (Sevier County), where it is called the Collin Raye Highway. In De Queen, it runs through …

U.S. Highway 71

In Arkansas, U.S. Highway 71 stretches from the southwestern border of the state south of Kiblah (Miller County) to the northwestern corner north of Bella Vista (Benton County). It passes through nine counties in Arkansas, generally following an alignment of the Ozark Trail. Route U.S. Highway 71 extends 1,532 miles beginning near Krotz Springs, Louisiana, and passes through Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota before ending at the U.S.-Canadian border north of Bemidji, Minnesota. The Arkansas portion is approximately 300 miles. The highway enters Arkansas south of Kiblah as a two-lane highway heading north, passing through Doddridge (Miller County) and Fouke (Miller County) before reaching Texarkana (Miller County). At Texarkana, Highway 71 has a short concurrence with U.S. Highway …

U.S. Marshals Service (USMS)

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the nation. Divided into ninety-four districts, the agency’s structure aligns with that of the United States district courts. Arkansas has two districts—the Western District headquartered in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and the Eastern District headquartered in Little Rock (Pulaski County). During the nineteenth century, fugitives often fled to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in an effort to escape prosecution. Apprehending these criminals was a dangerous assignment for the U.S. deputy marshals—consequently, there are more deputy and special deputy marshals buried in the Fort Smith region than anywhere else in the nation. On September 24, 1789, George Washington signed Senate Bill 1, which included the Judiciary Act, of which …

U.S. Senator Hattie Caraway Gravesite

The first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate, the first to preside over a session of the Senate, the first to chair a committee, and the first to preside over a Senate hearing was Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway of Jonesboro (Craighead County). On September 20, 2007, her Jonesboro gravesite was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Caraway was born on February 2, 1878, in Tennessee. While attending college at Dickson Normal College in Dickson, Tennessee, she met her future husband, Thaddeus Horatius Caraway of Clay County, Arkansas. They were married in 1902 and moved to Jonesboro. Thad Caraway was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1912 and the U.S. Senate in 1920. After his …

Under Siege

The television movie Under Siege was first broadcast over two nights in February 1986. It was filmed in and around Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1985, with the Arkansas State Capitol standing in for the nation’s capitol building in Washington DC. Today, the movie is notable for its prescient storyline of a suicide terrorist attack by Arab nationals against the U.S. mainland, an idea considered improbable at the time. This movie should not be confused with a 1992 Steven Seagal martial-arts movie of the same title. Running 180 minutes split over two nights, the movie was billed as a “Special Event Miniseries” on the NBC network. Under Siege was directed by Roger Young, who also directed the movies Into Thin …

Underground Hospital

aka: Fifty-fifth General Hospital
The Fifty-fifth General Hospital, “the Underground Hospital,” at Robinson Maneuver Training Center in Pulaski County was activated on May 25, 1943, during the United States’ involvement in World War II. Documents relating to the hospital were declassified on September 27, 1958; these stated that the Underground Hospital was the brainchild of then commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Charles Chute Gill of the United States Army Medical Corps. Prior to other modern medical ventures, such as the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units implemented during the Korean War, the Underground Hospital experiment sought to simulate battle conditions and assess the potential for providing protected medical care at or near the frontlines. Gill, a graduate of the Medical School at the University of …

Union County Courthouse

The Union County Courthouse is located in downtown El Dorado (Union County), a 1920s oil boomtown about twenty miles from the Louisiana state border. The four-story Union County Courthouse, like others across the state, is situated in a public square where businesses, banks, and law offices occupy rows of buildings around the seat of justice. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recognizes the courthouse as historically and architecturally significant for its symbolism of El Dorado’s growth and its example of the Classical Revival style. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 30, 1983. The first building used as a courthouse in Union County was a storeroom owned by Albert Rust at Champagnolle (Union County) in the …

Union Station

aka: MoPac Station
The original version of what became Union Station in Little Rock (Pulaski County) was built in 1872–73. This building was demolished in 1906 to make way for a concrete and brick structure built in 1907. This station burned in 1920 but was rebuilt, opening again in summer 1921. Also known as the Missouri Pacific or “MoPac” Station, Union Station is located on Markham and Victory streets and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 17, 1977. In the twenty-first century, it is used as a stop for the Amtrak Texas Eagle and as part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. It also serves as an event venue and houses office space. The fire in 1920 that destroyed …

United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas

The United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is the federal trial court of record for thirty-four counties in western, south-central, and north-central Arkansas. With headquarters in Fort Smith (Sebastian County) and branches in Fayetteville (Washington County), Harrison (Boone County), Texarkana (Miller County), Hot Springs (Garland County), and El Dorado (Union County), the three judges and two magistrates of the Western District under Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution exercise judicial power over “all cases in law and equity, arising under [the] constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made or which shall be made.” Generally, the Western District exercises power over two broadly defined types of civil cases: those that involve a …

United States v. Miller et al.

United States v. Miller et al. originated in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division when a federal grand jury indicted two men for transporting a sawed-off shotgun from Oklahoma to Arkansas in violation of a federal firearm statute. The case eventually became the single instance in which the U.S. Supreme Court explicitly tackled the Second Amendment in the twentieth century, and it remains controversial to this day. The National Firearms Act (NFA), Public Law 73-474, effective July 26, 1934, was in reaction to widespread gun violence during the Prohibition era. The NFA required that certain weapons—principally machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and rifles, and silencers—be registered with the federal government and be heavily taxed. On April …

United States v. Waddell et al.

United States v. Waddell et al. is a U.S. Supreme Court case that arose from an 1883 incident of nightriding (sometimes called whitecapping) in Van Buren County, in which a group of armed white men attempted to drive off a black homesteader. The case centered upon the question of whether or not an individual, having settled upon a piece of property for purposes of obtaining a federal homestead, enjoyed the protection of the federal government in attempting to exercise his rights in the face of conspiracies to intimidate. On December 13, 1882, Burrell Lindsay, an African American, made a homestead entry for a tract of land in Bradley Township in southeastern Van Buren County. On the night of January 10, …

University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) began as Branch Normal College, which sought to accommodate the higher-educational needs of Arkansas’s African-American population. UAPB is the alma mater of such notable figures as attorney Wiley Branton Sr., Dr. Samuel Kountz, and attorney John W. Walker. State senator John Middleton Clayton sponsored a legislative act calling for the establishment of Branch Normal College, but it was not until 1875 that the state’s economic situation was secure enough to proceed with it. That year, Branch Normal was established as a branch of Arkansas Industrial University, now the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). Its primary objective was educating black students to become teachers for the state’s black schools. Governor …

University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

aka: Clinton School
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service (UACS, or Clinton School), which is the only school in the United States offering a master’s degree in public service (MPS), has the mission of preparing graduates for careers in nonprofit, governmental, volunteer, or private-sector service work. The school is situated in the historic Choctaw Station of the Rock Island Railroad, which is part of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock (Pulaski County). Additional offices and classrooms are in the Arkansas Studies Institute, located in the River Market District of Little Rock. The Clinton School was established by the board of trustees of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) on January 29, 2004, …

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB)

The University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) “is a comprehensive community college committed to providing learning experiences that improve the lives of those we serve.” It is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in Arkansas. UACCB was founded in Batesville (Independence County) in 1975 as Gateway Vocational-Technical School, created to provide hands-on technical training and educational opportunities to the residents of Independence County and the surrounding area. According to state Senator Bill Walmsley, the name “Gateway” was chosen “not only because Batesville is the gateway to the White River Basin, but because this school was to be the gateway to education and a better quality of life for people in this area.” Don Tomlinson was the institution’s first …

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM)

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) developed from a small vocational technical school offering only occupational-specific diplomas into a fast-growing degree-granting college with twenty-four available degree programs of study and over 2,000 credit students served each semester. It serves a six-county area and offers two degree programs that are unique to the state of Arkansas: Associate of Applied Science degrees in surveying and petroleum technology. In 1959, Arkansas’s first postsecondary vocational-technical school had opened in Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), and it was originally intended to serve the needs of the entire state. However, the Arkansas General Assembly, recognizing the need for expanded vocational education opportunities, provided state funds for the construction and operation of a second postsecondary vocational-technical …

University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UACES)

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service (UACES), an arm of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, offers non-traditional education, bringing university research to Arkansans to help improve their lives. The UACES disseminates information on agricultural production, protection of natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, rural community development, and public issues education. With offices in every county, the UACES provides easy access to information that has practical and immediate application. The UACES state headquarters is in Little Rock (Pulaski County) on land that borders the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Three federal legislative acts, passed during the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, created the national Agricultural Extension Service …

University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT)

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT) is a fully accredited, comprehensive community college that provides the first two years of a traditional college education transferable to four-year colleges and universities, as well as multiple technical and industrial programs. Programs include bachelor’s and master’s degrees through distance education and numerous community service and continuing education opportunities. UAHT was founded as Red River Vocational-Technical School in Hope (Hempstead County) in 1965. In 1991, as part of a statewide movement to transform Arkansas’s technical schools into community colleges, the vocational-technical school was placed under the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) and renamed Red River Technical College. In 1995, the Arkansas General Assembly approved legislation that provided for the merger of two-year colleges …

University of Arkansas Museum

The University of Arkansas Museum at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (Washington County) developed from a geology teaching collection begun in 1873 for university students. Housed in Old Main, the collection grew to include not only rocks, minerals, and fossils, but also zoological specimens, cultural and historical objects, and archaeological artifacts, with a particular emphasis on objects and specimens from Arkansas. The collections were then made available to students, researchers, and exhibit designers for use in university classes, for study by researchers, and for exhibit loans. The collections were once on public display at UA but are now only open to researchers and available to loan for other institutions for exhibition and research. Professor Francis L. Harvey was the …

University of Arkansas Press (UA Press)

Established in May 1980, the University of Arkansas Press (UA Press) serves as the publishing house of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County) for scholars in history, sciences, and creative writing. Over the years, the press has garnered a reputation for publishing the poetry of former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, as well as several books by former president Jimmy Carter. In December 1980, in an effort to provide a venue for scholars to publish their work, the press formally opened its doors at the renovated McIlroy House on the edge of campus; a stylized depiction of this house became the press’s logo. Founded by renowned Arkansas poet Miller Williams, along with noted historian and former UA …

University of Arkansas School of Law

Located in Fayetteville (Washington County), the University of Arkansas School of Law is part of the flagship campus at the University of Arkansas (UA). The school provides a three-year graduate law degree for students with four years of pre-law coursework. With a 25.9 percent minority enrollment, the school was recently ranked one of the most diverse in the nation by U.S News and World Report. It is also home to the National Agricultural Law Center and offers the nation’s only Master of Law degree in agricultural law. The school offers a student-run free legal clinic, publishes the Arkansas Law Review, and is home to the Young Law Library, the largest collection of legal texts in Arkansas. Significant staff members have …

University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College

aka: Pulaski Technical College
The University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College (UA-Pulaski Tech) in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) is a comprehensive two-year college offering technical programs, a university-transfer program, and specialized programs for business and industry. The college’s mission is to provide access to high-quality education that promotes student learning, to enable individuals to develop to their fullest potential, and to support the economic development of the state. The college’s history dates back to October 1945, when it was established as the Little Rock Vocational School under the supervision of the Little Rock Public Schools. Until January 1976, the school met in a building at the corner of 14th Street and Scott Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County). In October 1969, administration of the …

University of Central Arkansas (UCA)

The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) has been one of Arkansas’s leading institutions of higher education for more than 100 years. Beginning as a normal school (teacher’s training institution) with approximately 100 students in 1908, UCA has become a comprehensive PhD-granting institution with 11,350 students in 2017. UCA was created by the passage of Act 317 of 1907 as Arkansas State Normal School, the only institution of higher learning in the state created for the sole purpose of teacher training. On May 15, 1907, acting governor X. O. Pindall appointed the first board of trustees. Several cities submitted bids for the school, including Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Benton (Saline County), Quitman (Cleburne County), Russellville (Pope County), and Conway (Faulkner County). The …

University of the Ozarks

The University of the Ozarks is a fully accredited, private four-year college that offers baccalaureate degrees in twenty-seven liberal arts and pre-professional programs. Enrollment in the twenty-first century has ranged between 600 and 650 students, primarily from Arkansas, but with significant numbers from Texas, Oklahoma, and Central America. Students participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities and organizations. Men’s and women’s varsity athletic teams, the Eagles, compete in six different sports in the American Southwest Conference of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. Located on a thirty-acre campus in Clarksville (Johnson County) and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the university builds on a longstanding mission of social inclusiveness, academic rigor, and spiritual edification. The origins of the …

Urban Renewal

Urban renewal is the generic term given to the redevelopment of land in urban areas. In the United States, it is largely associated with post–World War II federal housing policy stemming from the passage of the federal Housing Act of 1949. Though ostensibly designed to beautify cities by getting rid of old and decrepit housing stock and replacing it with new and modern homes, these projects typically had a racial component. This has led to accusations that urban renewal programs consciously manipulated residential areas to establish, perpetuate, and/or extend geographical racial segregation in city neighborhoods. As Little Rock (Pulaski County) is Arkansas’s largest urban area, its experience of urban renewal typifies the experience of many other urban areas in the …

USNS Private William H. Thomas (T-AP-185)

aka: SS Alcoa Cruiser
aka: USS Rixey (AHP-3)
The USNS Private William H. Thomas was a Tryon-class evacuation transport built in 1941 that was renamed in 1946 for a Wynne (Cross County) native who received a Medal of Honor during World War II. William H. Thomas was born in Wynne on January 13, 1923. He was serving as a Browning Automatic Rifle gunner on Luzon in the Philippine Islands on April 22, 1945, when a Japanese satchel charge blew off both of his legs beneath the knee. Refusing medical attention, Thomas continued fighting until his weapon was disabled and he ran out of grenades. Thomas died of his wounds, and he received a posthumous Medal of Honor for his valor. The Private William H. Thomas originated as the …

USS Arkansas (BB-33)

The battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33) was the third ship of the U.S. Navy to bear the state’s name, the prior vessels being a wooden-hulled steamer during the American Civil War, and an 1890s single-turret monitor that was renamed Ozark in 1909 and used as an instruction ship. The battleship Arkansas participated in both world wars and received four battle stars for service in World War II. The Arkansas’s keel was laid on January 25, 1910, in Camden, New Jersey. The USS Arkansas was launched on January 14, 1911, and commissioned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard on September 17, 1912. Measuring 562 feet by ninety-three feet, the Arkansas was designed for a crew of 1,594. It was armed with twelve twelve-inch …

USS Arkansas (CGN-41)

The USS Arkansas (CGN-41) was the fourth and last ship in the Virginia class of Nuclear Powered Guided Missile Cruisers. The cruiser was also the fourth ship in the U.S. Navy to be named after the state of Arkansas. The keel of the USS Arkansas was laid on January 17, 1977, at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. It was launched on October 21, 1978, and was commissioned on October 18, 1980, with Captain Dennis S. Read in command. The guided-missile cruiser spent the four months following its commissioning in the vicinity of Hampton Roads, Virginia. In March 1981, it completed contract trials and conducted a public relations call at Port Everglades, Florida. Until …

USS Arkansas (Civil War)

Not to be confused with the like-named Confederate ship the CSS Arkansas, the USS Arkansas served the U.S. Navy during the Civil War as a supply and tender vessel, helping to maintain communications and supply with the blockade fleet along the Texas gulf coast. Constructed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1863 as a commercial barkentine-rigged, wooden-hulled, screw steamer originally named Tonawanda, this vessel measured 191 feet in length and thirty feet at the beam. It weighed 752 tons and drafted nineteen feet of water. It carried a crew of eighty-eight enlisted sailors and officers. Propelled by one vertical condensing engine capable of operation at high or low pressure, with a cylinder diameter of forty inches and a thirty-inch stroke, it averaged …

USS Arkansas (M-7)

aka: USS Ozark (BM-7)
The USS Arkansas (M-7), also known as the USS Ozark (BM-7), was one of four monitor-class naval vessels built for the U.S. Navy in the late 1800s. Although designed as surface warships, these vessels were primarily relegated to support operations because they were obsolete by the time they were finished. In 1898, the navy approved designs to introduce four new monitor vessels. These vessels were known as the USS Arkansas (M-7), USS Connecticut (M-8), USS Florida (M-9), and USS Wyoming (M-10). Because the navy designates the first ship of a class series the class name of the ship, M-7 through M-10 were known as Arkansas-class monitors. The USS Arkansas was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company …

USS Baron De Kalb

aka: USS St. Louis
Named for Baron Johann De Kalb, a Bavarian nobleman who served as a major general in the Continental army during the American Revolution, the sternwheel casemate gunboat Baron De Kalb saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the White River during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built in 1861 in Carondelet, Missouri, by the innovative ship designer James B. Eads under orders from U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs and originally christened the St. Louis, the 175-foot Cairo-class vessel displaced 512 tons and drew six feet of water. Its armaments consisted of two eight-inch smoothbore cannon, four forty-two-pound rifled cannon, and seven thirty-two-pound …

USS Baxter (APA-94)

The USS Baxter was a Sumter-class attack transport ship that saw action during World War II. It is named in honor of Baxter County. The Baxter was the fourth and final ship in the Sumter class to be constructed, with work beginning on March 18, 1943, in Chickasaw, Alabama; the other three ships of the class were constructed in 1942. The ship was launched on September 19, 1943, and was acquired by the U.S. Navy on November 30, receiving a reduced commission. The Baxter sailed to Brooklyn, New York, where it arrived on December 14. Work to convert it to an attack transport began the same day. The ship was fully commissioned on May 15, 1944, under the command of …

USS Benton County (LST-263)

The USS Benton County, originally USS LST-263, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Benton County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in nine states, including Arkansas. LST-263 was one of a class of vessels created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-263 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to …

USS Boone County (LST-389)

The USS Boone County, originally LST-389, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Boone County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in eight states, including Arkansas. LST-389 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-389 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. These ships carried pontoons amidships that could be …

USS Bradley County (LST-400)

The USS Bradley County, originally USS LST-400, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II. It was renamed the USS Bradley County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties in Arkansas and Tennessee. LST-400 was one of a class of vessels—called Landing Ship, Tank—created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-400 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet at the stern. They carried pontoons amidships that could be used to create causeways …

USS Calhoun County (LST-519)

The USS Calhoun County, originally USS LST-519, was a tank landing ship that served the U.S. Navy in the European Theater during World War II and was later used to dump radioactive material into the Atlantic Ocean. It was renamed the USS Calhoun County on July 1, 1955, in honor of counties of that name in eleven states, including Arkansas. LST-519 was one of a class of vessels created to carry tanks, wheeled and tracked vehicles, artillery, construction equipment, and supplies during military operations along coastal areas. Called “Large Slow Targets” by their crews, they were designed as shallow-draft vessels; when loaded with a 500-ton cargo, LST-519 drew just under four feet at the bow and just under ten feet …

USS Chicot (AK-170)

The USS Chicot was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. The ship was named for Chicot County and was part of the same class as the USS Craighead, USS Poinsett, and USS Sebastian, all named for Arkansas counties. The Chicot was launched on July 16, 1944, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The ship was constructed by Froemming Brothers, Incorporated, and was acquired by the navy on March 13, 1945. It was commissioned as the Chicot on April 4, 1945, and the first captain of the ship was Lieutenant Commander Lawrence Marshall. The Alamosa class consisted of cargo ships designed to deliver troops, equipment, and goods to combat zones. The Chicot …

USS Cincinnati

The sternwheel casemate gunboat Cincinnati saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including the expedition up Steele’s Bayou and operations on the White River during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Built in 1861 in Mound City, Illinois, by the innovative ship designer James B. Eads under orders from U.S. Army Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs, the 175-foot Cairo-class vessel displaced 512 tons and drew six feet of water. Its armaments consisted of six thirty-two-pound and three eight-inch smoothbore cannon, four forty-two-pound rifled cannon, and one twelve-pound howitzer. Under operational control of the army and piloted by permanently assigned civilians, the Cincinnati joined the Western Gunboat Fleet in …

USS Clara Dolsen

The USS Clara Dolsen was a massive sidewheel paddleboat built in 1861 and used by Confederate forces until its capture by the U.S. Navy during the 1862 St. Charles Expedition. The Clara Dolsen was a 939-ton sidewheel paddleboat built at Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1861 for Captain William T. Dunning, A. P. Stewart, and S. B. Edwards of New Orleans, Louisiana. Its hull was constructed at the Leatherbury yard, and its machinery was manufactured by C. T. G. Dumont. The Clara Dolsen was 273 feet long and forty-two feet wide, and it was powered by five boilers and twenty-eight-inch cylinder engines. Its paddlewheels were thirty-six feet in diameter with fourteen-foot buckets. The ship was acknowledged as “one of the largest, handsomest, …

USS Cleburne (APA-73)

The USS Cleburne was a Gilliam-class attack transport that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. It was named for Cleburne County, Arkansas, and Cleburne County, Alabama, both of which were named in honor of Confederate major general Patrick Cleburne. The Gilliam class was designed to transport troops and materials close to shore during invasions. Small boats carried by the larger ship were used to land troops on shore. The ships of the class were 426 feet long and fifty-eight feet wide. With a top speed of seventeen knots, the ship utilized a crew of twenty-seven officers and 295 enlisted men. The ship could carry forty-seven officers and 802 enlisted men. Armed with a single five-inch dual-purposed mounted …

USS Conestoga

The first of two vessels named Conestoga, this converted sidewheel steamer saw extensive service with the Union’s Western Gunboat Fleet during the Civil War, including operations on the Arkansas, White, Black, Tensas, and Ouachita rivers during the ongoing battle for control of significant interior rivers in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Originally built in 1859 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, as a sidewheel steamer displacing between 297 and 572 tons, the Conestoga was purchased by the U.S. Army Quartermaster on June 3, 1861, and converted into a wood-clad gunboat for service with the Western Gunboat Fleet on the Mississippi River and various tributaries. Although under the army’s operational control, the vessel was commanded by Lieutenant S. Ledyard Phelps of the U.S. Navy. Initial duties …

USS Cooper (DD-695)

The USS Cooper was a U.S. Navy destroyer in World War II named for Monticello (Drew County) native Elmer Glenn Cooper. The Cooper sank on December 3, 1944, after being struck by a torpedo during a surface engagement at Ormoc Bay. Elmer Glenn Cooper was born on May 9, 1905, in Monticello, to the farming family of James O. Cooper and Anna B. Cooper. He married Francis Vivian Lewis Sigmon in 1928. Cooper attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, graduating 476th in a class of 579 in 1927, and was retained for aviation instruction that summer. Cooper became a U.S. Navy pilot and was serving on the aircraft Carrier USS Langley when, during fleet maneuvers off southern California, …

USS Cossatot (AO-77)

aka: USNS Cossatot
The USS Cossatot was a tanker in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Named for the Cossatot River in southwestern Arkansas, the USS Cossatot served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war. The Cossatot, which was a Type 2-SE-A1 tanker, served as a fleet oiler, supplying fuel and other necessities to ships at sea. It was constructed in Chester, Pennsylvania, by the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Originally laid down as the Fort Necessity, the ship was launched on February 28, 1943, and then transferred to the navy on March 17, 1943. Commander P. G. Beck served as the first captain of the ship when it was commissioned on April 20, 1943, in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon …

USS Craighead (AK-175)

The USS Craighead was an Alamosa-class cargo ship that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War. The ship was named for Craighead County and was part of the same class as the USS Chicot, USS Poinsett, and USS Sebastian, all named for Arkansas counties. Construction on the ship began in 1944, and it was launched on February 28, 1945. Constructed by Froemming Brothers, Incorporated, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the Craighead was acquired by the navy on July 31, 1945. It was commissioned on September 5, 1945, under the command of Lieutenant Commander George Walker, who commanded the ship for its entire service in the navy. The ship was crewed by members of the U.S. Coast …

USS Cricket

The USS Cricket was a sternwheel steamboat built in 1860 and purchased by the U.S. Navy in 1862 for Civil War service in western waters, including extensive activity in Arkansas rivers. Cricket No. 2, as the boat was originally named, was constructed in 1860 at California, Pennsylvania, for R. Hamilton of Hanging Rock, Ohio, and John Kyle of Cincinnati, Ohio. The vessel was 151 feet long and 27.7 feet wide. It ran between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Cincinnati, Ohio, and, during the summer, between Cincinnati and Louisville, Kentucky, under the command of Captain S. B. Hempstead. The Union navy bought the ship on November 18, 1862, at Cairo, Illinois, and converted it to a tinclad gunboat with the addition of one-and-one-quarter-inch …