Entries - Time Period: Civil War through Reconstruction (1861 - 1874) - Starting with E

Eakin, Jno

aka: John Rogers Eakin
Jno Rogers (John) Eakin, an editor, jurist, champion of women’s rights, and viniculturalist, made notable accomplishments in all four fields. During the Civil War, he edited the Washington Telegraph, making it the state’s only newspaper to remain in operation throughout the war. As a jurist, he served as chancellor from 1874 to 1878 and then as an associate justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court until his death in 1885. His vigorous repudiation of the common law’s entrenched hostility to women was reflected first in his work as chancellor and carried over into his well-crafted, but dissenting, opinions on the Supreme Court. His essay on grape culture was one of the earliest agricultural publications in the state. John Eakin was born …

Earle, Josiah Francis

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

Edwards, John

John Edwards was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Initially declared the victor in the election of 1870, he represented the Third District of Arkansas for most of the Forty-Second Congress, serving from 1871 until 1872. John Edwards was born on October 24, 1815, in Louisville, Kentucky, to John Edwards and Nancy Geiger Edwards. He received his early education in the Louisville schools, but he eventually moved to Indiana, reportedly in order to leave a slave state. He studied the law and was admitted to the state bar. In 1848, he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, where he served one term. Edwards moved to California and was soon elected an alcalde, a type of …

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 …

Elkin’s Ferry, Engagement at

aka: Battle of Okolona
The Engagement at Elkin’s Ferry was an April 3–4, 1864, battle in which Confederate troops attacked a Union column deep in southwestern Arkansas. The battle began what became known as the Camden Expedition. (The battle site is commonly known as Elkin’s Ferry because that is how the name was printed in the official records of the Civil War, but the Elkins family owned the ferry at the time, so the name is more properly rendered Elkins’ Ferry.) After capturing Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in September 1863, Union forces were in control of much of the state. From these two occupied cities, Federal troops could launch an attack into southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and eastern Texas. …

Elliott, James Thomas

James Thomas Elliott was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He represented the Second District of Arkansas in the Fortieth Congress, serving briefly in 1869. James T. Elliott was born in Columbus, Georgia, on April 22, 1823. He received his education in the local common schools and then studied law. Admitted to the bar in 1854, Elliott began a private practice in Camden (Ouachita County). In 1858, Elliott was named president of the Mississippi, Ouachita and Red River Railroad, which was embroiled in a number of legal battles. Elliott was unable to achieve a solution, however, and the railroad’s general status remained unresolved as the Civil War approached. Elliott was reported to have opposed secession during the …

Ellis, William

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

Elm Springs, Skirmishes near

The Skirmishes at Elm Springs were small-unit Civil War engagements fought in northwestern Arkansas during the summer of 1864. While not part of any larger campaign, this series of skirmishes was typical of the warfare that existed throughout much of the state during this period. Federal units based at outposts patrolled their immediate areas to disrupt and destroy both regular Confederate units and guerrilla groups. These engagements were part of that effort. The Second Arkansas Cavalry (US) was stationed in southwestern Missouri, patrolling the surrounding countryside and recruiting men to the ranks. On July 28, 1864, Lieutenant John Phelps led a patrol of twenty-eight men from the unit out of Cassville, Missouri. The group accompanied another patrol from the First …

Emancipation

By 1860, about twenty-five percent of Arkansas’s population was enslaved, amounting to more than 111,000 people. The emancipation of these people in Arkansas took place as a result of the American Civil War, their freedom achieved due to the decisions made by Union military leaders, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and the actions of the slaves themselves. Slavery’s abolishment meant more than simply the loss of human property and the end of a labor system—it ended a social relationship that had defined the state’s early development. The process of emancipation in Arkansas began before Lincoln’s formal Emancipation Proclamation. Finding that Confederates had used slave labor to create physical obstacles in his path across Arkansas in 1862, Union general Samuel R. …

English, Elbert Hartwell

Elbert Hartwell English was one of the most important jurists in Arkansas across a crucial period of legal development and turmoil in the state, including the eras of the Civil War and Reconstruction. In addition to his years of private practice, English served as chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court for a total of twenty years, one of only four chief justices to have served over twelve years in the role. E. H. English was born on March 6, 1816, to James English, who was a planter, and Nancy McCracken English in Madison County, Alabama. The family moved to Limestone County, Alabama, and eventually included ten children. English was educated in local schools and through private tutelage. He lived …

Ephesus Cemetery

The Ephesus Cemetery is located north of Emmet (Nevada and Hempstead counties). The cemetery is next to the original location of the Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church, established in 1860. The oldest dated burial is from November 1876, and the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 22, 2009. Early settlers to the area began arriving in the 1850s. A post office in the Emmet area was established in 1871, and the town was platted in 1873. The Ephesus Primitive Baptist Church was one of the earliest churches in the area. A school also operated at the site at the time of the founding of the church, according to the deed dated January 3, 1860. The …

Eudora Church, Skirmish at

Conflict along the Mississippi River did not end with the Confederate defeat at the July 1863 Battle of Helena. Throughout 1864, Confederate forces attempted to harass Federal shipping from the Arkansas side of the river. The Skirmish at Eudora Church resulted from Federal efforts to stop this harassment. The forces engaged were small in number and irregular in nature. The Confederates fielded only a squad (a party smaller than a company), and Confederate forces operating in this area were described as “independent squads, deserters, skulkers fleeing from conscription” and “lawless bands.” On the Federal side, one infantry company of the Mississippi Marine Brigade fought at Eudora Church. This brigade was created to protect Federal shipping from Confederate attacks along rivers. …

Eunice Expedition

In August 1862, General Samuel Curtis, commander of the Army of the Southwest, dispatched a naval-escorted ground force from Helena (Phillips County) to Eunice (Chicot County). The purpose of the expedition was to capture a wharf-boat, gather useful information about Confederate forces in the area along the Mississippi River, and “annoy” the enemy. The venture was a complete success for the Union forces. On August 28, 1862, a Union force consisting of 200 men of the Fifty-sixth Regiment of Ohio Volunteers and two pieces of artillery manned by men of the First Iowa Battery boarded the steamers White Cloud and Iatan. The slow-moving force, which was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel William H. Raynor, was escorted by the gunboat USS Pittsburgh (often …

Evergreen Cemetery

Burials in the historic Evergreen Cemetery in Fayetteville (Washington County) form a “who’s who” of state and local history, including one early governor, four members of Congress, a state Supreme Court judge, several former presidents of the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville, and a famous architect. This cemetery also contains the graves of town founders, private citizens, and those whose names are unknown. Evergreen is located at the corner of West Center Street and North University Avenue, near UA. It began in the 1840s as the private burial ground of the John Thomas family, on what was then their farm. In the twenty-first century, it comprises more than ten acres and holds an estimated 3,000 burials. In 1870, Washington …