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

Habicht-Cohn-Crow House

The Habicht-Cohn-Crow House is a Greek Revival–style home constructed in 1870 in Arkadelphia (Clark County). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 1985. Anthony Habicht arrived in Arkadelphia by 1869, when he married Julia Reed. Habicht was twenty-nine years old at the time of the marriage, while Reed was seventeen. Reed’s father was a retired dry-goods merchant and leading citizen in the community. Habicht’s parents were born in Germany, while he was born in New York. He was generally addressed with the honorific “Captain,” likely due to his service in the Freedman’s Bureau in Arkadelphia. There is a mention in a local newspaper of Habicht working as a photographer in Clark County. Habicht resided …

Hadley, Ozro Amander

Ozro Amander Hadley served as acting governor of Arkansas from 1871, when Powell Clayton resigned, until 1873. His two years in office saw a continuation of Clayton’s policies but without the extreme violence that had marked his predecessor’s years. Hadley played several other roles of note both before and after his term in office O. A. Hadley was born on June 26, 1826, at Cherry Creek in Chautauqua County, New York, to Alvah Hadley and Eunice Bates Hadley. His father was a farmer. Hadley was educated in local public schools and at the Fredonia Academy. On February 17, 1849, he married Mary C. Kilbourn; they had two daughters, as well as one child who died in infancy. The ill heath …

Haguewood Prairie, Skirmish at

By late September 1863, Little Rock (Pulaski County) had just fallen to Union forces, and Arkansas Confederate forces were in disarray. Surrendering the state capital with little more than token resistance, the Rebel forces moved the seat of government to Washington (Hempstead County), leaving Union forces in control of most of the state north of the Arkansas River. Colonel Joseph Shelby proposed a raid into his native state of Missouri. His commanding general, John Marmaduke, saw little chance of success but backed Shelby nevertheless, hoping that the diversion would slow Union general Frederick Steele’s further advance, as well as rally the discouraged Southern sympathizers. On September 22, 1863, Shelby and 600 troops filed through Arkadelphia (Clark County) past Missouri Confederate …

Hahn’s Farm, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Waldron
Positioned on the western border of Arkansas and south of the strategically important Fort Smith (Sebastian County), Scott County saw a significant amount of activity during the Civil War. The Attack on Waldron occurred on December 29, 1863, leaving several dead and wounded. Other activity in Scott County included troops traveling through to other destinations, scouting, and foraging expeditions. Brigadier General John M. Thayer received orders by telegraph from the Assistant Adjunct General of Little Rock (Pulaski County), Lieutenant Colonel W. D. Green, to have a detachment from Little Rock met by Federal troops from Fort Smith. He sent troops south from Fort Smith to pass through Scott County en route to Dallas (Polk County). On June 17, 1864, Lieutenant …

Halfway House, Skirmish near the

The Skirmish near the Halfway House took place on October 25, 1864, when Confederate cavalrymen confronted a Union force protecting a telegraph line repairman. The telegraph lines that connected the various Union outposts in Arkansas were a favorite target of Confederate soldiers and guerrillas, and Captain Gurnsey W. Davis of Company D, Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, led fifty troopers of his regiment out from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) on the morning of October 25, 1864, to escort a man who would repair the cut line between Pine Bluff and Little Rock (Pulaski County). Their ride was uneventful until they were a mile and a half from a place known as the Halfway House. There, Illinois cavalrymen patrolling along the left flank …

Hallie [Steamboat]

The Hallie was a shallow-draft steam packet built in the spring of 1873 to trade along the waters of the Arkansas River. It was scuttled during the Brooks-Baxter War in 1874 after the Battle of Palarm. Captain A. M. Woodruff built the Hallie in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the spring of 1873 to provide reliable transport services on the Arkansas River, which was often difficult to traverse because of low water. He named it for the young daughter of Captain J. N. Jabine, who also commanded steamboats on the river. It made its maiden run to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in early April, with the Arkansas Gazette reporting on April 13 that the vessel “proves to be one of …

Hampton Lynching of 1872

On March 12 or 13, 1872, a jailed African-American man alleged to have assaulted a white man named Tom Tatum was killed by a mob that stormed the Hampton (Calhoun County) jail and set it on fire. As is often the case, reports are conflicting, and it is hard to sort out the facts. On April 6, an account in the Memphis Daily Appeal, which references the March 28 edition of the Magnolia Flower, reported that “several weeks ago” an unidentified Black man attempted to kill Tatum. The alleged assailant fled, and a group of African Americans captured him near Pine Bluff (Jefferson County). He was put in jail in Hampton pending trial. According to the Appeal, “an enraged set …

Hanks, James Millander

James M. Hanks was a Helena (Phillips County) lawyer who served as a circuit judge and U.S. congressman during Reconstruction. James Millander Hanks was born in Helena on February 12, 1833, to the farming family of Fleetwood Hanks and Francis Elizabeth Sanford Hanks. He grew up living in Helena’s Estevan Hall, located on land acquired in the late 1820s by his father and his uncle, Millander Hanks. He attended public schools before going to college in New Albany, Indiana, and Jackson College in Columbia, Tennessee, ultimately earning a law degree from the University of Louisville in Kentucky in 1855. Hanks returned to Helena after graduation and, after passing the bar, established a law practice in partnership with Charles W. Adams. …

Hardee, William Joseph

William Joseph Hardee, known as “Old Reliable,” was one of the finest corps commanders in the Confederate army. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was the first Confederate general sent to Arkansas, where he organized a number of regiments. Hardee was already a well-known figure to officers in both armies because his manual on infantry tactics became required reading for a generation of officers during the Civil War. To quote Hardee’s biographer Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr., “It might be said that every officer of the war went into battle with a sword in one hand and a copy of Hardee’s manual in the other.” William Hardee was born on October 12, 1815, in Camden County, Georgia, the youngest …

Harper, Charles Augustus (C. A.)

Charles A. Harper, originally from New England, spent a nomadic career soldiering, practicing law, and in business, farming, the ministry, and the judiciary, including a brief and undistinguished period as a justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court around the end of the Civil War. He was elected to the court when Republicans formed a state government under the new constitution of 1864, but he resigned two years later after apparently sitting on only five minor appellant cases and writing three opinions. The inactivity was not his fault, as the government and entire judicial system were in turmoil and functioned erratically. Charles Augustus (C. A.) Harper was born on December 2, 1818, in Canterbury, New Hampshire, the second son of Joseph …

Harris, Frank (Lynching of)

On August 18, 1871, an African-American man named Frank Harris was lynched at Wittsburg (Cross County) for allegedly murdering a twelve-year-old white girl named Isy Sanders, the daughter of Isaiah Sanders. According to the 1870 census, farmer I. Sanders was living near Wittsburg with his wife K. Sanders, their daughter S. J. (age twelve), and two sons, I. L. G. (age eleven) and M. C. (age five). That same year, a twenty-five-year-old African-American farm laborer identified as F. Harris was also living with his wife near Wittsburg, only two households away from the Sanders family. In addition, there was another African American named Frank Hare living not far away near Wittsburg with his wife M. Hare and four children between …

Harrison, Marcus LaRue

Marcus LaRue Harrison organized the First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment (Union) and served as its colonel during the Civil War. After the war, he had a hand in a number of Reconstruction projects, including the reestablishment of Arkansas’s postal service, politics, and railroad promotion. The city of Harrison (Boone County) was named for him. M. LaRue Harrison was born on April 1, 1830, in Groton, New York, the son of Marcus Harrison, a Presbyterian minister and anti-slavery activist, and Lydia House. Because his father had to move often, Harrison’s childhood was spent in various locations in New York, Michigan, and Illinois. By 1850, he had settled in Nashville, Illinois, and married Rebecca Axley, the first of his three wives. The couple …

Harrison, William M.

William M. Harrison was a Maryland-born lawyer who spent twelve years as an associate justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court in its most tempestuous days—helping to settle the state of the law and the social order during and after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Arkansans during that period lived under governments created by four state constitutions, the charters of 1836, 1864, 1868, and 1874, which created a jungle of legal issues. Harrison entered that era as a Republican politician opposing secession but mutated into a Democrat when the minority Republicans lost power. He was sometimes a lonely voice on the court advocating for not punishing people who had to live and transact business in a state that had seceded from …

Harrison’s Landing, Skirmish at

  Shortly after completion of a successful expedition along the White and Little Red rivers, which resulted in the destruction of a Confederate warehouse and a pontoon bridge, along with the capture of two steamers, Union forces were again dispatched upon White River transports on a reconnaissance mission. On August 16, 1863, a force consisting of portions of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry and the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry boarded transports docked at Clarendon (Monroe County) and headed down the White River to Harrison’s Landing. The force, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Gustavus Eberhart, arrived at the landing at about nightfall. Upon disembarking from the transports, the Union force was fired upon by hidden Confederates. At about 2:00 a.m. on August 17, Major …

Hatch’s Ferry, Skirmish at

By late May 1864, Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby was in command of all Confederate forces north of the Arkansas River and was tasked with recruiting a fighting force from the local populace. Over the next three months, Shelby bolstered his command from an estimated 1,200 men in early May to more than 7,000, and his success in frustrating Union garrisons and supply lines along the White River prompted Union command at Little Rock (Pulaski County) to launch several expeditions to neutralize him. During the summer, Shelby established his headquarters at Jacksonport (Jackson County) and set about harassing railroad lines and plantations being used to supply Union forces. In mid-July, Colonel Thomas H. McCray and his brigade made a successful …

Hawthorn, Alexander Travis

aka: Alexander T. Hawthorne
Alexander Travis Hawthorn was a lawyer and Baptist minister who is best known for serving as a brigadier general in the Confederate army during the Civil War. Serving in the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, Hawthorn led units at both the Battle of Helena and at the Engagement at Jenkins’ Ferry. Born on January 10, 1825, in Conecuh County, Alabama, Alexander Hawthorn was the son of the Reverend Kedar Hawthorn and Martha Baggett Hawthorn. Growing up in Wilcox County, he attended school at Evergreen Academy and Mercer University. Moving to Connecticut in 1846, he attended Yale Law School for the next two years. With the outbreak of war with Mexico, Hawthorn returned to Alabama, where he joined a unit of troops preparing …

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 …

Hay Station No. 3, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Brownsville (July 30, 1864)
This brief Civil War engagement took place during the summer of 1864 in eastern Arkansas. This area saw much action during this period, most notably by Joseph O. Shelby and his Confederate cavalry. This engagement, however, was not part of that action. Hay stations were important Federal outposts along the railroad line in eastern Arkansas. The army needed vast quantities of hay on a daily basis to feed the thousands of animals it required. Union commanders in Little Rock (Pulaski County) established small fortified outposts along the railroad to meet several needs. These outposts were tasked with protecting the nearby railroad and disrupting Confederate operations in the area. The outposts were also responsible for growing large amounts of hay to …

Headquarters House Museum

aka: Tebbetts House
Located in the historic district of Fayetteville (Washington County), the Headquarters House Museum serves as the headquarters for the Washington County Historical Society. The museum offers daily house tours, walking tours of the gardens and grounds, and educational programs to teach local children about the history of Fayetteville. The Headquarters House Museum hosts the annual Heritage School during the summer months to promote awareness of past traditions and manners. It also provides numerous luncheons and receptions each year for visitors and guests. Headquarters House was built in 1853 by Judge Jonas Tebbetts and his wife, Matilda Winlock Tebbetts. The house is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture still standing in Arkansas, containing fluted columns on the front …

Helena Confederate Cemetery

The Helena Confederate Cemetery is located in the southwestern corner of Maple Hill Cemetery in Helena-West Helena (Phillips County). The cemetery contains the graves of Confederate soldiers, two memorials, and the grave of Major General Patrick Cleburne. The cemetery lies on Crowley’s Ridge overlooking the downtown area of the city. The cemetery was created in 1869 by the Phillips County Memorial Association when the bodies of seventy-three known and twenty-nine unnamed Confederate soldiers were moved into a one-acre portion of Maple Hill Cemetery. Most of these men died at the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863, or from wounds shortly after. The body of Cleburne was moved to the cemetery and re-interred in 1870. A prewar resident of Helena, he …

Helena Expedition (March 5–12, 1863)

aka: St. Francis River Expedition
aka: Little River Expedition
Traveling up the St. Francis River from Helena (Phillips County) on March 5, 1863, Colonel Powell Clayton’s command moved into the Little River in Poinsett County, dispersing Confederates along the way and seeking the steamer Miller. The Union forces engaged the Confederates traveling upriver at Madison (St. Francis County), found the sunken Miller, and engaged Confederates north of, and again in, Madison while traveling back downriver. Overall, Clayton’s expedition took a number of prisoners and supplies that Confederates could not afford to lose in this region. With a firm hold on Helena, state-level Union leadership focused on the wearing down of Confederate resistance in Arkansas, but commanders in occupied cities like Helena had to remain aware of the immediate area. …

Helena to Alligator Bayou, Scouts from

The Civil War scouts from Helena (Phillips County) to Alligator Bayou were Union operations undertaken in September and October 1864 to hunt for Confederate soldiers and Union deserters and to seize cattle for the Federal base at Helena. Lieutenant Alexander F. Rice of the Sixtieth U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) led three separate scouting expeditions from Helena to Alligator Bayou near the St. Francis River in present-day Lee County in the fall of 1864. The soldiers in the scouts likely came from Companies C, E, F, and G of the Sixtieth, all of which reported being involved in scouting operations in September and October. Rice led troops from Helena on September 9, 1864, and marched to Thomas’ Station about five miles …

Helena to Arkansas Post, Expedition from

A Union expedition against the Confederate forces at Arkansas Post in November 1862 was defeated due to low river levels and bad weather. Confederate officials in Arkansas, fearing a possible Union move against the capital at Little Rock (Pulaski County) via the Arkansas River, ordered fortifications built at high points along the river. One of the places selected was Arkansas Post, where construction began on a large earthwork to be named Fort Hindman and defended by the big guns of the CSS Pontchartrain under the command of Colonel John W. Dunnington. In November, Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey, commander of the District of Eastern Arkansas in Helena (Phillips County), determined to take a combined army-navy taskforce and attack the Confederate base …

Helena to Buck Island in the Mississippi, Expedition from

Brigadier General Napoleon B. Buford ordered the expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Buck Island on the Mississippi River to determine whether a shipment of guns and ammunition had crossed the river to supply the troops of Confederate Brigadier General Joseph O. Shelby operating in eastern Arkansas. Captain Rudolph Schoenemann of Company E, Sixth Minnesota Infantry Regiment, led forty-three men from Company E and a detachment from Company F of the Sixth, along with troops from either Company E or L of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment, out of Helena on the evening of July 13, 1864. Boarding the steamboat Dove, the expedition headed upriver. After disembarking the cavalrymen at a Doctor Peterson’s plantation on the Arkansas side of the …

Helena to Clarke’s Store, Scout from

Union soldiers conducted the February 24, 1865, Civil War scout from Helena (Phillips County) to Clarke’s store to capture Confederate soldiers and sympathizers in St. Francis County; they also uncovered some shady business dealings. Captain John A. Wasson of the Eighty-Seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry loaded fifty of his men aboard the steamboat Curlew on February 24, 1865, for a scouting expedition up the Mississippi River, joining fifty men of the Sixtieth United States Colored Troops (USCT) under Captain Eli Ramsey of Company C. The Curlew sailed up the Mississippi River to the foot of Ship Island, where the Illinois horsemen went ashore; the Black soldiers remained with the steamer. After reaching the Rodgers Plantation, Wasson split his troops, leaving Lieutenant …

Helena to Coldwater, Mississippi, Expedition from

The Civil War expedition from Helena to Coldwater, Mississippi, was one of many Union operations proceeding from the Federal base at Helena (Phillips County) following its July 12, 1862, occupation by Major General Samuel R. Curtis’s Army of the Southwest. At 8:00 p.m. on July 23, 1862, some 100 troopers of the Sixth Missouri Cavalry (US) and ninety soldiers from the Eighth Indiana Infantry Regiment, along with two mountain howitzers, all commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Samuel N. Wood of the Sixth Missouri, boarded the steamboat Catahoula at Helena to steam up the Mississippi River for a raid on targets on the east side of the river. The Indiana troops landed near Austin, Mississippi, at daybreak on July 24 and quickly …

Helena to Friar’s Point, Mississippi, Expedition from

The expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Friar’s Point (usually spelled Friars Point) was the last of a series of Civil War military operations originating in the Union base at Helena against targets in Mississippi. Union troops occupied Helena in July 1862, and the town became a base supporting efforts to take the rebel stronghold at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and to conduct other offensive actions against Confederate activities across the river. The last such raid recorded in the Official Records took place in late February 1865. Colonel Charles Bentzoni of the Fifty-Sixth U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) ordered a sizeable detachment from the Helena garrison to board the steamboat Curlew at 1:00 a.m. on February 19, 1865, for an expedition across the …

Helena to Grenada, Mississippi, Expedition from

Union troops left Helena (Phillips County) on November 27, 1862, on an expedition to hinder operation of the Mississippi Central Railroad and cut Confederate lines of communication in support of Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s operations against Vicksburg, Mississippi. Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey, who had six days earlier been recalled from an expedition against Arkansas Post to participate in the Mississippi offensive, led the operation as 7,000 Union troops boarded sixteen transport vessels at Helena and steamed across the Mississippi River, disembarking at Delta, Mississippi. Once there, Brigadier General Cadwallader C. Washburn and his 1,900 Union cavalrymen rushed to the junction of the Tallahatchie and Coldwater rivers, where they scattered a battalion of Mississippi State Troops after a brief …

Helena to Harbert’s Plantation, Expeditions from

The January 11–13, 1865, Civil War expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Harbert’s Plantation in Mississippi appears to have been conducted to arrest a deserter from a United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiment. Captain Eli Ramsey of the Sixtieth U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment led two officers and fifty men of the Sixtieth’s Company C and a dozen men and a lieutenant of the Eighty-Seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry out of Helena around 8:00 p.m. on January 11, 1865. Boarding the steamboat the Dove, the Federals crossed the Mississippi River and landed in Mississippi about fifteen miles north of Helena between the McNeal and Halbert plantations. The infantry disembarked, and Ramsey ordered the Illinois horsemen to follow in an hour as he …

Helena to Kent’s Landing, Expedition from

The expedition from Helena (Phillips County) to Kent’s Landing (Desha County) on the Mississippi River was undertaken to track down deserters from a U.S. Colored Artillery unit and seek information on Confederate forces in the area. Captain Eli Ramsey of the Sixtieth U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) left Helena at 5:30 p.m. on August 11, 1864, at the head of four officers and seventy-five men of the Sixtieth and an artillery battery. Though Ramsey identified the artillery unit as Battery C of the Second U.S. Colored Light Artillery, it appears that the gunners were actually from Company I of the Sixtieth USCT, which reported that Lieutenant Joseph A. Goodnough participated in the expedition with “a gun squad of six men.” The …

Helena to Mount Vernon, Scout from

The scout from Helena (Phillips County) to Mount Vernon (St. Francis County) was undertaken to seek Confederate forces that were organizing in the area and to arrest citizens thought to be collaborating with the rebels. Union major Eagleton Carmichael of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment led a detachment of the regiment, including a lieutenant and thirty-five men of Company I, out from Helena on August 22, 1864. The cavalrymen boarded the steamboats Dove and H. A. Homeyer and traveled up the St. Francis River to a point four miles past the mouth of the L’Anguille River, where they disembarked. They headed into St. Francis County, scouting local plantations. They began at Hughes’s farm then proceeded to a Dr. Ward’s place, …

Helena up the St. Francis River, Expedition from

On the afternoon of February 13, 1864, Captain Charles O’Connell of the Fifteenth Illinois Cavalry boarded the steamboat Hamilton Bell with 100 men of his regiment and thirty soldiers of the Third Arkansas Infantry (African Descent) and left Helena (Phillips County) to travel up the St. Francis River in search of a Confederate officer. Arriving at Shrimp’s Landing around 10:00 p.m., the cavalrymen disembarked, and O’Connell ordered the steamboat to anchor at a nearby island overnight and then proceed up the St. Francis at daylight on February 14 to Linden (St. Francis County), where the Fifteenth Illinois troopers would rejoin the Hamilton Bell. The Illinois cavalrymen rode up onto Crowley’s Ridge, with O’Connell leading part of the troops to the …

Helena, Affairs at

A pair of brief engagements near the Federal outpost of Helena (Phillips County), these actions demonstrate just how dangerous serving in Arkansas was for Union troops. After the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862, the Federal Army of the Southwest moved across southern Missouri and northern Arkansas in an effort to take Little Rock (Pulaski County). Unable to do so, the Union troops eventually took Helena on the Mississippi River and held the town for the remainder of the war. Deep in enemy territory, the Federals in Helena worked hard to establish defensive positions and regularly launched patrols into the surrounding countryside to gather intelligence on Confederate troops in the area. On December 13, 1862, twenty-six men of Company …