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

Talbot, William

William Talbot was a sailor aboard the USS Louisville who received a Medal of Honor for his handling of the vessel’s nine-inch cannon during the 1863 Battle of Arkansas Post. William Talbot (his Medal of Honor papers identify him as Talbott) was born in Liverpool, England, in 1814. At age sixteen, he immigrated to the United States, arriving at Bath, Maine, in August 1830. He got married on September 4, 1834, and he and his wife, Priscilla, would have five sons and a daughter. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States on July 7, 1848. In 1860, he was forty-six years old and worked as a rigger in West Bath, Sagadahoc County, Maine. Talbot apparently enlisted in the …

Talbot’s Ferry, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Talbert's Ferry
The Skirmish at Talbot’s Ferry (also known as Talbert’s Ferry) in Marion County was one of many skirmishes associated with General Samuel Curtis’s campaign in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas in 1862. The fighting was concentrated around a Confederate saltpeter manufactory located along the White River at Talbot’s Ferry near Yellville (Marion County). On April 19, 1862, a detachment under the command of Captain James T. Drummond of the Fourth Iowa Cavalry crossed the White River near Yellville with intentions of locating and destroying the Confederate saltpeter manufactory located eight miles south of Little North Fork—now part of Bull Shoals Lake—on the south side of the river. During his patrol, Captain Drummond captured three men thought to be Confederate pickets placed …

Tappan, James Camp

James Camp Tappan was a Confederate general, lawyer, and politician from Helena (Phillips County). He is best remembered for commanding a brigade of Brigadier General Thomas J. Churchill’s Arkansas Division. James Tappan was born on September 9, 1825, in Franklin, Tennessee, the son of Benjamin S. Tappan and Margaret Bell Camp Tappan. He was the oldest of thirteen children. He received his education at Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and Yale University in Connecticut, graduating in 1845. He then studied law in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and joined the bar of that state in 1846. In 1848, Tappan moved to Helena and began practicing law there and married his wife, Mary, in 1854. Tappan served a term in the Arkansas legislature as a …

Tate’s Bluff Fortification

The Tate’s Bluff Fortification near Camden (Ouachita County), constructed circa 1864, is a square earthen fortification measuring 100 feet on each side and located on a hilltop just below the confluence of the Little Missouri and Ouachita rivers. The Tate’s Bluff community was established by Captain Richard (Dick) Tate. Following service at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812, Tate traveled by boat up the rivers of the Louisiana Purchase to the point where the Ouachita and Little Missouri rivers ran together. He returned to his home in Tennessee and persuaded eighty-nine people to immigrate to Arkansas with him and settle in the area. John Henderson Tate, who was Dick Tate’s nephew, and his wife, Ann Bryan …

Taylor’s Creek and Mount Vernon, Skirmishes at

aka: Skirmish at Crowley's Ridge
Returning from his ill-fated attack on Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in April 1863, John S. Marmaduke scattered his Confederate forces from Wittsburg (Cross County) to Marianna (Lee County) in Arkansas, with Archibald Dobbins at Hughes’ Ferry. Hearing of Marmaduke’s return, Federal commanders at Helena (Phillips County) ordered Colonel Powell Clayton to take approximately 1,000 cavalry and three pieces of artillery to stop the Confederates from reestablishing in eastern Arkansas by destroying all food supplies and forage. If Confederates were denied this support system of food, shelter, and slaves, the Federal army could maintain superiority in eastern Arkansas and the Mississippi River to Helena, thus enhancing Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign to take Vicksburg, Mississippi. Clayton’s second goal was to determine if Sterling …

Terre Noire Creek, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Antoine
aka: Skirmish at Wolf Creek
  The Skirmish at Wolf Creek, one of the engagements fought during the Camden Expedition, was fought one mile east of the Terre Noire Creek along a defile near the town of Antoine (Pike County). A Confederate detachment attacked a Union supply train of more than 200 wagons traveling toward Camden (Ouachita County) and guarded by the Twenty-ninth Iowa, as well as the Fiftieth Indiana and Ninth Wisconsin regiments. The skirmish was one of the earlier engagements associated with General Frederick Steele’s attempt to push south through Arkansas. The Twenty-ninth Iowa was assigned as the rear guard of the main supply regiment with the Fiftieth Indiana as support. While moving across a defile caused by the Terre Noire Creek, the …

Thayer, John Milton

John Milton Thayer was a lawyer and politician. During the Civil War, he was a major general in the Union army who served extensively in Arkansas. A native of Massachusetts, Thayer is most associated with Nebraska, where he served as both a senator and governor and commanded troops from that state during the war. Thayer was born in Bellingham, Massachusetts, on January 24, 1820; he was the youngest of nine children. Thayer’s parents, Captain Elias Thayer and Ruthe Staples Thayer, owned a farm. Thayer worked as a school teacher before entering Brown University, from which he graduated in 1841. He married Mary Torrey Allen in 1842; they had six children. Joining the bar in Massachusetts the same year he graduated …

Third Arkansas Cavalry (CS)

The Third Arkansas Cavalry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. Serving under commanders Major General Joseph Wheeler and Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 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 June 10, 1861, as the First (Borland’s) Battalion Arkansas Cavalry and mustered into Confederate service on July 27 as the First Regiment Arkansas Volunteers. Led by Colonel Solon Borland, it consisted of companies from Conway, Crittenden, Dallas, Hot Springs, Ouachita, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, White, and Yell counties. On January 15, 1862, it was re-designated as the Third Arkansas Cavalry …

Third Arkansas Cavalry (US)

The Third Arkansas Cavalry organized in October 1863 at Little Rock (Pulaski County). It became one of four Union cavalry regiments raised in Arkansas during the Civil War. In total, 8,289 white Arkansans joined the Federal service to struggle against their neighbors and the Confederacy. Abraham H. Ryan was promoted from captain of the Seventeenth Regiment of Illinois Infantry Volunteers to the colonel of the Third Arkansas, which mustered into service on February 10, 1864. On April 5, 1864, Special Order No. 6 commanded Colonel Ryan to take charge of all the troops at Lewisburg (Conway County), Dardanelle (Yell County), and the vicinity. Lewisburg, a small town located on the north bank of the Arkansas River, became the station for …

Third Arkansas Light Artillery (CS)

aka: Jackson Light Artillery
The Third Arkansas Light Artillery was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater in a variety of roles throughout the Civil War. The battery that would come to be known as the Third Arkansas was organized at Jacksonport (Jackson County) on June 15, 1861, under the command of Captain George McCown. The unit was known as McCown’s Battery during its early existence. The battery joined two other Arkansas artillery units in a battalion under the command of Major Francis Shoup, and this unit transferred to Confederate service on July 25, 1861. McCown resigned his commission on July 17, and Second Lieutenant George Hubbard was elected to lead the battery.   The battalion moved to the east bank of …

Third Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment (CS)

The Third Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment originated from two companies that Hamburg (Ashley County) lawyer Van H. Manning and Dr. William H. Tebbs raised in Ashley County shortly after Arkansas seceded from the Union. The two companies traveled to Vicksburg, Mississippi, to join the Confederate army but were refused admittance. This led Manning to travel to Montgomery, Alabama, which was then the Confederate capital, to seek the aid of Senator Albert Rust of Arkansas. Rust not only helped the two orphan companies get into the army but also enlisted and returned to Arkansas to raise eight more companies and form a regiment. Rust was successful in recruiting companies in Union, Drew, Ashley, and Hot Spring counties, and they traveled to …

Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirteenth Arkansas Infantry was a regiment that served in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Spending most of its service in the Western Theater, the regiment served for the duration of the war. The regiment organized on July 29, 1861, in Greene County with companies from Phillips, St. Francis, Poinsett, Lawrence, Greene, Crittenden, and Craighead counties. One company in the regiment was from Missouri. James Tappan was selected as the first colonel of the regiment. The regiment moved to Belmont, Missouri, and camped on the banks of the Mississippi River across from Columbus, Kentucky. The unit saw its first action at the Battle of Belmont on November 7, 1861, when Brigadier General Ulysses Grant attacked the camp. …

Thirty-Eighth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-Eighth Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Craighead, Independence, Izard, Lawrence, and Randolph counties. The regiment began organization in June 1862 as a mounted infantry unit but was dismounted in August 1862 and mustered into Confederate service with ten companies on September 21, 1862, at Jacksonport (Jackson County). The elected field officers of the unit were Colonel Robert G. Shaver, Lieutenant Colonel William. C. Adams, and Major Milton Baber. The Thirty-Eighth Arkansas experienced its first combat on December 7, 1862, at the Battle of Prairie Grove. Assigned to a brigade commanded by Shaver of Frost’s Division, the Thirty-Eighth, under Adams, …

Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Western Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Conway, Independence, Jackson, Pope, Van Buren, and Yell counties. Organized originally as a four-company battalion under the command of Major Thomas H. McCray in January 1862, it reorganized on May 25, 1862, as the Thirty-First Arkansas Infantry with ten companies. The original field officers were Colonel Thomas H. McCray, Lieutenant Colonel James F. Johnson, and Major James W. Clark. After initial assignment to the brigade of Brigadier General J. L. Hogg in Major General John P. McCown’s division at Corinth, Mississippi, it was ordered to Chattanooga, Tennessee, and transferred to the division of …

Thirty-Seventh (Bell’s) Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Thirty-seventh Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. It was a volunteer regiment, as it was organized in March 1862, prior to the enactment of the 1862 Confederate Conscript Law. It was composed primarily of men from Ashley, White, Woodruff, Union, Dallas, Clark, and Benton counties. The original command staff consisted of Colonel Joseph C. Pleasants, Lieutenant Colonel John A. Geoghegan, and Major Samuel S. Bell. Initially referred to as the First Trans-Mississippi Infantry Regiment and designated as the Twenty-ninth Arkansas Infantry by the Confederate War Department, it was most commonly referred to as Pleasant’s [sic] Arkansas Infantry. After the Battle of Prairie Grove and reorganization of the …

Thompson, M. Jeff

Meriwether “Jeff” Thompson was a brigadier general in the Missouri State Guard who served and led troops in Arkansas during the Civil War, ultimately surrendering the troops in the northeastern part of the state in 1865 after earning a reputation as a wily commander. Meriwether Thompson was born on January 22, 1826, in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the son of U.S. Army paymaster Captain Meriwether Thompson and Nancy Slaughter Broadus Thompson. As a youth, Thompson would skip school to accompany a black deliveryman named Jeff on his rounds, which led his family to begin calling him by that name. His friends soon followed suit, and after moving to Missouri in 1847 he had his name legally changed to M. Jeff Thompson. …

Totten, James

James Totten was an officer in the U.S. Army and was the commander of the Little Rock Arsenal during the Arsenal Crisis of 1861. He later served in the Civil War, commanding units in both the Trans-Mississippi and Western theaters. James Totten was born on September 11, 1818, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His father, William E. Totten, was a doctor who later served at the Little Rock Arsenal and had a private practice; there is no information on Totten’s mother or siblings. He attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating in 1841. Commissioned a second lieutenant, he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1847. In 1849–50, Totten served in Florida to help suppress the Seminole Indians. Totten was promoted …

Tulip, Skirmish at

The October 11, 1863, Skirmish at Tulip was a small action in which Union colonel Powell Clayton led men from the Fifth Kansas and First Indiana Cavalry Regiments in an attack that routed Colonel Archibald Dobbins’s First Arkansas Cavalry Regiment, capturing men and equipment. Also captured was a flag that became a prized artifact in the collection of the Old State House Museum. Following the Union occupation of Little Rock (Pulaski County) on September 10, 1863, a delegation of citizens from Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) came to Little Rock and asked General Frederick Steele to establish a garrison there to protect property and keep citizens from being conscripted into the Confederate army. Steele duly ordered Clayton’s small cavalry brigade to …

Twelfth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters during the American Civil War. Composed of companies and men primarily from Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Ouachita, and Sevier counties, the regiment was organized on July 27, 1861, in Arkadelphia (Clark County) by Congressman Edward Gantt. The troops elected Gantt as colonel, W. D. Cook as lieutenant colonel, and Thomas J. Reid as major. The regiment crossed the Mississippi River and garrisoned Columbus, Kentucky, during the Battle of Belmont in Missouri. Afterward, it transferred to New Madrid, Missouri, serving as garrison of Fort Thompson, along with the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry, operating as pickets in front of New Madrid. In March …

Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Battalion (CS)

aka: Rapley's Sharpshooters
The Twelfth Arkansas Infantry Battalion was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The battalion consisted of men from across the state of Arkansas and selected from Colonel Thomas P. Dockery’s Arkansas infantry brigade. Its appointed field officer was Major William F. Rapley of Little Rock (Pulaski County). The battalion organized on June 11, 1862, at Priceville, Mississippi, in accordance with General Order No. 39, calling for the creation of a battalion of sharpshooters for each brigade in the Army of the West. Requirements insisted that it be made of “chosen men, able bodied, active, and good rifle shots and of tried courage.” These battalions were intended to become the …

Twentieth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twentieth Arkansas Infantry regiment was a unit that served in the Confederate army during the American Civil War. It saw service in both the Western Theater and in the Trans-Mississippi. The regiment was organized at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) on April 9, 1862. It consisted of companies from Hempstead, Hot Spring, Perry, Pulaski, Bradley, and Lafayette counties. The first colonel of the regiment was George King of Pulaski County. The regiment was originally organized as the Twenty-Second Arkansas. Another unit also known as the Twenty-Second Arkansas fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge Confederate forces in the state moved eastward after the Battle of Pea Ridge, and the unit joined this movement. Major General Earl Van Dorn ordered his …

Twenty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry (CS)

aka: Thirtieth Arkansas (CS)
The Twenty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that saw service during the Civil War. The unit was also known as the Thirtieth Arkansas for a time. The regiment began the war as the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry Battalion. Organized under the command of Colonel Charles Turnbull, the unit comprised six companies stationed in northern Arkansas in the spring of 1862. As Major General Earl Van Dorn moved across Arkansas after the Battle of Pea Ridge, he ordered the unit to join his forces and cross to the east bank of the Mississippi River. The battalion moved to Mississippi, and additional companies, including some from the Eighth Arkansas Infantry Battalion, joined the unit to bring it to full strength as …

Twenty-First Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-First Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that served in both the Western and Trans-Mississippi Theaters during the American Civil War. The regiment was organized on May 15, 1862, in Corinth, Mississippi, by the consolidation of four companies of the Fourteenth (McCarver’s) and six companies of the Seventeenth (Lemoyne’s) Arkansas Infantry regiments. It was composed of companies and men primarily from Conway, Izard, Johnson, Lawrence, Pope, Prairie, and Yell counties, and its appointed field officers were Colonel Jordan E. Cravens, Lieutenant Colonel William Matheny, and Major William Dowdle. The regiment, initially assigned to Brigadier General Albert Rust’s brigade, participated in the initial defense of the city of Corinth, Mississippi, in May before Confederate forces retreated farther south. Later …

Twenty-Seventh Arkansas Infantry (CS)

The Twenty-Seventh Arkansas Infantry was a Confederate unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi Theater during the American Civil War. The unit was composed of men primarily from Carroll, Izard, Fulton, Marion, and Searcy counties. The regiment organized in July 1862, when a number of mounted companies were dismounted and augmented with conscripts. Colonel James Shaler, a former Missouri State Guard officer, was appointed as colonel, with A. J. Magenis as lieutenant colonel and Beal Gaither as major. The Twenty-Seventh moved to Fort Smith (Sebastian County) in preparation for the planned attack on Union forces in northwestern Arkansas. Assigned to Colonel Robert Shaver’s Brigade, in Brigadier General Daniel Frost’s Division, the Twenty-Seventh did not join its sister regiments in their first …