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

Yell, James

James Yell was a lawyer, state legislator, and major general in the Arkansas State Militia during the Civil War. Never holding an active field command, he was removed from his position early in the war because of his allegiance to state troops rather than the Confederate government. He did not see action in the war. James Yell was born on March 10, 1811, in Bedford County, Tennessee. He was the son of Pearcy Yell and Jane Gist Yell, and he was the nephew of Archibald Yell, Arkansas’s first congressman and second governor. Receiving some education, he taught school for three years and also served as a magistrate in Tennessee. He married Permelia Young in Bedford County in 1832, and the …

Yellville Expedition (November 25–29, 1862)

The five-day expedition to Yellville (Marion County) in late November 1862 was a successful Union raid to disrupt Confederate saltpeter mining operations and destroy a rebel arsenal. Arkansas’s Confederates mined saltpeter, an important ingredient in creating gunpowder, from limestone caves in the Ozark Mountains, and Union forces periodically attacked the mining facilities, resulting in such actions as the April 19, 1862, Skirmish at Talbot’s Ferry. After learning of saltpeter operations in Marion County in late November 1862, Brigadier General Francis J. Herron sent an expedition from southwestern Missouri to attack them. Colonel Dudley Wickersham of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry Regiment led his regiment, along with the First Iowa Cavalry and a battalion of the Second Wisconsin Cavalry, into Arkansas on …

Yocum Creek, Skirmish at

aka: Skirmish at Duncan Springs
  Part of the First Arkansas Cavalry (US) was stationed at Elkhorn Tavern, near Bentonville (Benton County), in late October 1862 to help control part of southwest Missouri until the army could enter Arkansas. On November 15, 1862, Company G under the command of Captain Rowman E. M. Mack and Company K under Captain Theodorick Youngblood, along with elements of an additional unidentified company, arrived in the area of Yocum Creek in Arkansas to evacuate loyal Union families to Elkhorn Tavern. While at the Jeremiah Youngblood farm, local Confederates attacked the Unionists and then withdrew to the south and west along Yocum Creek, with the Federals in pursuit. The fight continued southward, down the valley to Duncan Springs. At this junction, …

Yonley, Thomas D. W.

Thomas D. W. Yonley was born in what was then Virginia (later to become West Virginia), became a lawyer, migrated to Arkansas as the South began to secede from the Union, left the state to become a Federal soldier, and then returned to Little Rock (Pulaski County) for a ten-year political career that took him to high offices and a critical role in the turbulent era of Reconstruction. He was elected to the convention that wrote the Reconstruction constitution of 1864, and then was elected chancery judge in Little Rock, attorney general of Arkansas, and chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. As chief justice, he was the author of one of the pivotal decisions in Arkansas history. In the …