Goodspeed's History of ... Carroll County, Arkansas
Military Record, p. 395.
Mexican War. -- At
the opening of the war with Mexico the President called for one
regiment from Arkansas, and the governor of the State issued a call for
ten companies of mounted riflemen, to be accepted in the order in which
their services were offered to the State. In due course of time the
governor's proclamation reached Carroll County, and with characteristic
promptness a company was organized, equipped and mounted at Carrollton.
One Gregory was then dispatched post-haste to Little Rock with the
muster-roll of the company, to secure it a place in the regiment. He
was just too late; the regiment was full, and the Carroll County
company was obliged to satisfy its military aspirations by the
maneuvers necessary to disbanding.
The Old Militia. -- In
ante bellum days
there were two battalion and four company musters every year, the
former at Carrollton and Crooked Creek (Stroud's store, now in Boone
County), the latter in the respective townships. These occasions were
largely attended, the battalion musters particularly. The only instance
in which the militia of this county was called out occurred early in
"the fifties." Marion County became involved in a fight between the
Tutt and Everitt factions, and the militia of the adjoining counties
was called out to quell the disturbance. Carroll furnished two
companies, under Cols. Tilford Denton and William C. Mitchell, the
former from Carrollton. It was in the autumn that this occurred, and
the companies were gone about six weeks.
Public sentiment at the opening of the Civil War was almost unanimously opposed to secession. The number of slaves and of slave-holders in the county was not large; the people were almost entirely of Eastern Tennessee descent, and inherited the ardent patriotism that has distinguished that section. When the time came to elect representatives to the seccession convention, Dr. Dijon and E. G. Mitchell appeared as secession candidates, and W. W. Watkins and B. H. Hobbs as Union candidates. The former received by thirty-six votes in a total poll of 1,500. The convention was earnestly desirous of taking a neutral position, and uniting with the other border States in an effort to effect a compromise. It soon became apparent, however, that this was impossible, and the call of President Lincoln for troops from Arkansas forced the issue. The delegates from Carroll met their constituents in mass-meetings, and, finding that there was but little disposition to take up arms against the section which they naturally belonged, cast their votes for the secession ordinance, which passed with but a single dissenting voice.
Home Guards. -- Four companies of home guards were organized in what is now Carroll County, to repel the threatened invasion of the State by Gen. Lyon. H. B. Fancher was captain of the company recruited "Up Osage;" Capt. J. M. Pittman's company was formed at Carrollton; Capt. John Denny's and Leander Hayhurst's companies at Berryville. The four companies proceeded individually to Camp Walker, Benton County, and with seven others from different parts of the State were organized into the Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, under the command of Col. J. D. Walker, forming part of Gen. Pierce's brigade. Maj.-Gen. Ben. McCulloch was in command. The enemy was met at Wilson's Creek, near Springfield, Mo., August 10, 1861, and defeated with severe loss. The Fourth Arkansas Infantry was stationed upon a hill across the creek from the principal fighting, supporting Capt. Reed's battery, and took no active part in the battle. It suffered no loss. Within a few days the regiment returned to Benton County and was disbanded, after a term of service of less than two months.
Confederate Troops. --
Company E, Sixteenth Arkansas Infantry, was the first company of
regular Confederate troops formed in Carroll County. It was organized
in October, 1861, at the militia muster at Green Forest, and numbered
ninety-three men. The officers were Captain, W. S. Poynor; first
lieutenant, A. S. McKennon; second lieutenant, W. W. Wilson; junior
second lieutenant, James H. Berry. This company, with one each from
Searcy, Conway and (at present) Boone, rendezvoused at Carrollton, and
were there organized as a battalion, under Lieut.-Col. Moore, ignorant
of the fact that they lacked one company of having the required number
for this. The "battalion" proceeded to Fayetteville, and reported to
Gen. McCulloch, who declined to recognize their organization. They were
detailed to Trott's store, Benton County, and there organized, with
three companies from Johnson, one from Washington, one from Madison and
one from Pike, into the Sixteenth Regiment of Arkansas Infantry, under
Col. John F. Hill.
The regiment was in winter quarters at Elm Springs, Benton
County. It was actively engaged at the battle of Pea Ridge or Elk Horn
Tavern, March 7, 1862, and was stationed on the extreme left, opposed
to Sigel's command. It was the charge of this regiment that recovered
the body of Gen. McCulloch, which was carried off the field by several
men from Company E, with others. The army moved east of the Mississippi
via Van Buren and Memphis within a short time afterward. Company E
participated in the battles of Farmington and Iuka, Miss. At Corinth
the Sixteenth Arkansas formed part of the First Brigade of the First
Divisiion of Price's corps, and was stationed on the left wing, which
stormed the breastworks to the north of Corinth. In three hours Company
E lost one-third of its men. Among the wounded was James H. Berry,
afterward governor, and at present a member of the United States Senate.
The Sixteenth Arkansas was reorganized in 1862, when J. M.
Pittman, formerly a private in Company E, became lieutenant-colonel.
In November, 1862, as part of Gen. Beall's brigade, the
Sixteenth was detailed to fortify Port Hudson. July 9, 1863, this post
surrendered to Gen. Banks, when the privates were paroled. Capt. Poynor
and Second Lieut. Wilson escaped in a commissary wagon, returned to
Carroll County, and reorganized the company, which subsequently
participated in the battles of Poison Springs, Mark's Mills and
Jenkins' Ferry, and finally surrendered, as part of Dockery's brigade,
at Shreveport, in 1865.
Capt. Goodnight's company, recruited principally in Conway
County, included about twenty-five Carroll County men. It was also in
the Sixteenth Arkansas, and participated in the engagements above
noted, to the fall of Port Hudson.
Company E, First Arkansas Cavalry, originally numbered 178
men, and was mustered at Carrollton with the following officers:
Captain, J. W. Bishop; first lieutenant, William Gregory; second
lieutenant, S. G. Sneed; third lieutenant, Robert Clark. The term of
enlistment was three years, or until the close of the war. The company
marched to King's River, where it encamped for the night. Here
seventy-eight men withdrew, and elected ------- Dawson as captain.
Capt. Bishop reported to Col. Adams at Prairie Grove, and his company
became part of the Third Arkansas Infantry, which was stationed on the
extreme left, near the church, during the battle here, December 7,
1863, and bore the brunt of the battle. Capt. Bishop's company lost
fourteen men at one charge. After the retreat to Van Buren, Gen.
Hindman directed Capt. Bishop to return to Carroll County and mount his
company. It then became Company E, First Arkansas Cavalry, Harrell's
battalion of Cabell's brigade, and took part in the battle of Poison
Springs. Capt. Bishop was promoted to a majority on that battle-field,
and John Rosson succeeded him as captain. The company was stationed at
Camden and Washington, and passed the winter of 1864-65 at Marshall,
Tex., where it was disbanded.
There were other companies formed in the county at various
periods during the war; but the frequent reorganization of the
Confederate forces renders it impossible to give an account of their
Troops. -- March 29, 1862, while the "Army of the
Southwest" was lying at Cross Timbers, Mo., M. La Rue Harrison, of the
Thirty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, was given authority to
recruit a company for the Sixth Missouri Cavalry, and proposed to
enlist citizens of Arkansas, many of whom had escaped the Confederate
conscription and fled into Missouri. The facility with which this was
accomplished prompted the organization of the First Regiment Arkansas
Cavalry Volunteers, which was effected August 7, 1862. Company G of
this regiment was made up almost entirely of Carroll County men. Rowan
E. M. Mack was captain; Joshua S. Dudley, first lieutenant. Hiram S.
Shahan, of Carroll County, was quartermaster-sergeant. Nearly all the
men were enlisted in July and August, 1862. Company K, Theodore
Youngblood, captain, Dr. F. Youngblood, first lieutenant, was also
largely made up of Carroll County men. The regiment constituted the
advance guard of Gen. Schofield's command, the Army of the Frontier,
during the campaign of 1862. It was stationed for a time at Elk Horn
Tavern and Cassville, under Lieut.-Col. A. W. Bishop. Col. Harrison
assumed command December 5, and under him the regiment participated in
the battle of Prairie Grove. January 8, 1863, a detachment under
Lieuts. Thompson and Vaughan participated in the defeat of Marmaduke at
Springfield; and later in the same month another detachment was
actively engaged in the vicinity of Van Buren. The regiment, with
others, constituted the post of Fayetteville, and successfully
withstood an attack from the Confederate Gen. Cabell April 18, 1863.
October 3, 1864, a similar attack from greatly superior numbers was
also repelled. Throughout the remainder of the war the regiment was
engaged in suppressing the guerrilla bands that infested the
northwestern part of the State. It was mustered out August 23, 1865.
The Second Arkansas Cavalry, in which were many Carroll County men, was
originally organized as the First Arkansas Mounted Rangers, and was
formed at Helena by Col. W. James Morgan, in 1862. In August, 1863, the
regiment not having yet been filled, it was transferred to Col. John E.
Phelps, who rendezvoused at Springfield and Cassville, "recruiting with
such energy and success that, on the 18th of March, 1864, he was
mustered in as colonel, twelve full companies having been formed." The
regiment was afterward in active service in Mississippi and Tennessee.
It was mustered out August 20, 1865.
In various Missouri regiments and several regiments of
Arkansas infantry Carroll County was also represented. It is not
possible, however, to go into detail in this matter.
the County -- The first armed force that appeared in
Carroll County was that of Brig.-Gen. McBride, Confederate, en route from
Batesville to Elm Springs, Benton County, with his command, numbering
4,000 or 5,000 men. Passing through in June, 1861, they encamped for
the night at Green Forest. Their progress was not marked by any
violence. After the battle of Wilson's Creek numerous small bodies
passed through the county frequently.
A strong Federal force was thrown into Southwestern Missouri
in the spring of 1862, and, aware that a decisive battle was
approaching, an effort was made to prevent the enemy from concentrating
his forces, and to divert his attention from the actual point of
attack. A movement of this character, executed by Col. C. A. Ellis, is
thus described by him in reporting to his superior officer:
Headquarters First Missouri Cavalry. )
Camp on Sugar Creek, Ark., March 9, 1862. )
In obedience to your order of the 2nd instant, to proceed to Keetsville
and send forward a commissary train reported to be there, and then to
make a reconnaissance of the country east of the position occupied by
our forces, I marched with 140 men on the morning of the 3rd,
accompanied by Col. Pease, of your staff, to Keetsville, and forwarded
the train as directed. I then proceeded east to the Roaring River, and
north eight miles northeast of Cassville, Mo., and finding no
appearance of the enemy, bivouacked for the night. At daylight of the
morning of the 4th I again moved forward in the direction of Morris'
Mill, on the White River, where a camp of the rebels was reported to be
in that vicinity. I reached the mills about 4 P.M. Finding no enemy
there, I at once moved forward in the direction of Berryville, over the
most broken country it is possible to conceive, crossing the White
River six times in traveling eight miles. At 10 P.M. having found
forage for our horses. I camped for the night, and again, at daylight
of the 5th, moved forward on the road to Berryville. When about two
miles, I arrested two men of suspicious appearance, and from them
obtained information that a company was organizing at Berryville to
leave on the following morning.
Moving forward as rapidly as the nature
of the ground would admit, I soon came to the suburbs of the town, and
observed a body of horsemen moving north on the road leading in that
direction. Taking two companies, I went in pursuit: Col. Pease, with
the balance of the command, in the meantime surrounded the town, taking
some fifty prisoners, twenty-two horses and fifty stand of arms.
My horses being much worn, I was unable
to undertake those that had left, and after destroying three wagons
partially loaded with stores belonging to the enemy, I returned to
King's River and bivouacked.
At early dawn the next morning the
command was ordered to saddle, and, as men and horses were exhausted,
and a snow-storm prevailing, I concluded on returning to camp, which I
reached at 2 A.M. on the morning of the 7th. I found forage exceedingly
scarce, failing to secure sufficient over the whole region I scoured in
that direction to supply the immediate wants of my command.
A. Ellis, Colonel, Commanding First Missouri Cavalry.
Brig.-Gen. Jeff. C. Davis, Commanding Third Division.
E. B. Brown, brigadier-general commanding Southwestern division of
Missouri (Federals), states in his dispatches that six squadrons of
cavalry left Cassville June 12, 1862, to break up a camp of 400 near
Berryville. It is extremely improbable that there was any such camp
there at the time. The result of the expedition is not known.
Herron, with his command, numbering about 20,000 men, marched through
the county in December, 1863, after the battle of Prairie Grove en route for
Forsythe, Mo. This army encamped at Carrollton about a week. Gen.
Blount, in command of 3,000 Kansas troops, encamped there the previous
spring. It cannot be said that this visitation is remembered with
gratitude by the people of the vicinity.
The only skirmish in
which any considerable body of men was involved occurred April 16,
1863, on a farm now owned by Martin Trantham, a quarter of a mile from
Yokum Creek. Companies G. and K, First Arkansas Cavalry (Federal),
under Capts. Roan Mack and Theodore Youngblood, with a number of
non-combatants whom they were conducting from the State into Missouri,
with personal property of some value, were pursued by about 700
Confederates under Capts. Bailey, Dillon and others. Seven of the
latter were killed, includng the gallant Capt. Dillon. The federal loss
was one killed and nine wounded, of whom seven died. The advantage was
with the Confederates.
In April, 1864, Capt. George E. Gaddy,
Federal, encountered Capt. McFarland on Race Track hollow. Lieut. Jesse
Patty, Federal, was killed.
A skirmish occurred at Carrollton August 14, 1864, in which several were killed.
would be futile to attempt an enumeration of all the various encounters
that occurred through the war. Warfare became predatory. Armed bands of
robbers infested the country, the terror of those they pretended to
befriend no less than those they openly attacked.
following hitherto unpublished account of the manner in which a company
of guerrillas was disposed is presented through the courtesy of A. H.
Foote, Esq.; it was prepared by S. C. Mills, Esq.:
early part of the winter of 1863, while the First Regiment of Arkansas
Cavalry was quartered at Lebanon, Mo., word was brought to headquarters
that a band of bushwhackers were robbing the Union people in Stone
County, Mo., and all along the Missouri line in that vicinity. Company
F, Second Arkansas Cavalry, having been recruited in Stone County, Mo.,
and Carroll County, Ark., was selected to drive out Capt. Railey and
his band of thirty-five bushwhackers. After reaching Stone County,
Company F, Captain Berry in command, was not long in finding out where
Capt. Railey and his band were, and were soon in hot pursuit. Railey,
finding himself pursued, started for Leatherwood ford, on White River,
at the mouth of Leatherwood Creek. Upon his arrival at the river, he
found it rising rapidly, and crossed with his command and their plunder
as rapidly as possible, starting up Leatherwood Creek to find shelter
for the night. Thinking that the river would be impassable by the time
his pursuers reached the ford, he had no further fears of pursuit. They
went about three miles up the creek to Skelton farm, and went into
quarters for the night, occupying the two farm houses. When Company F
reached the ford it was found that Railey and his band had crossed, and
that the river was past fording. Night coming on, the commanding
officer did not think it safe to attempt to cross that night. First
Lieut. John Williams, with Privates Samuel Gaskins and James Hobbs,
were detailed to cross the river and keep the trail, these three men
having been brought up on the creek, and get all the information
possible. Swimming their horses across the river above the ford they
followed the trail. Before reaching the Skelton farm they found that
Railey and his band had taken possession of the houses and were then
eating supper. It was nearly dark and they had not been discovered.
They concluded to charge Railey and his men at once, which was done in
splendid style. With a revolver in each hand, firing as they came, they
completely surprised Railey and his men, who jumped out of the windows
and took to the brush, bare-headed and unarmed. Railey and four of his
men were wounded and one killed. This was doubtless one of the boldest
and most successful charges against the greatest odds during the war.
The next morning, while in pursuit of Railey and his scattered band,
they overtook the notorious guerrilla, Calvin Dunaway, killing him in a
hand-to-hand fight, and shooting him eighteen times before he gave up;
he lived but a few minutes after doing so. His wildcat fur cap was sent
to headquarters at Lebanon, Mo. After the death of Dunaway Railey
discharged his men, and all was quiet in this vicinity during the
raminder of the winter.
Col. John E. Phelps, of the First
Arkansas Cavalry (Federal), occupied Berryville with his regiment in
186--. Companies A, E and G, Second Arkansas Cavalry (Federal), under
the command of Capt. A. Roberts, took possession of Berryville in
February, 1864. Capt. George E. Gaddy was organizing a company of home
guards on Long Creek at this time; it was mustered in at Fayetteville,
February 28, 1864. A similar company, recruited by Capt. Joseph G.
Walker, was attached to the Federal force at Berryville. In April,
1864, Company G was ordered to Easley's Ferry on the White River. June
8, 1864, Capt. Gaddy reported at Berryville with his company; Capt.
Walker's company disbanded and re-enlisted in Companies A and E, and
Capt. Gaddy's company, evacuated Berryville, the former to proceed to
Cassville, the latter to re-enforce Company G at Easley's Ferry, and
thus ended the Federal occupation of Carroll County.
population of the county in 1860 was about 10,000, of whom it is
reasonable to suppose the 3,000 were capable of bearing arms. Few
able-bodied men remained at home. Such as were not received as regular
soldiers, from old age or other causes, followed the different armies
as sutlers, commissaries, etc. The exact number of men furnished each
side cannot be definitely ascertained, but the general impression seems
to be that the total number of soldiers furnished during the war from
what is now Carroll County was about 2,000.
Pensioners. -- The
report of the commissioner of pensions for November, 1886, shows that
in Carroll County there were 121 invalids, receiving $1,344.25;
twenty-three widows, receiving $280; one minor, receiving $16; four
dependents, receiving $36; one survivor of the War of 1812, receiving
$8; six widows of the War of 1812, receiving $48; total number of
pensioners, 156; amount dispensed per month, $1,732.25. There were more
pensioners than in any other county in the State.