"While the previous letters expressed patriotic sentiment, the next document indicates that many Arkansans carried their prewar Unionism into the war itself. Confederate Capt. John R. Homer Scott had been sent to northern Arkansas to halt an invasion. Instead of Yankees, he found himself confronting a hostile and relucant population. His arrest began a truly civil war within the state. The hatred engendered by a war of Arkansans against Arkansans would continue into the postwar years."
Arks. Cavalry Volunteers
Carroll County Arks
Decr. 3rd 1861
I have under arrest (and daily making more) some thirty five or Forty men positively proven to belong to a secret society held together by secret signs tokens pass words and under the penalty of death should one of their members reveal the same.
I have been enabled from their own confessions upon each other to obtain their oaths signs, tokens & words & c.
I conceive the organization to be of Northern origin having in view the subjugation of the South!
It breathes Treason and insurrection of the most conclusive and positive nature.
Some of the most important signs, tokens & c. are given thus (from their own statements).
A member when leaving home was to suspend from his door or (page 101) window a piece of yellow ribbon, calico or paper to distinguish them as members and as a token that if a friend or the Northern Army came along that his property & family would not be molested by seeing and finding this sign at his door.
Another token was to say secession which if recognized by a member would be answered by saying "In the Southern Confederacy."
This society was called by some of them a "peace party or peace society" or to unite the friends of "peace."
This Society or organization numbers several hundred and extends through Fulton, Izard, Searcy, Newton, Van Buren parts of Conway, Pope, Marion & Carroll Counties. There has been nearly one hundred arrested in Clinton, Van Buren Coy. Berryville in Searcy County, and I have arrested thirty five or forty in Marion, Searcy, Newton & Carroll Counties. All around my camps and are daily making them. It seems almost universal in certain localities.
... We need not go north to find our enemies they are all around me bound together by solemn secret oathes &c. Some of the prisoners have stated it was an understanding that if the Northern Army did drive your command before them that this Squadron would have been attacked or that they laid such hints & if I made or attempted to arrest persons in certain places (after I commenced making them & their plans &c. were detected) that they would "give me a fight" &c.
I think it would be advisable to station some of the companies of my command in Wiley's Cove Searcy County. There is a camp meeting ground with some good buildings a very large Harbor and near or in midst of this secret-society &c. I think Capt. Boon is in the vicinity or county of the same kind of men, but fear not able to procure Winter Quarters convenient. I am in hopes I may be permitted to Station the companies, if found necessary separately in the most disaffected and unloyal localities or adjoining counties within reach or days ride from my head qts. It will be better in giting the use of buildings in part now erected at certain points by religious societies & in neighborhoods where protection would be needed &c.
I am sir very Respectfully
Your obt. Servant
Jno. R. Homer Scott Capt.