Pocahontas and the Civil War: #1
In observance of these years collectively know as the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I’ll be blogging occasionally to quote sections of The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, listing some of the sections that mention Pocahontas, Arkansas. This compilation is fascinating for those interested in this period of our history, featuring reports from the field sent up the chain of command so the officers at the top would know what was going on “in the trenches” during the war.
This first post points out that as early as 1862, thousands of troops were moving around this area, and more than a couple of generals!
September 20, 1862
General SCHOFIELD, Waynesville, Mo.
Following dispatch received from Boyd:
Captain Hagan, commanding a scout of two companies, has returned. Hagan reports that McBride, with 2,000 men, is 8 miles this side of Pocahontas; there is also a force also at Smithville, and 3 miles below Pocahontas yet another force. McBride has five pieces of artillery.
Captain Hagan brings with him a returned prisoner of Steele’s command [U.S General Frederick Steele]. He says troops are scattered from Little Rock to Pocahontas, and are concentrating near Pocahontas and Smithville to wait for Price or Hindman. [Confederate General Sterling Price and Confederate General Thomas Hindman]
I am fitting Backof’s and Stange’s batteries as rapidly as I can. As I said to you, Fisk’s regiment leaves for Rolla on Monday. [Rolla Missouri (Fort Leonard Wood) is about 170 miles north of Pocahontas.] Will you authorize me to have raised another light battery? It has been suggested to me that the main movement may be on the southeast, as the counties beyond Rolla cannot furnish supplies to the rebels. I will work out carefully. Three more companies of Cavender’s go to the Cape [Girardeau, Missouri] on Sunday.