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!

U.S.A. General Frederick Steele

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]

C.S.A. General Sterling Price
C.S.A. 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.



Source: http://ehistory.osu.edu/osu/sources/recordview.cfm?content=/019/0655

One Reply to “Pocahontas and the Civil War: #1”

  1. BC

    After all the CSA troops were pulled out of this area to face Grant’s invasion east of the Mississippi, this was something of a ‘no man’s land’ here, constantly moving from Confederate to Union control, yet mostly characterized by no one in control.
    Large bands of irregulars (troops under the command of neither government), also known as raiders, mauraders, or bushwhackers, held sway in Randolph County. These bands of up to 350 men are said to have hidden out in the canebreaks along the rivers, coming out to murder, rape, and rob the populace. Toward the end of the war, the famous raider, Quantrill, was here along with the James brothers.
    Regular army troops fought eleven ‘actions (including seven ‘major actions’) against those bands of raiders here. It was a desparate time. That’s why the women of the town turned out shouting “Hurray, Halleuah” when Union troops finally took control of Pocahontas.

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