Pocahontas and the Civil War: #6
In this episode of Pocahontas and the Civil War, another force of Union soldiers marches south from Missouri, this time with the purpose of catching Confederate Captain Timothy Reves (right), who apparently spent most of the war in Randolph County, making trouble for the Union army. The report below indicates he certainly gave them plenty of trouble this time!
The record on Reves mentions one of his accomplishments early in the war:
Capt. Reves’ Mounted Company, 30-Day Volunteers, CSA – from Randolph County. Notation on muster roll—“This company was raised in Randolph County, Arkansas, in response to Colonel Borland’s call of November 5, 1861, mustered into the Confederate service on December 26, 1861, for 30 days, and discharged on January 26, 1862, at Pocahontas, Arkansas.”
There’s a listing of the volunteers in Reves’ brigade here. Reves was from Ripley County, Missouri, but fought in the Confederate army. So disliked was he that “…at the close of the war, 7454 Confederate regulars and irregulars surrendered at Wittsburg and Jacksonport, Arkansas. Of this number, the Union forces refused to parole only one man. This man was Colonel Timothy Reves.” But he was soon able to return home to Ripley County, where he lived out his life as a Baptist minister. Reves short obituary in the Doniphan Prospect News (1885) did not even mention his Civil War exploits.
OCTOBER 26-NOVEMBER 12, 1863 Scouting mission from Cape Girardeau to Doniphan, Mo., and Pocahontas, Ark.
Report of Major Josephus Robbins, Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report, in conformity to orders, I marched on the morning of the 26th October with 250 men of the Second Missouri State Militia Cavalry in the direction of Doniphan, Mo. When near Greenville, Mo., I dispatched Captain [L.] Sells with 75 men to Popular Bluff, to guard the polls and scout the country, which he successfully did. The remainder of my command marched to Doniphan, where Captain [W. T.] Leeper, of the Third Missouri State Militia Cavalry, joined me, with 70 men. [Capt. Leeper was the prime character in Pocahontas and the Civil War: #5]
I remained there some three days, until after the election, scouting the country in all directions. The next day after the election I dispatched Captain [J. W.] Edwards, with 40 men of the Second Regiment and 10 men of the Third Regiment, to Cape Girardeau, with prisoners and contraband horses. I then, with the remainder of my command (195 men), marched straight upon Pocahontas, hoping to come upon Captain Reves’ rebel command, which was somewhere between Pocahontas and Powhatan, on the opposite side of Black River. Arriving at Pocahontas, I found the boats had been taken by Reves, and could not cross. I then marched in the direction of Davidsonville, hoping to find a boat there or at Powhatan, which would have enabled me to cross the river, fall upon Reves, and capture him or drive him into Cherokee Bay upon Captain Sells, who was stationed there, by my order, after having done his work at Poplar Bluff.
Arriving near Davidsonville, I learned that the boats there, as well as at Powhatan, had been destroyed or taken off by Reves. I then marched to Seven Points, where we captured Captain Martin, of the Confederate Army, and learned from a prisoners that the boat at Pocahontas had been taken down Black River 2 or 3 miles and hauled out into the woods. I then dispatched Captain [R. M.] Hulse, with 30 men, at 4 o’clock next morning, to go and look after the boat and bring it up to Pocahontas, which he successfully accomplished. At 6 o’clock same morning, I marched the command to Pocahontas, and commenced crossing the river.
By 2 o’clock the entire command had all passed over, and were on the track of Reves, down the river. The advance came up with him near night, and gave chase, pressing him so closely that he dropped his blankets, coats, and hats, and drove him to the swamps, his native resort. Next day I marched as far down the river as Powhatan, and learned that Reves and his men had scattered out into the swamps, each fellow on his own hook. I did not think it worth while to look further after him. Finding no regularly organized foe in the country, I turned the column toward the Cape, marched up, and crossed Black River at the Indian Ford, in the lower end of Cherokee Bay, where I found Captain Sells quartered, and where I camped for the night. Next day the entire command marched for their respective headquarters, scouting the country as they passed along.
2 Replies to “Pocahontas and the Civil War: #6”
That his obit did not mention his war activities is striking. The Civil War was a horror many people chose not to document–or possibly even remember.
Yes, I think that’s the reason most of this Civil War history has been forgotten around here, and there are no war memorials to that war the way we have them to WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. The memories were so awful, and so close to home, that they just put it out of their minds and worked, in the hard reconstruction years, just to survive.
Randolph County was a wealthy place before the war, and in poverty after the war. It was a horrible time here. We’re STILL recovering, really.