CHAPTER 4. THE MARCH OF NINE HUNDRED MILES ENDS.
Like a giant can opener, working methodically in its assigned task, Union efforts, by the Spring of 1862, had successfully opened and secured the upper Mississippi River for their use. Major arteries in Kentucky and Tennessee were being cleared as well. Rivers were the highways over which rapid deployment of materials and troops could be transported by riverboat. There was only 38 miles of railroad in Arkansas at the outset of the war, and all land roads were mere dirt trails. Because of this, the situation became serious for the Confederacy. They could ill afford to lose the advantages gained by the armies in Virginia. On April 15, 1862, a week after the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, Gen. Van Dorn issued orders for moving 25,000 troops, many of them veterans of Oak Hills and Elkhorn, to Memphis, Tenn. Their task was to help stop Union advances in Tennessee. This action, however needed, seriously deplete the capacity of the few Confederate troops remaining west of the river to defend Arkansas from Union invasion. Launching an attack into Missouri by these few troops was out of the question. Counterwise to this, the Union Army had also transferred large bodies of troops east of the river.
Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Hindman, who had commanded a brigade at Shiloh, was promoted to Major General and returned to Arkansas, to take charge of the military situation. Members of the State Legislature were raising a noisy clamor about the state being stripped of supplies and troops necessary to defend the state. By July 1st, using key men brought back with him, Hindman was able to raised several new regiments. These troops came from new enlistments, by returning deserters, gathering men left behind due to sickness or on assignments when Van Dorn left, and by the process of conscription.
An all out effort was launched to manufacture the needed tools and weapons by using local resources. From the ranks of the new regiments, especially the Conscripted ones, men possessing the necessary skills to build the needed arms and equipment were drawn. Conscripts were less likely to desert from such assignments than from the ranks of units going into battle. These men were put to work in the foundries, armories and workshops of Little Rock, Arkadelphia and Pine Bluff. Wagonmakers, Blacksmiths and Carpenters were encouraged by special pay rates when assigned to work in these skills. Because shoes were not available on the market in the quantities needed, special groups were set up to make shoes. One such group was later sent to Jefferson, Texas in April of 1863, under the command of Capt. A. W. Wright, where they spent the rest of the war making shoes. Foraging groups were sent out across the state to procure blankets, clothing, food and materials for making ammunition.
In addition to raising new regiments throughout Arkansas, Hindman gathered the scattered forces under his command. A few regiments of infantry and cavalry came to his support from Texas and saw immediate action, deterring union incursions. On May 31, 1862, orders were sent to Gen. Pike to return the 19th and 3 other companys to Hindman
Pike's command remained in Indian Territory because of a special agreement made when the Indian Regiments were mobilized. The chiefs of the individual nations allowed this mobilization on the condition that the troops would be used only in defending the territory. This agreement was violated some during the war as Indian Regiments saw action at the Battles of Elkhorn and Poison Springs, both outside of Indian Territory. The above orders did not reach Gen. Pike until late in the day of June 8. That evening he drafted the following orders:
I. In pursuance of orders this day received from Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman, Commanding the Trans-Miss. District, Colonel Dawson's Infantry Regiment, and two companies attached, will march as soon as possible, to Little Rock, and report to the Major General Commanding. Colonel Dawson will take with him subsistence for thirty days and reach Little Rock in time after his departure. He will take 100 rounds of ammunition per man for 500 men which ammunition will be transported in wagons, and not one cartridge will be used on the journey. He will recall all his men absent on furlough and officers absent on leave and order them to join him at Little Rock by the time of his arrival there.
II. Capt. William E Woodruff, Jr., will march as soon as possible, with one six gun battery and 120 men, with 150 rounds of ammunition to each gun, if so much can possibly be transported. He will also take subsistence for thirty days, and report to Major Gen. Hindman
at the end of that time.
The above order under #I was later changed to read "100 rounds for each man marching with the command." Col. Dawson received these orders gladly, but it was obvious, the move was to be made at a bad time. Half of the regiment was home on furlough, and they had several of the regimental wagons with them. The following communication was posted off by Col. Dawson to Gen. Hindman.
Center Point, June 20, 1862, Maj. Gen. T. C. Hindman: Sir: On the 8th instant, at Ft. McCulloch, in the Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, I received order from Gen. Pike, directing me to march from that place to your command at Little Rock. I commenced the march on Thursday, the 12th. Some several weeks previous to receiving marching orders, about one half of my command were furloughed home to take care of the wheat, having at the time no thought of leaving there. The furloughed men were allowed to take transportation, one wagon to each company. These had not returned when I got orders to march; consequently my means of transportation were cut off one half. I found it impossible to get wagons from Gen. Pike, as he didn't have them to furnish; therefore I could only start part of the camp equipage, leaving the remainder until I could send up the furloughed wagons. This is the very best arrangement I could possibly make, but I fear it will be out of my power to reach you within the thirty days given me by Gen. Pike. I will do so though, if its within the power of man to accomplish it.
I regret to inform you that my regiment is not in a very healthy flourishing condition. It will have marched, when we arrive at Little Rock, about 900 miles. We have had a great deal of sickness, a great many deaths, and the men, many of them, enfeebled and dispirited. In addition to this, we have drawn neither money nor clothing to any advantageous extent. Gen. Pike paid a few of them their commutation money, perhaps one half, but they are generally without clothing and the means to purchase it. We are exceedingly anxious Sir, to join you in the defense of our beloved state as soon as it is possible to do so but I hope that the circumstances above detailed will induce you to give us ten days longer to make the trip in. I should have informed you that our march is through the principal counties out of which the regiment was formed. If the men, therefore, are allowed a few days rest, many of them can procure clothing, and all will be better prepared for the duties of an active campaign. We are somewhat deficient in arms, lack, perhaps, a hundred or more guns. General Pike gave me money in February last to purchase guns. All that I paid for he required me to leave with him, which I did. I had bought at the same time, a good many, by receipts or certificates, which I have with me yet, unpaid for. I suppose, to bring these on, they will be paid for in your department. We have, besides, something over three hundred muskets, which was given us by General Price at the Elkhorn fight.
My regiment is not well drilled, from the fact that our opportunities have been exceedingly limited for drilling. When we are not on the march, we are prevented by sickness and fort duties, throwing up entrenchments, &c. The men, however, have some experience and good ideas of drill, and can, in two or three weeks of drilling, be made quiet efficient. They are willing, which is `half the battle'. A more zealous and honorable set of men is not in the service, and Sir, when you march them into action, they will, as all Arkansas Regiments have done, reflect honor upon our State.
Being so far from the War Department, and having very poor mail facilities we knew nothing definite of the provisions of the Conscript Act until after the forty days (or nearly so) had expired in which regiments were to reorganize, consequently my regiment has not been reorganized. General Pike sent to the Secretary of War for instructions, but had not received them to the time I left. I learned that the Secretary of War had decided in a similar case that there could not be a reorganization. The men are satisfied with it as it is, but we cheerfully submit to your pleasure on the subject, whatever you wish will be promptly complied with. There are a great many men in this and adjoining counties having extensive acquaintance in my regiment who are anxious to join it. They have been volunteering, and the Captains at home on furloughs have received them. This, I hope, Sir, will met your approbation. Under the Conscript Act, I will lose a good many good men. Their places mainly can be supplied in a few days if I knew you would sanction it. I have only been in the State two or three days, have not seen your orders, and am a loss to know how to act. There is a Company at Washington,
I am informed, anxious to join my Command. I now have 13 Companies. Will you allow me to receive the one from Washington? I am requested to inquire of you whether the men over and under age will have to go to Little Rock to be discharged, or whether I can have the power to discharge them here. Am I at liberty to purchase transportation, guns, &c? We left Ft. McCulloch without means to purchase forage I am receipting for it as I get it. You will please have the kindness to answer this communication as early as practicable. Make known to me your wishes with reference to the different matters it contains, and whatever you direct will be performed.
I am several days in advance of the regiment, a part of which has arrived. It will be at least ten days before all can possibly reach this place, owing, as before remarked, to a deficiency in transportation. I send this by express. Mr. John Dixon bears it, with orders to return as soon as possible. I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your obedient servant, C. L. Dawson, Col. Comd'g 19th Arkansas Vols., C. S. Army.
Col. Dawson marched the command of ten companies of Infantry, one company of Arkansas Cavalry (Corley's), and two companies of artillery, (Captain's Henry West and William E. Woodruff). Later Woodruff was promoted to Major and placed in command of the batteries of Henry West, William D. Blocker and J. G. Marshall. It seems logical that riders would have been sent to each of the counties from which the various companies came to carry the recall news. It appears that the troops were to report to Center Point, except those necessary to drive and load the wagons. The greatest time required in gathering the troops was in sending the wagons back to the fort, to load and transport the camp equipment. This would take about a week at the very best.
It appears that Dawson left Camp McCulloch on April 12, likely passing through Ft. Towson with what troops and wagons were present, leaving someone at McCulloch with orders to gather the remaining gear in the wagons as they arrived and come on to Center Point, Arkansas to join the regiment. By the time Dawson wrote this letter on June 20, part of the wagons had arrived, but not all of them. He expected that it would require at least 10 more days before the rest would arrive. Leaving Center point about the last of the month, travelling through Murfreesboro, Antonia and Arkadelphia would most likely have been the route followed. The regiment should have been near, if not in Little Rock on the appointed date of July 8, a full 30 days after receipt of the orders. On arrival at Little Rock, the regiment was sent to Camp Shaver, which was believed to be located in Jefferson Co., near Pine Bluff. Here, a good many changes were initiated. The questions asked concerning the requirements of the Conscript Act were answered and complied with. The requirements of this act called for a reorganization of the regiment and for the men over 35 and under 16 years of age to be discharged upon request.
Dawson had judged rightly in that he stood to lose a good many good men. Officers who resigned after arriving at Little Rock included:
Maj. Joseph H. Anderson (Staff) Maj. John G. McKean (Staff)
Capt. G. W. Featherston (H) 1st Lt. H. M. Carter (I)
1st Lt. Jerry C. Gibson (H) 1st Lt. N. G. Neal (I)
2nd Lt. Frank Gentry (A) 2nd Lt. John E. Smith (K)
Those officers who were not retained in the election are listed below. Of these, Davis, Eldridge, Hamiter, McCasland and Watson assisted Dawson to reform following the battle of Arkansas Post.
Lt. Col. P. R. Smith (Staff) Capt. Nathan Eldridge (D)
Capt. A. J. Jones (K) Capt. Barton Kinsworthy (I)
Capt. Samuel H. McCasland (B) Capt. John G. McKean (F)
W. B. Speer (A) Capt. J. W. Watson (C)
1st Lt. A. C. Embry (D) 1st Lt. William J. Smith (F)
2nd Lt. J. W. Carroll (C) 2nd Lt. Nathaniel Davis (D)
2nd Lt. A. J. Downs (D) 2nd Lt. Ruben Faulkner (D)
2nd Lt. J. T. Hamiter (E) 2nd Lt. F. S. Myrick (G)
2nd Lt. James E. Stephens (A) 2nd Lt. W. R. Woodruff (K)
Chaplain Lewis F. Davis (Staff)
It appears that only two companies lost the lion's share of the enlisted men being discharged for being over and under age, most of them on July 12th and 14th. William Luther (B) was released Aug. 30 and Charles Smith (K) on Nov. 17. This was not an automatic action, but required a request from the one being discharged. We note that three men on the following list, John Stewart, Andy Stout and Robert H. Holly, all from Co. H, died 6 months later as prisoners of the Union Army in Camp Douglas, Ill. Some names on this list may have been released for medical reasons, because their ages did not fall under the 17 to 35 year range. Those discharged included:
Ambrose Blackwell (H) John H. Bush (E) Joseph W. Clark (H)
S. E. Clemett (A) Allen E. Hames (A) James Henslee (H)
Robert H. Holly (H) William R. Horn (A) James L. Hughes (A)
Joseph C. Ludden (A) William Luther (B) J. R. Mayberry (I)
M. W. McClure (A) William F. McClure (A) Collins McRoach (H)
Nazra Mitchell (H) J. N. Mitchell (A) W. C. Moore (A)
Samuel J. Oden (H) Morgan Pearce (H) Charles H. A. Smith (K)
Allen Starrette (H) John Stewart (H) Andy Stout (H)
James H. Taylor (A) Philip B. Wilson (H)
August 13, 1862 was the date set for the reorganization, at which time there was a fruit basket turnover in the command structure of the entire regiment. By popular election of the rank and file, the existing commissioned and non-commissioned officers were either retained or replaced. Col. Dawson, popular with the men, was retained in command with Augusta S. Hutchinson as the Lt. Col., the position P. R. Smith had occupied since November 11, 1861. In the position of Major, John G. McKean resigned and was followed by
Joseph H. Anderson, later David H. Hamiter was elected to the post. William Mears went from Sgt. Maj. to Adjutant on the 19th, Hutchinson's old post. W. H. Briggs became Sgt. Maj. D. M. Cochran, succeeding Louis F. Davis as Chaplain and J. F. Reid was retained as Surgeon. Some men were retained in their rank as the various companies were realigned, some were swapped places and others became officers or non-commissioned officers.
Company A: W. G. Stewart was selected as Capt. in the place of W. B. Spear. Isaac Bell became the 1st Lt., previously held by William G. Stewart. Columbus Lee, originally from in Co. B, was breveted 2nd Lt. on Sept. 18 in Co. A, in the place of James E. Stephens. J. D. Stewart became 2nd Lt. 9-18-62. 1st Sgt. F. B. Stewart followed Alfred Gentry, and W. H. Garmon became 3rd Sgt. and John W. Garner as 5th Sgt. Others were Joshua Snellgrove rising to 3rd Cpl. and William B. Keer 4th Cpl.
Company B: B. C. Haller became Capt. in the place of S. H. McCasland and L. F. Latimer as 1st Lt. in the place of R. L. Duncan, who went to Co. D. Sgt. J. D. Forgy was raised to 2nd Lt. When Latimer was elected to 1st Lt., Thomas M. Lee was selected to followed him in the position of 1st Sgt. Charles R. Snoddy became 2nd Sgt. when Forgy was promoted, with Frederick Williams becoming 3rd Sgt in the place of Joseph C. Reeder.
Co. C: John W. Robinson, formerly ACS, was set forward as the new Capt., replacing J. W. Watson, with William Walker becoming 1st Lt., replacing H. M. Carter. James K. Ferguson replaced J. W. Carroll as 2nd Lt. and M. B. Cumby was elected 3rd Lt. H. D. Medlock became 4th Sgt. and A. J. Womack became 2nd Cpl.
Co. D: R. L. Duncan, formerly of Co. B, was elected Capt., in the place of Nathan Eldridge, J. W. Hunter became 1st Lt. in the place of A. C. Embry. Both Nathaniel Davis and B. R. Jacobs became 2nd Lt.s., as Rubin Faulkner was replaced. Robert Mackey was elected 1st Sgt. in the place of James Gibson, J. C. Bryce went to 4th Sgt., disposing E. D. Williams, who went to 1st Cpl. J. T. Gentry became 5th Sgt. and F. E. Ralls replaced Morgan West as 2nd Cpl.
Co. E: 1st Lt. L. F. Carter became Capt., trading places with James R. Hill, who became 1st Lt. John F. Gordon became 2nd Lt., replacing J. T. Hamiter, as William B. Cone rose to 3rd Lt. William McAtee became 1st Sgt., W. W. Pearce to 2nd Sgt., J. H. Young to (3rd) Sgt., G. W. Miles became 4th Sgt., and W. W. Carle to Cpl.
Co. F: John S. Hankins was elected Capt., replacing John G. McKean, who had resigned. M. M. Stovall took the position of 1st Lt. in the place of William J. Smith, who had been promoted to the position on July 15. F. L. Coker and F. G. McKean both became 2nd Lt's. R. B. Venable rose to 2nd Sgt., with J. H. Venable and J. V. Weaver being selected as Sgt.s. C. T. Smith became 3rd Cpl.
Co. G: D. C. Cowling was retained as Capt. and George M. Clark rose to 1st Lt., instead of B. H. Miller. L. A. Williams and Franklin M. Thompson were selected as 2nd Lt's. Alex Smith became 2nd Sgt., T. H. Coley was made 3rd Sgt. and W. G. Scoggin was made 4th Sgt. P. B. Goshen and S. S. Maben were elected 2nd Cpl's.
Co. H: G. A. Torbett became Capt., instead of G. W. Featherston, who resigned, J. C. Gibson, Jr., 1st Lt. in the place of Jerry C. Gibson, who had also resigned. William W. Sorrels and Benjamin H. Crowley became 2nd Lts. John T. Smith replaced Robert A. Holly as 1st Sgt. earlier when Holly was discharged. Thompson Bates rose to 4th Sgt, James L. Baker to 1st Cpl and H. A. Brothers as Supply Sgt.
Co. I: L. W. Delony was elected Capt. in the place of the resigned B. H. Kinsworthy and John A. Turner took the place of N. G. Neal as 1st Lt. T. T. Kent replaced J. T. Kent as 2nd Lt. and P. J. Coulter became 2nd Lt. in the place of L. W. Delony, who went to Captain. C. C. Harlow was raised to 1st Sgt., in the place of W. C. Ferguson and Henry Mayben was elected 4th Sgt., a position formerly held by J. T. Anderson. J. T. Holt went to 5th Sgt. in the place of T. Y. Craig. J. E. Holt became 1st Cpl. and J. H. Holt became 2nd Cpl.
Co. K: Harrison Herndon replaced A. J. Jones as Capt., with J. T. Woods and J. N. Elliott being elected 2nd. Lt's. in the place of W. R. Woodruff and Harrison Herndon. William L Page went to 2nd Sgt. in the place of J. M. Smith.
Other minor changes were made following the reorganization. In Aug., Henry B. Brown (D), S. M. Lee (I), Isaac Mooney (B) and Jesse G. Parker (E) were sent to the Ordinance Dept. in Pine Bluff. On Sept. 1, they returned to the Little Rock Arsenal. Later on Feb. 1, 1864, Brown was ordered to report to Capt. Brown, Dist. of Arkansas, for duty. D. J. McWhortor was appointed Chief Musician in the band July 1st. William H. Wright became Ordinance Sgt. on Sept 10. J. F. Reid, the Regt. Surg. resigned in Nov. and Charles H. A. Smith (K) was discharged on the 17th. On Dec. 1, John P. Stroud (F) was appointed Wagon Master and John C. Womack became Hospital Steward the same day, a position from which he was discharged July 22, 1863. Samuel M. Dark (H) enlisted August 30 at Camp Shaver. Matthews Bailey (A) came in as a substitute for some lucky recipient on January 8, 1863, the same day Benjamin S. Davis (A) enlisted. These two men came into the regiment just in time to be captured three days later. J. H. Beggs (G) was transferred to Co. B on August 1. J. F. Haney (I) was recorded as the second desertion from the regiment on October 31.
Sickness and death begin to rise again, J. Magby (C) died on July 1. Several deaths, all from Company K, were puzzling, all occurred at a place called White Sulphur Springs. One possible cause could have been food poisoning, but since the deaths occurred over an extended period weakens this theory. During August and September, there was a lot of Smallpox and Typhoid throughout the camps in the area of Little Rock. The 36th Arkansas, one of the conscripted regiments
stationed at Little Rock during this time, suffered over 100 cases of sickness, in addition to about 35 deaths. Apparently the 19th Ark., located remotely and was able to escape these ravages. Capt. Harrison Herndon (K), became ill, John A. Torance replaced him temporarily. The names of the men who died from Company K were:
F. B. Ray, Aug. 1 W. H. Thompson, Aug. 29
J. R. Wood, Aug. 30 J. A. Pulliam, Sept. 7
W. H. H. Lee, Sept. 25 B. G. Russey, Sept. 25
John A Ledbetter, Sept. 26 Joseph Murphy, Oct. 3
During the summer of 1862, the men of the regiment went through a training period under Col. R. G. Shaver, commander of the 38th Arkansas Inf. Regt. They were drilled in the formations necessary for the rapid movement and deployment of troops that was current in the latest issues of Hardee's military tactics. It is recognized that when an army is on the move, it is at its most venerable position, so being in the proper formation is essential to ensure its defense and success in receiving or launching an attack. The ability of a commander to move and align his troops in a minimum of time to obtain optimum effect will lead to ultimate success or failure in battle. No doubt they drilled in various formations designed for both defensive and offensive operations. With the exception of the sickness noted above, the regiment appeared to be healthy and unhindered through this period of training.
For the first time, the regiment begin receiving somewhat adequate supplies and equipment necessary for survival in a field of operations. Some examples of equipment being issued to the company commanders were: On July 25, Daniel C. Cowling, commanding Company G, received 9 wall tents with poles, pegs and tent flies, 2 coffee mills, 3 ovens with lids, 1 skillet and one iron pot. On the same day B. C. Haller, commanding Company B, was issued 9 wall tents with pins, poles and flies, 5 ovens with lids, 4 camp kettles, 2 coffee mills and 5 coffee pots. Likewise on August 6, B. H. Kinsworthy commanding Company I received 6 pots with lids, 4 coffee pots, 2 water buckets, 3 fry pans, 6 steel spades, 1 pick, 4 steel grub hoes, 1 axe with holder, 4 sifters, 4 mess pans, 1 pair of spring balances, one blank book and 236 pounds of castings.
All the individual companies drew equipment in such lots during their stay at Camp Shaver and Camp Lee. Since there was an absence of clothing issues in the records, it is assumed the individual soldiers had received their clothing allotment, $25 per quarter year, and had been able to furnish their own. In comparison to this equipment being issued to the 19th, the records of the 36th Arkansas reveal that regiment drawing some equipment, mostly clothing, late in September. This indicates the 19th, being in service 6 months longer than the 36th, was being outfitted for field operations earlier. However, the two regiments left Little Rock about the same time, with the 36th going west to Van Buren and the 19th going east to Arkansas Post.
The 19th held their first muster for pay on August 31, 1862. While the pay scale for some crafts varied, a blacksmith would be paid $1 per day, and other crafts were paid $20 per month. We note that Jonathan Neal was paid $3 per day for his services as a clerk in the Quartermaster Dept. The monthly pay scale for an infantry regiment was as follows:
Colonel $195 Lt. Colonel $170 Major $150
Captain $130 1st Lieutenant $90 2nd & 3rd Lt, $80
Surgeon $162 Asst. Surgeon $110 Hospital Steward $20
Sergeant Major $21 1st Sergeant $20 Sergeant $17
Corporal $13 Private $11
During the period of August 26 to October 8, 1862, there were several men who drew commutation money, but the reason was not clear. This would seem to be for meals when they were away from the Command, since the dates were beginning and ending at odd times in the months. Clothing funds were also referred to as commutation money, but these funds would have been issued for a period including whole months. It can also be noted that all the recipients listed were from Companies B and I. The Commutation funds may have been related to the formation of the Band, of which D. J. McWhortor had been appointed Chief Musician on July 1. Those who drew these funds were:
C. A. Blaylock (B). William A. Boyd (B). William H. Clardy (I).
William T. Covy (B). T. Y. Craig (I) W. C. Ferguson (I).
C. C. Harlow (I). W. R. Latimer (B). A. A. Leslie (I).
Wiley Mangum (I). G. F. May (B). James McElroy (I).
D. J. McWhortor (I). Washington Odell (I). Russell L. Parker (B).
James L. Reed (I). James H. Rivers (B). James M. Scoggin (I).
T. J. Thompson (I). J. R. Z. Vaughn (I). H. S. Wilson (I).
Initally, the regiment had voted to not reorganize, but a few days later, were informed they would have to. In spite of their reorganization, it was the intention of many of them to stay only until their 12 month enlistment period was up, and then go home. Unfortunately, before their enlistment was up, they were captured and imprisoned. They were encamped at Sulphur Springs, near Pine Bluff, in Jefferson County from soon after returning to Arkansas until leaving for Arkansas Post. They had plenty of beef, bread, mollasses and sugar. Gen. Pike had paid $50 to those men who had been in for 6 months, and $25 to those with 3 months service. Col Dawson received a small amount of money in August, which he divided equally, about $20 per man, for some of their commutation money. Col Dawson asked the men to have their wives and mothers make clothes for them. A wagon would come to pick up the clothes, and the women would be paid for them. The clothes then would be delivered to the regiment and issued to the men as needed for their commutation funds.