The 14th Arkansas Infantry, the first of two regiments to bear that designation (the other being McCarver’s short-lived regiment), was organized at Yellville about August 22, 1861, composed of ten companies from the counties of Carroll, Fulton, Izard, Marion, Newton and Searcy, numbering 939 officers and men. State Senator William Christmas Mitchell was elected colonel.
The regiment fought at Pea Ridge, March 7-8, 1862, where Colonel Mitchell was captured. After the battle, the regiment, along with the rest of Major-General Van Dorn’s “Army of the West”, was transferred to Mississippi. On May 8, 1862, the regiment’s twelve-month enlistment was extended for two years. This action outraged the independent mountaineers of the 14th Arkansas, most of whom refused to accept the order and deserted in droves. The regiment’s roster shrank from nearly 1,000 men to less than 300 in a period of about two months. At the battle of Iuka, on September 19, 1862, the 14th Arkansas was only able to muster 116 officers and men. Much of the problem can be attributed to lack of meaningful leadership. When the regiment reorganized at Corinth on May 16, 1862, the popular Colonel Mitchell was still a prisoner of war, so he was dropped from the rolls, and Eli Dodson was elected colonel in his place. Colonel Dodson was never able to solve the regiment’s serious morale problem, and he eventually resigned. Major-General Van Dorn then appointed Frank P. Powers to assume command of the 14th Arkansas, but the Confederate Senate refused to confirm the appointment, stating that Van Dorn had exceeded his authority, that a regimental commander had to be elected.
Basically leaderless and far under-strength, the 14th Arkansas was consolidated with the 18th and 23rd Arkansas Regiments and assigned to the garrison of Port Hudson, Louisiana. The men of the 14th Arkansas endured the seige of Port Hudson, and were captured when the garrison capitulated to U.S. forces on July 9, 1863. After being exchanged back in Arkansas, the remnants of the 14th Arkansas were consolidated with the 15th Northwest Arkansas, 16th Arkansas, and 21st Arkansas, to form the 1st Arkansas Consolidated Infantry.
During its short existence, the 14th Arkansas fought at Pea Ridge, Arkansas (March 7-8, 1862); the Corinth Campaign (May to June, 1862); Iuka, Mississippi (September 19, 1862); Corinth, Mississippi (October 3-4, 1862), and the seige of Port Hudson, Louisiana (May to July 1863).
On September 10, 1862, about 30 men were transferred to Co. K, 27th Texas Cavalry (1st Texas Lancers).
The Compiled Service Records for this unit are on the following microfilm rolls in NARA Series M317:
Rosters. Field and Staff.
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