15th (Northwest) Arkansas Infantry.
History and Company Index
Record of Events
This regiment has a very complicated genealogy. Initially organized for State service as a four-company battalion under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Dandridge McRae, the battalion enlisted at Bentonville on July 15, 1861. Upon enlisting in Confederate service, it was designated as the 3rd Battalion Arkansas Infantry. It fought in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, August 10, 1861, in McCulloch’s Confederate brigade. During October and November 1861, four additional companies were added, bringing the total to eight, and the battalion was reorganized as an under-strength regiment, the 21st Arkansas, on December 3, 1861. As the 21st Arkansas prepared for the imminent Battle of Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern), a ninth company was temporarily added. Known as Emergency Co. I, this company was composed of men from Benton County who enlisted for thirty days of “emergency service”. The company was disbanded after the Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7, 1862. In April 1862, the 21st Arkansas was transferred to Mississippi. Upon arriving in the vicinity of Corinth, the regiment was reorganized on May 8, 1862; and, on May 12, 1862, it was finally brought up to a full complement of ten companies when Companies A and B of Williamson’s Arkansas Battalion were assigned. That same month, portions of the 14th and 17th Arkansas Regiments were consolidated to form a new 21st Arkansas Regiment. To avoid confusion, the old 21st Arkansas was redesignated as the 15th Arkansas Regiment in October 1862. Then it was discovered that there were already two regiments designated as the 15th Arkansas! Therefore, in February 1863, the regiment was redesignated as the 15th (Northwest) Arkansas Regiment, to avoid confusion with Josey’s “real” 15th Arkansas Regiment and Johnson’s 15th (Southwest) Arkansas Regiment. As the 15th (Northwest) Arkansas, the regiment in the Vicksburg Campaign at Port Gibson, Champion’s Hill and Big Black River Bridge, ultimately finding itself surrounded and besieged as part of the Vicksburg garrison. When Vicksburg fell on July 4, 1863, the Northwest Akansas men were paroled on July 8 and 9, 1863, and sent back to Arkansas to await exchange. After being exchanged, the regiment was consolidated with the 14th and 16th Arkansas Regiments to form the 1st Arkansas Consolidated Regiment. Under this final designation, the regiment served in Arkansas and Louisiana until the end of the war. Most of the men surrendered at Marshall, Texas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, in May and June 1865.
Co. A —Benton County.
Co. B —Franklin County.
Co. C —Franklin County.
Co. D —Yell County.
Co. E —Pope County.
Co. F —Benton County.
Co. G —Benton County.
Co. H —Washington County.
Emergency Co. I —Benton County.
Co. I —Franklin County.
Co. K —Franklin County.
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G. GERDES all rights reserved. This information may be used by libraries
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If you have any questions or comments or if
you would like to have more information about the Civil War and Pension
Records of the men
whoserved in these Companies, contact Jeri Helms Fultz or Bryan Howerton.
by Phoenix Helms
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