LOCAL SONS IN THE CIVIL WAR
(The editors of the QUARTERLY are especially happy to have permission to use this article, which appeared in the Jonesboro Tribune about July 25, 1914. It was originally in possession of Mr. George W. Chamberlain. At present its owner is Mr. Curtis Chamberlain, a son of the original owner. The Chamberlains have been citizens of Craighead County for several generations living in the vicinity of Brookland. The entire article is printed here.)
Nothing is more stirring than a vivid pen picture of some of the desperate conflicts of the Civil War of '61-'65, and history points to some of the greatest achievements of the world's battlefields during that long and bloody conflict.
That Arkansans played their part in the memorable battles of a half century ago has often been attested in the words of writers and persons who had really been there. The cities of Jonesboro and Harrisburg also gave to the service of the cause, some of its patriotic, brave and red blooded citizens, both young and old, and in the annuals of that great warfare, no heroes stand out more to the fore front for bravery and loyalty and genuine devotion to the principles of that stupendous armed assault of men against men, brother against brother, than those who first shouldered a rifle in Craighead and Poinsett Counties.
Mrs. G. H. Clark, of 217 East Jackson Avenue, has in her possession the original muster rolls of that fighting company, Company H, 23rd Arkansas Regiment Volunteers, C. S. A., commanded by Col. C.P. Lyles, the company being under the command of Capt. J. E. Sparks.
This organization was known as the Jonesboro and Harrisburg Company and achieved much fame at the front, giving their mite with valor in every engagement and everywhere the deadly hail of leaden bullets, grape and canister was the thickest.
My Dear Wife:
I write you a few lines to let you know that I am well at this time, hoping that they may find you and Bertha enjoying the same. I have failed to get a furlough so far, it is a hard matter to get one, as they have stopped giving them only to details. If I had been exchanged some time back I might have been detailed. I was exchanged a few days ago. My dear you must be patient; things will come right after a while. Caldwell Boggs told me that you were talking of going to Tennessee. My dear, I know that you can do better by staying at home until I come. If you go, what we have will go to destruction, besides we could not hear from each other at all, and that would worry me nearly to death. I am nearly crazy to hear from you now. I know that times are worse in Tennessee than where you are by a good deal. I think I certainly will get to come home before very long, if I do I want to find you at home, so be certain my dear, to stay at home, for I know that it is best for us both. Father will help you along until I come.
It is the general opinion here that peace will be made this spring. I hope it may, the Yankees are fighting among themselves at Baton Rouge. Day before yesterday a Yankee regiment attempted to desert and come to us and they had a fight; among themselves and killed eighty so we hear. They are deserting and coming here constantly. We have this place well fortified, they are expecting a fight at Vicksburg every day. If we can hold Vicksburg and this place a few weeks longer I think the Yankees will become satisfied and make peace. I have no fears but what we can hold both places in spite of all forces they can bring.
Kiss Bertha for me, write to me every opportunity and give me all the news. Give my respects to all the neighbors and do the best that you can. I remain, your loving husband. James F. Sparks
To Wife and Baby
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