History of the 32nd Arkansas Infantry Regiment

All of the information on these pages of the 32d Arkansas Infantry Regiment was contributed
by Ray Nicholswho researched the Unit and graciously gave it to us. It is our great
pleasure to have them on our Arkansas Pages.    Edward G. Gerdes and Jeri Helms Fultz

Following the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, General P. G. T. Beauregard sent Major-General Thomas C. Hindman back to Arkansas with the authority to conscript troops and organize a military program.  From Headquarters of the Western Department in Corinth, Mississippi,  Beauregard’s Acting Chief of Staff George W. Brent, issued General Orders No. 59 and No. 60 which designated Major-General Hindman’s command as the Trans-Mississippi District, and comprised the states of Missouri and Arkansas and the portion of the State of Louisiana north of Red River, and the Indian Territory.  General Hindman immediately, appointed Charles H. Matlock to establish a recruiting headquarters at Camp Cache, near Cache River.

Charles H. Matlock began his Confederate States service on June 9, 186I, when he organized  a company called the  Augusta (Arkansas) Guards. The Augusta Guards and their mounts were transported to Little Rock by boat and became Company D in a Confederate regiment called the First Arkansas Mounted Rifles, of which Matlock became Lieut-Colonel, L.M. Ramsour succeeding him as captain of the Guards.  This cavalry regiment was commanded by Col. Thomas R. Churchill, who had received his commission from the Confederate government and was under the command of Major General Ben McCulloch in northwest Arkansas.  They participated in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek (Oak Hill), August 10, 1861.

Meanwhile, in response to Solon Borland’s call for volunteers, a company of 30 day volunteers was organized in Jackson County by Captain Richard Hooker.  The company was organized at Jacksonport November 5, 1861 and went to Pocahontas where it  was mustered into Confederate service November 29, 1861, and discharged on December 28, 1861, also at Pocahontas.  The men were armed with shotguns and borrowed sabers.  The company was known as Captain Hooker’s Company, Arkansas 30-Day 1861 Mounted Volunteers.  The company re-organized on February 26, 1862 at Jacksonport and more men mustered into it.  Before becoming part of the 32nd Infantry Regiment it figured prominently in the action around Jackson County in the spring and summer of 1862.  The March 31, 1862  morning report gave Hooker’s Company’s strength at 130 officers and men.

Besides Hooker’s Cavalry Company, the beginnings of Company A were being recruited in Northeast Arkansas by Captain William Hicks.  On April 23, 1862, a scouting party made up of Company A recruits, under Lieutenant James A. Poe advanced to Smithville in Lawrence County, Arkansas in a few miles of the advance of the enemy under Union General Thomas Curtis.  The enemy surrounded the place and captured two of the houses which the men were forced to abandon.

Then, on May 17, 1862, Lieutenant Poe’s scouting party attacked a foraging party of the enemy on Little Red River. Again in May a scout from Company A under Captain Hicks attacked the enemy’s outposts at Searcy Landing on Little Red River, drove in their pickets and wounded one.  On May 19, 1862, Captain Hicks’Company A  was engaged in the skirmish at Whitney’s Lane near Searcy, Arkansas, against a foraging party of infantry and cavalry of the enemy. Company A lost one taken prisoner and 5 wounded, none severely. One citizen was also killed.

General Thomas C. Hindman appointed Charles H. Matlock Lieut-Colonel on June 11, 1862 and on 16 June 1862, Matlock organized Matlock's Battalion of Arkansas Cavalry.  Lucien C. Gause, formerly of the Jackson Guards, became Matlock’s adjutant and Charles L. Young was appointed Major.

Captain William L. Jeffers’ Missouri Cavalry Company was attached to Colonel Matlock's Battalion on the 16th of June, having previously operated independently in Southeast Missouri and Northern Arkansas.

June 28, 1862, Company A, with 5 other companies of the Battalion under command of Captain Hicks, attacked the enemy in force and in position on White River near Groves Glaze.  The battle commenced near night and was continued until the flash of the enemy’s guns could be distinctly seen in the darkness.  The enemy’s loss was recorded as 90 killed and wounded.  Confederates lost 1 killed and 4 wounded.  The Union troops withdrew from the field.

Jeffers’ Missouri Cavalry Company was dismounted on the 7th of July which caused desertions. July 8 Company A was in the fight near Cotton Plant on Cache River under General Rust.  On the following day, Captain William L. Jeffers resigned.

Matlock's Cavalry Battalion was dismounted to serve as infantry on July 18, 1862, by orders  from General Hindman. Jeffers’ Missouri Cavalry Company was was re-mounted and transferred on July 18,1862, by order of Major Gen.  Hindman to Brig. Gen. McBride's Brigade. Jeffers’ Missouri Cavalry Company served in Brig. Gen. McBride’s Brigade until August 15, 1862.

Matlock was promoted to Colonel on August 6, 1862 and his Battalion of dismounted cavalry was re-organized into the 32nd Regiment Arkansas Infantry. When the regiment was organized, all regimental officers were from Jackson County:  Charles H. Matlock, Colonel; Charles L. Young, Lieut-Colonel; and Lucien C. Gause, Major.

Many of the companies composing the regiment were in service long before the organization of the regiment.  The original members of Hooker’s Company were divided between companies C and D of the new 32d regiment.  Company C was commanded by Captain William P. Anderson and Company D by Captain John Bland, the latter company being composed mostly of men in the vicinity of Tupelo (Arkansas).  August 15, 1862 shows the station of the regiment at Camp Bragg near Batesville, Arkansas

General Holmes issued Special Orders September 28,1862, assigning Colonel Dandridge McRae to command of a brigade composed of his own 28th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, Pleasant’s 29th Arkansas, McNeill’s 30th, Matlock’s 32nd, Morgan’s 26th, A.N. Johnson’s regiment and Woodruff’s Arkansas Battery.  This brigade was ordered to move at once to Elkhorn in northwest Arkansas and report to Brig. Gen. J.S. Rains.

Colonel Matlock resigned November 10, 1862 on Surgeon's Certificate of Disability.  He was succeeded by Lucien C. Gause as Colonel of the 32nd..

The regiment participated in the campaign in Northwest Arkansas under General Hindman and the in the Battle of Prairie Grove.  Lieut-Colonel Charles L. Young was killed December 7, 1862, in the Battle of Prairie Grove.  Captain William Hicks of Company A, was promoted to Lieut-Colonel December 10, 1862, to replace Young.

May 1, 1863,  18 men who had returned from desertion, most from Company F,  were detailed to work in the Nitre Works in Searcy County, Arkansas.

On May 5, 1863, the regiment moved camp from Little Rock to Camp Anderson 4 miles North.  On May 20th, the regiment moved camp to Bayou Meto 12 miles east of Little Rock because of a scarcity of water.  The regiment took up line of march from Bayou Meto direction northeast June 1, 1863, arriving at Jacksonport June 6, a distance of 90 miles.  The regiment left Jacksonport June 21 enroute to Helena, Arkansas, a distance of 100 miles, through swamp country.

July 4, 1863, the regiment, as part of McRea’s Brigade, participated in the Battle of Helena, Arkansas, by attacking the Union forces in their entrenchments.  They took one Fort on Graveyard Hill but failed to take the town.  After Action reports inaccurately show 5 officers (Captain J. R. Morris, and Lieutenants. R. B. Camp, Thos. A. Eppes, R. F. McKinney, and W. T. Tompkins and  12 enlistedmen killed; 7 officers and 39 enlistedmen wounded; 1 officer and 25 enlistedmen missing or captured.

Moved back to Camp on Bayou Meto near Little Rock, Arkansas.   Arrived there July 23, 1863. Marched through swamp country and lost many men by death and desertion. A portion of Company C, Captain Anderson commanding, was detailed as Provost Guard at Jacksonport and rejoined the command at Searcy, Arkansas, on the march to camp on Bayou Meto.  August 31, 1863, shows station of Regiment at Camp Bowen.  On the same day Colonel Matlock was captured in Woodruff County, Arkansas.  After resigning from the 32nd Regiment he was recruiting when captured with rank of Captain.  Matlock  died as a Prisoner of War on Johnson's Island, OH.  His body was sent to Memphis, Tennessee.

The regiment participated in the defense of Little Rock and on September 10, 1863, the city fell to the Union forces.

The 32nd Arkansas Infantry was re-organized December 1, 1863. Miscellaneous records, Certificates and Rolls show that the 30th  (McNeill's) and 32nd Regiments Arkansas Infantry were consolidated during December  1863 and remained consolidated until the summer of 1864.

On January 28, 1864, the regiment took up the line of march from Camp Bragg, Ouachita County to Camp Sumpter, Hempstead County, Arkansas.  Distance 40 miles.  Official reports show the regiment assigned to Churchill’s Brigade, Price’s Division, District of Arkansas, January 31, 1864. The regiment remained at Camp Sumpter during February 1864.

During early March 1864 the 32nd Arkansas Infantry was reassigned to Tappan's Brigade, Arkansas Division.  From March 23 through May 3, 1864, the regiment participated in the Camden (Arkansas) Expedition as part of Gause’s Brigade, Arkansas Division.  While Colonel Gause was assigned as Brigade commander, Lieut-Colonel William Hicks commanded the regiment.

Captain John Bland, Company D was killed April 1, 1864.

The regiment fought at the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry on April 30, 1864.

September 30, 1864 the regiment was assigned to Brig. Gen. John S. Roane’s 1st (Arkansas) Brigade, Actg. Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Churchill’s 1st  (Arkansas) Division, Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder’s Second Army Corps, Army of the Trans-Mississippi and remianed in that assignment through December 31, 1864.  They continued service in southwestern Arkansas for the remainder of the war.
Lieut-Colonel William Hicks resigned February 1, 1865 to become State Senator.

Union commanders in the Department of the Gulf reported on March 20, 1865, that General Roane's brigade was composed of four regiments--Colonel Gause, 250 men; Colonel Hill, 250 men; Colonel Brooks, 250 men; Colonel Davie, 250 men.
Remnants of the regiment surrendered with Major General Kirby Smith’s Army of the Trans-Mississippi on May 26, 1865.

During its service rolls show 1,245 men enrolled or enlisted in the 32nd Arkansas Infantry Regiment.  Of those …
· 253 (20.3%) deserted and never returned
· 165 (13.3%) died of disease
· 103 (8.3%) were discharged before the war was over
· 88 (7.1%) were captured
· 46 (3.7%) deserted but returned to duty
· 44 (3.5%)appear on 1865 surrender rolls
· 28 (2.2%) were killed in battle
· 28 (2.2%) were transferred to other units or commands
· 27 (2.2%) deserted, returned to duty and deserted a second time
· 20 (1.6%) resigned
· 19 (1.5%) joined Colonel  S.G. Kitchen’s Missouri Cavalry Regiment
· 18 (1.4%) were assigned to work in the Searcy County Nitre Works

Also Known As: This Regiment was designated at various times as Matlock's Battalion Arkansas Cavalry, 4th Regiment (Gause's) Trans-Mississippi Infantry, Gause's Regiment Arkansas Infantry, and 32nd Regiment Arkansas Infantry.

Company Organization:

Company A was organized February 22, 1862, at Searcy. Its original officers were: William Hicks, Captain; Lucius M. Jones, 1st Lieutenant; James A. Poe and James S. Wilkes, 2nd Lieutenants.  When Captain Hicks was promoted to Lieut-Colonel December 10, 1862, he was replaced by Lt. James A. Poe as Captain.  Lucius M. Jones was promoted to regimental Quartermaster December 15, 1862.

Company B was organized May 28, 1862, at Cotton Plant. Its original officers were: Arthur F. Stephenson, Captain; George W. Johnson, 1st Lieutenant; William H. Montgomery and William S. Farley, 2nd Lieutenants.  When Arthur F. Stephenson was promoted to Major December 9, 1862, he was replaced by Lt. William H. Montgomery as Captain. Captain Montgomery died April 10, 1863 and was replaced by James T. McIver as Captain.  Captain McIver was killed April 30, 1864.

Company C was organized June 15, 1862, at Camp Cache.  It was originally composed of part of Captain Richard Hooker’s cavalry company.  Its original officers were: William P. Anderson, Captain; J.M. Siddall, 1st Lieutenant; and George R. Barnes and Christopher Y. Steen, 2d Lieutenants.

Company D was organized June 15, 1862, at Camp Cache.  It was originally composed of part of Captain Richard Hooker’s cavalry company.  Its original officers were:  John Bland, Captain; Elijah M. Shettlesworth, 1st Lieutenant; and William P. Eason and J.R. Jelks, 2nd Lieutenants.  Captain Bland was killed April 1, 1864.

Company E was organized June 17, 1862, at Camp Cache.  Its original officers were:  Robert J. Anthony, Captain; A.V. Posey, 1st Lieutenant; and Robert B. Camp and D.B. Miers, 2nd Lieutenants.

Company F was organized June 16, 1862, at Burrowville.  Its original officers were:  Samuel Leslie, Captain; John A. Hallabaugh, 1st Lieutenant; A.C. Stephenson and James Watkins, 2nd Lieutenants.

Company G was organized June 13, 1862, at Camp Cache.  Its original officers were:  Charles L. Young, Captain; Jesse Grider, 1st Lieutenant; and William C. Scofield and Green Brandenburg, 2nd Lieutenants.  After Captain Young’s promotion to Lieut-Colonel, Charles M. Montell was elected Captain.

Company H was organized July 12, 1862, at E.D. Rushing.  Its original officers were:  James R. Morris, Captain; William A. Mauldin, 1st Lieutenant; R.F. McKinny and Samuel Richard, 2nd Lieutenants.

Company I was organized June 20, 1862, at Camp Cache.  Its original officers were: John Campbell, Captain; J. Thomas Robinson, 1st Lieutenant; and John Tharp and Henry G. Williams, 2nd Lieutenants.  Captain Campbell died July 23, 1862 and John Horne became Captain July 28, 1862.  Frank M. Wells was elected Captain December 1, 1863.  The company included men who lived between Augusta and Jacksonport.

Company K was organized May 25, 1862 in White County.  More recruits were added June 15, 1862 at Camp Stokes and the company was completed July 12, 1862 at Springfield, Arkansas.  Its original officers were:  T.B. Moseley, Captain; James H. Word, 1st Lieutenant; Samuel Coddings and George H. Hale 2nd Lieutenants.  Captain Moseley died June 30, 1862 and was replaced by Lt. George H. Hale as Captain.

1998 -copyright -The above information may be used for non-commercial historical and geneological purposes only and with the consent of the page owner may be copied for the same purposes so long as this notice remains a part of the copied material. EDWARD G. GERDES

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 who served in these Companies, contact me Jeri Helms Fultz

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1.  National Archives.  Microfilm Publication M-317, Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations From the State of Arkansas, 32nd Arkansas Infantry- (Matlock's), Rolls 207 - 210.

2.  Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies.

3.  Watson, Lady Elizabeth.  Fight and Survive!  Conway, AR: River Road Press, 1974.