The New Era, Fort Smith, ArkansasGeneral Orders

December 19, 1863

Waldron, Ark., December 17, 1863

Editor New Era:
Dear Sir: The following lines written by that arch traitor, Albert Pike, before he became on of his own “braggarts” “traitors” and “mad leaders”, seem so full of truthful prophecy, that I am led to copy them, hoping you can find space to publish the same in your most valuable paper.

Before whiskey and secession addled his brain, Albert Pike stood proudly forth, possessed of the most brilliant mind of Arkansas. Now, the poor, deluded, degenerate son, both f his native State, (Mass), and the State of his adoption, (Ark.), has fled either to Texas or Mexico, a mere shattered wreck, reaping, himself being the judge, the reward of his own folly.


Below we publish the proceedings of a mass meeting held at Dardanelle, Ark. It is truly refreshing, and a most significant sign of the times, to witness on the momentous issue which this war has brought into existence. Wehre all was gloom and darkness but a short time ago, light is now pouring in, and the people are taking a start such as the most sanguine friends of freedom would not have dreamed of. Arkansas is fast redeeming herself- mark that, ye venemous vipers, who lurk in the dark, and under the mask of friendship for the Union “as it is”, watch their opportunities again to get the upper hand not only of the colored race, but also of the laboring white man.

Let us be wise and give heed to the terrible lesson this wicked war is teaching us, to found our new government on the basis of justice to all men, the only government which can endure and claim the blessings of Heaven.


At a Mass Meeting of the citizens of Yell, Pope, Johnson, Scott, Perry and Conway Counties, held at Dardanelle, Ark., on the 3rd of December, 1863, the following preamble and resolutions were adopted.

The meeting was called to order and organized by appointing L D Parish, Esq., of Yell County, Chairman, and A McGee, Esq., of Pope County, Secretary.

The Chairman stated the object of the meeting to be for the nomination of a candidate to be recommended to the President of the United States as Provisional Governor of the State of Arkansas.

On nomination, the Chairman appointed Wm Stout, Charles James, Captain Graves, W N May, Esq., Issac Long, Wm Reynolds, and G W Williamson, to draft resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the people of these counties, and made the nomination of Provisional Governor to the President of the United States.

During the absence of the committee the meeting was addressed by Colonel Searle. His speech was Unconditional Union, and satisfied both citizens and soldiers.

The committee, through their chairman, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, we, the citizens of Yell, Polk, Johnson, Conway, Perry and Scott Counties, of the State of Arkansas, are afflicted by a cruel and relentless war, the prosecution of which can only bring the most disasterous consequences, and

Whereas, we ardently desire the return of the Law and Order among us, and believe that these ends can only be attained by the appointment of a Provisional Governor for the State of Arkansas, therefore, be it

Resolved, That we earnestly desire his Excellency, the President of the United States, to appoint Isaac Murphy, of Madison County, Provisional Governor of the State of Arkansas.

Resolved, That we cordially endorse the Administration in all its acts, past and present, in the prosecution of the war to a speedy termination.

Resolved, That we endorse and adopt for our platform the resolutions passed by an Unconditional Union Mass Meeting held at Fort Smith, Ark., October, 30, 1863. L D Parish, Chairman, A McGee, Secretary.


At a Mass Meeting of the unconditional Union Men of Western Arkansas, held at Fort Smith, Sebastian County, on Thursday, the 17th inst., the following proceedings were had, to wit:

The Honorable C A Harper, of Crawford County, was called to the Chair and V V Milor, of Sebastian County, was appointed Secretary.

The chairman in a brief speech explained the object of the meeting.

The committee retired, and after a short absence, returned and offered the following preamble and resolutions, which were read by the Secretary, and then, on motion, unanimously adopted:

Whereas, The exigencies of the present crisis demand that speedy action be taken on the part of all loyal and unconditional Union Men of Arkansas, in restoring peace and harmony to our distracted country and to reorganize the State government, therefore be it

Resolved, That the President of the United States be, and is hereby requested to appoint a Governor, in and for the State of Arkansas, and that it is recommended that none other but an Unconditional Union Man and resident of this State be appointed to said position.

Resolved, That Judge Isaac Murphy, of Madison County, merits the admiration of all loyal citizens in Arkansas, by opposing and voting against the ordinance of secession, and that he did at that time, by said vote, express the sentiments, will and wishes of the majority of the then citizens of Arkansas.

Resolved, That in our opinion the appointment of Honorable Isaac Murphy will meet the approbation of the Unconditional Union men of the State of Arkansas.

Resolved, that we have every reason to appreciate the merits and capability of the said Hon. Isaac Murphy to fill the position of Governor with honor to himself and credit to the State.

Resolved, That we invite the cooperation of the Unconditional Union men of other counties in recommending the appointment of a Military Governor for the State of Arkansas.

Resolved, That should the delegates elected to the convention called to meet at Little Rock on the first Monday of January next, find a majority of the counties represented there, they should proceed to transact all to transact all of the business within the purview of their call and submit their action to the people for ratification.

On motion, it was ordered that these proceedings be published in the Fort Smith New Era.

On further motion, the meeting adjourned sine die.

C A Harper, Chairman, V V Milor, Secretary.

It will be gratifying to those who participated in the late elections, and to the friends of Colonel J M Johnson, 1st Arkansas Infantry, has obtained leave of absence to proceed to Washington City to attend the present session of Congress. He will claim a seat in the national legislature, to which he is so justly entitled by the suffrages of his fellow citizens- the Unconditional Union men of Western Arkansas. According to the late proclamation of the President, one-tenth of the legal voter of 1860, are sufficient to set the machinery of the Government again in motion. Colonel Johnson received considerably more than that number. Had not the difficulties of making known the election movement been so very great, by reason of the utterly disorganized state of the country, more than double that number of votes of staunch Union men could have been obtained. Arkansas is at present a perfect cipher in the Union, so far as representation in the National Council and at the seat of Government and of the normal state of society is most pressingly needed, and we earnestly hope, that with Isaac Murphy as Governor, and James M Johnson as our representative, the dismal, chaotic state in which we are now engulfed, will soon change for one in which we will be enjoying the fruits of peace once more. Colonel Johnson, we doubt not, will discharge his duties faithfully, ably, and zealously.


The people of Arkansas are ready to return to their allegiance to the Government, and to renew their devotion, which shall hereafter know neither change nor decay. The loyalty to Jeff Davis, in Arkansas, does not extend, practically, beyond the shadow of his army, while the hatred of him is as wide spread as it is intense. The Union sentiment is manifesting itself on all sides and by every indication. In Union meetings, in desertions from the Confederate Army, in taking the Oath of Allegiance, unsolicited, in organizing for home defense, and in enlisting in the Federal Army. Old flags that have been hid in the crevices of rocks and been worshipped by our mountain people, as holy relics, are flung to the breeze, and followed to the Union Army with an enthusiasm that beggars all description! The little county of Perry, that voted only about six hundred, and which has been turned wrong side out in search of conscripts, by Hindman and his fellow murderers and oppressors, with their retinue of salaried gentlemen and negro dogs, sent down a company of ninety-four men a few days ago. Where they came from and how they kept their old flag during these three years of terror, persecution and plunder, I can’t tell. But they were the proudest looking set of men I ever saw, and full of fight. And Montgomery County answers to Perry, and Conway, Columbia, Carroll, Jefferson, Clark, Sebastian, Phillips, Pike and Independence prolong the shout of a redeemed people, and send up hundreds to be yet followed by their thousands to assist in breaking the chains of their oppressors.


Head Quarters Post Fort Smith, Ark. December 15, 1863

General Orders., No. 4.

I. The disgraceful practice on the part of soldiers of pillaging and plundering is hereby prohibited, and hereafter the guilty will be promptly punished.

II. All officers in command of escorts or detachments of troops will be held responsible for the conduct of the men under their respective commands, either leaving or arriving at this post.

III. Straggling by soldiers, which leads to plundering, is prohibited. Officers are required to keep their men together, and no one be permitted to leave the command, unless no leave of the Officer in command. Soldiers have no authority to pass upon the question of loyalty or disloyalty of peaceable citizens. Under the pretext of taking property of rebels, loyal citizens have been robbed of their property.

IV. Officers in command of escorts leaving this Post will see that the men are provided with rations. In the event subsistence in the field is required, the Officer in charge will give the part proper receipt for the same.

V. Officers in charge of escorts leaving or arriving at this Post will furnish these Head Quarters with their names, the commands to which they belong, with the object of the expedition sent out, as far as practicable. A copy of this order will be furnished each officer before leaving this Post, which he will cause to be read by the men under his charge.

VI. The Local Provost Marshal is charged with the execution of this order.

By the order of John Edwards, Colonel Commanding Post, Lieutenant Boreing, Post Adjutant.

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