The New Era, Fort Smith, Arkansas

January 9, 1864

Captain John Whiteford, 1st Arkansas Infantry, is authorized to receive subscriptions for this paper and receipt for the same, in the command at Waldron.

LOYALTY ON THE FRONTIER- Just published and written by a Federal Officer, containing sketches of Union men of the Southwest, with incidents and adventures in the rebellion on the border. For sale by Burt A Rogers, News dealer.

We received a letter from an officer with the command at Waldron, confirming the death of the notorious Major Gibson, who commanded the rebels in the attack on an outpost near Waldron on the 29th ult. One of his lieutenants named Scaggs was also killed and quite a number wounded. Captain Garder and his little band behaved gallantly, and when the rebels- who outnumbered them five to one- demanded their surrender, replied, that there was none of that name present.

The loss of the 2nd Kansas Cavalry is as follows:

Killed: Wm Walker, Company I
Wounded: Orderly Sergeant Harper, Company E, mortally, died the following day; G E Bates, slightly; ____Chapman, slightly; Alex Bratton, severely; ___Curtis, severely, John Cummins, slightly.

The guerrillas are firing on our pickets sometimes but without much harm.

Twenty seven rebel prisoners were brought to this place day before yesterday, by a detachment of the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry, under Captain Cameron. These prisoners were taken in the vicinity of Dardanelle and Waldron. About 200 of the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry are at Jenny Lind, on their way to Cassville, Missouri, to rejoin the regiment, which is expected soon to come down to our State.


David P Rupe, of Sebastian County, Ark., sixty-one years old, a member of Company #, 1st Arkansas Infantry, has eleven sons in the Federal Army. A few days ago his youngest son, only fifteen years old, joined the service. We could like to see any other State beat this.

Old Mr. Rupe had many hair-breadth escapes during the rebel rule here, but managed to save his neck from being graced by a hempen halter. About a year ago, among one of the many deeds to aid the Union cause, at the stampede of the rebels on the approach of General Blunt, he came to this place, took a rebel wagon, loaded it with 68 guns, a keg of powder, and a good supply of lead, etc., and carried it to that dauntless band of men who maintained to the last their independence in the mountains.

Persecution becoming too hot, after the return of the rebel forces, he, with 46 of his friends and co-patriots, made their way across the Arkansas River, and after encountering many dangers and hardships, at last found safety within the Federal lines. He is but one specimen among thousands in this and adjoining counties.


Never, in the memory of that noted individual, the oldest inhabitant, was so severe a spell of cold experienced in this latitude (35 degrees).

After a copious warm rain, accompanied by thunder, on the 23rd of last month, it snowed al day on the 24th, and on Christmas morning, between 8 and 9 o’clock, the sun shining brightly and not a breeze stirring, our thermometer showed 12 degrees below zero, 44 degrees below the freezing point! This cold spell has continued ever since, the mercury generally standing at zero in the morning, and rising but a few degrees during the day, except on the 4th inst., when it rose to 27 degrees. The Arkansas River is completely frozen over and crossed by heavily loaded wagons at Van Buren, 5 miles below this place. Many are the pleasant jokes we hear from our friends from a more northern latitude, at the expense of the “Sunny South” But we see from our exchanges that the weather is correspondingly cold, farther north, completely interrupting in many places all railroad and stage communication.

It is not probable, however, that this extreme cold can last long, and we may expect a big thaw and a booming river in a short time.

A report reached here of quite a little fight at Dardanelle. The rebels are said to have lost about 30 killed and a considerable number of prisoners. We expect to hear something more definite about it soon.

There is quite a turn out of sleighs in our streets, and some of them of the oddest kind and shape. They had to be improvised for the occasion, as we seldom have snow enough to warrant the keeping of the article.

The rumor that was current a few days ago, of the burning of Fort Scott, by Quantrile, has turned out to be untrue. It is quite certain, however, that the desperado is in the vicinity of that place, and would, no doubt, make another Lawrence of Fort Scott, if he could.


Head Quarters, District of the Frontier, Fort Smith, Ark., January 1, 1864

General Orders,  No. 1

The following Officers compose the Staff of the Commanding General of the District:

Major T J Anderson, Assistant Adjutant General, and Chief of Staff,

Captain C G Laurant, Assistant Adjutant General

Major T J Weed, Additional A D C, Assistant Commissary of Musters.

Major E A Calkins, 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, District Provost Marshal.

2nd Lieutenant J S Whicher, 2nd Indiana Battery, Judge Advocate.

Lieutenant Colonel F W Schaurte, 2nd Regiment Indian Home Guards, District Inspector.

Captain S H Moer, Assistant Quarter Master Volunteers, Chief Quarter Master.

Captain R W Hamer, C S Volunteers, Chief Commissary.

Surgeon George H Hubbard, U S Volunteers, Medical Director.

Captain Anton Gerster, 27th Missouri Volunteers, Engineer.

Lieutenant J L Miles, 2nd Indiana Battery, Acting Ordnance Officer.

1st Lieutenant J Carey French, 2nd Kansas Cavalry, Aide- de-Camp.

1st Lieutenant Joseph T Tatum, Regiment Merrill’s Horse, Missouri Volunteers, Aide-de-Camp.

1st Lieutenant S K Cross, 2nd Kansas Cavalry, Acting Aide-de-Camp.

John McNeil, Brigadier General Commanding.

Head Quarters District of the Frontier, Fort Smith, Ark., January 7, 1864.

General Orders,  No. 2

Vagrancy and idleness are a bane to any community where they exist. Labor is the only legitimate means of support for honest men. Hereafter every able bodied man in this district will be compelled to enter the service of the United States, either in the ranks of the Army, or in the trains or workshops, or they must seek other lawful avocations, defined in Orders heretofore issued. Subsistence will not hereafter be furnished to any person able to work. Gambling, pimping, prostitution and other grossly immoral pursuits will not be tolerated.

The District Provost Marshal is charged with the rigid execution of this Order, and will banish from the District all vagrants and other notoriously disreputable characters.

T J Anderson, Assistant Adjutant General.

DIED- At the residence of J M Lentz, in this city, on the 3rd inst., James Franklin Stephens, son of Maggie and Lieutenant J B Stephens, 2nd Arkansas Cavalry, aged 18 months.

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