The New Era, Fort Smith, Arkansas

October 8, 1863 to November 11, 1865

Transcribed by Fran Alverson Warren


The want of a newspaper in this section of the country, advocating the right of the many against encroachments of the few, having been long and severely felt, a number of loyal citizens have determined to supply this grievous deficiency. The NEW ERA, for a new era is indeed dawning upon the People, will be conducted upon the “Unconditional Union” principle. Traitors, and sympathizers with such, will be exposed unflinchingly, and their dark deeds of infamy put in proper light.

Fort Smith and vicinity, unfortunately, like too many places all over the South, under rebel rule, has been most shamefully imposed upon by a set of newspapers entirely devoted to the interests of that abominable set of men who, under the cry of “Liberty and Constitution”, aimed at nothing else than the total enslavement and subversion of the rights of the great mass of the laboring white population.  But the tables are turned now, and the freedom of the Press and of Speech will no longer be a dead letter. Emancipation from the thraldom of the selfish, overbearing Aristocracy, so gloriously begun since the re-establishment of the authority of the United States Government, will be carried forward successfully, until every vestige of the baneful influence that formerly weighed upon the People, will be utterly dissipated. E Pluribus Unum.


The first of this month was a happy day for the ladies and other citizens of Van Buren. The ladies of that place made and presented the 1st Reg’t Ark. Infantry, a large Federal Flag, which was elevated to the top of a fine and substantial flag-staff occupying the front yard of the Court House. The rebels once waved the treasonable ensign of the Confederacy from the same towering shaft; but their first endeavor in this shameful boast of their treason resulted in tearing their flag nearly in twain. That disaster may be regarded as an omen of ill to the nefarious scheme of destroying the Federal Nationality, for the purpose of rearing on its ruins an aristocracy of the imperious few, who disregard the will and the interests of the laboring many that constitute the bone and sinew of the Arkansian population.

Appropriate speeches were delivered on the occasion by Colonel J M Johnson, of the 1st Arkansas Infantry, Colonel W F Cloud, of the 2nd Kansas Cavalry, Colonel Williams, of the 1st “Iron-Clads”, and Lieutenant Colonel E J Searle, of the 1st Arkansas Infantry. These speeches were loudly applauded, and were well calculated to encourage the patriotic aspirations of the numerous assemblage of citizens and soldiers.

The marauding gang of Shelby’s, which crossed the Arkansas River a short time ago and slipped into Missouri, was caught near Newtonia and badly cut up, and arrangements are made to prevent the escape of the remainder southward to cause any more trouble

Back to the New Era Newspaper Index Page

Back to the Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Page