The Crawford Artillery
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and graciously given to the Edward G. Gerdes Arkansas Civil
War page by Bryan R. Howerton, who we thank so much. He can be reached and thanked at this email
address! "Bryan R. Howerton"
The Crawford Artillery began organizing in Crawford county, Arkansas, in April 1861, and completed its organization on May 28, 1861, at Van Buren. James T. Stewart was elected captain. A notice in the “Van Buren Press,” dated June 5, 1861, stated: “... Capt. J. M. [sic] Stewart’s company, the ‘Crawford Artillery,’ but recently organized, is now awaiting marching orders. They have two pieces of the celebrated ‘Bragg’s battery’; and all who know the men, of whom this Company is composed, know the cry with them will be ‘a little more grape,’ Capt. Stewart, should they come into action. From their captain, down to the lowest in the ranks—if there are any lowest—they are warriors, all.”
The Crawford Artillery marched to Camp Walker, near Harmony Springs, in Benton county, Arkansas, where, over the protests of the men, their guns were taken away and given to the Fort Smith Artillery. The Crawford Artillery, now “artillery” in name only, were enrolled in State service as an infantry company on July 15, 1861, and assigned to Colonel John Rene Gratiot’s regiment as Company F. According to the regimental numbering plan of the State Military Board, this regiment was officially designated as the Second Regiment (Infantry), Arkansas State Troops. However, Brigadier-General Nicholas Bartlett Pearce, commanding State troops in northwest Arkansas, generally did things his own way, and assigned his regiments sequential numbers based upon their date of enlistment. Thus, Gratiot’s regiment is referred to in most contemporary records as the Third Regiment (Infantry), Arkansas State Troops.
Gratiot’s regiment, along with the other Confederate and State troops, marched up into Missouri, and participated in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, near Springfield, Missouri, on August 10, 1861. Described by participants on both sides as a “vicious, face-to-face, slugging match,” Gratiot’s regiment was heavily engaged in the epicenter of the battle. The regiment suffered the highest casualty rate of any unit on the Southern side—a staggering 106 casualties. The Crawford Artillery suffered 2 killed and 9 wounded, the third highest in the regiment.
Following the Confederate victory at Wilson’s Creek, with their three-month State enlistments expiring, all of the Arkansas State Troops were mustered out. The Crawford Artillery mustered out on September 19, 1861. The volunteers returned to their homes, where most of them soon enlisted in regular Confederate regiments.
The following roster of the Crawford Artillery is taken from the company’s May 28, 1861, muster roll:
Bean, R M—Second Lieutenant.
Butts, Neal G—Private.
Butts, Thomas W—Private.
Clem, Joseph M—Second Sergeant; reduced to private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Coleman, William—Private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Couch, Peter J—Private.
Doake, Nathaniel “Nat”—Private.
Enlow, Francis M—Private.
Graff, Lewis—Private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Haney, Joseph H—Fifth Sergeant; appointed regimental quartermaster-sergeant.
Keller, Isaac—First Sergeant.
King, James—Private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Lawless, Richard—Private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Lowe, F T—Private; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Matthews, Abraham—First Corporal.
Meadors, Elisha B—Private.
Miles, Robert W—Private.
Montgomery, S H—Third Corporal; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Nettles, Robert E—Private; subsequently served as sergeant-major, 34th Arkansas Infantry, CSA.
Pearce, John C—Private.
Pope, Martin V—Private.
Rudy, George H—Third Sergeant.
Sanger, Fenton M—First Lieutenant; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
Sanger, Walker S—Private.
Stallings, Joseph M—Private.
Stallings, W I—Private.
Steele, James H—Private.
Steward, Edward Dean—Private.
Steward, Samuel—Fourth Corporal; subsequently served in Co. A, 15th Arkansas Cavalry Battalion.
Stewart, James T—Captain.
Stewart, William A—Private.
Vaughan, George—Private; killed in action at Wilson’s Creek.
Vinsant, William S—Fourth Sergeant; wounded at Wilson’s Creek.
West, M—Second Corporal; killed in action at Wilson’s Creek.
Whitson, William T—Private.
Winfrey, John F “Jack”—Third Lieutenant; subsequently served in Co. A, 15th Arkansas Cavalry Battalion.
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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