Organization of the Crawford
Transcribed from microfilm copies of the Van Buren Press, January to June, 1861.
The information on these pages was edited
and graciously given to thelEdward G. Gerdes Arkansas Civil
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VOLUNTEER RIFLE COMPANY.—It is in contemplation among our young men to form a volunteer Rifle Company in our City—and in fact, we believe the necessary steps have already been taken for the purpose. To say nothing of the advantages of such a company in our city for the purpose of protection, if we should need protection (and if we on the frontier do not, no other part of the State does, or will,) its formation would be of great advantage of the members individually, in giving them a good training in movement, and personal carriage, and in developing their muscular powers. We hope the muster roll of the Crawford Guards will be immediately filling up.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Friday, January 4, 1861.
FORT SMITH RIFLES.—This crack company of citizen soldiers paid our city a visit on Tuesday last, and went through a variety of military evolutions, showing that in drill and soldierly bearing, they were equal, if not superior, to older companies. Fort Smith may well be proud of her Rifle Company. We hope to again see Capt. Sparks and his company in our city.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Friday, January 11, 1861.
THE VAN BUREN FRONTIER GUARD.—An independent Rifle Company has been lately organized in our City, under the name of “The Van Buren Frontier Guard,” and at an election for Officers, H. Thos. Brown was elected Captain; J. P. King, 1st Lieutenant; Alex Lacy, 2d Lieut.; Gran. Wilcox, 3d Lieut. The ranks of the “Guards” we are happy to be informed are fast filling up, and from the character of the young men who compose the Company, we predict it will take a foremost rank among the military companies of the State.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Friday, January 11, 1861.
FRONTIER GUARDS.—The ranks of this Volunteer Company are fast filling up—numbering now nearly fifty members. Their new uniform was received by the steamer Leon on Monday, and in it the Guards will make a very handsome appearance. At a regular meeting on Saturday night, they tendered their services to the Governor for duty on the frontier, by a unanimous vote. They drill every night.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, 24 April 1861.
SOLDIERS RETURN.—The Frontier Guards, of this City, under command of Lieut. J. P. King, returned from their expedition to Fort Smith, this afternoon. Praise was awarded them for soldierly bearing and fine appearance equal to any on the Ground. Capt. Perkin’s Company of Cavalry, also, returned about the same time. This company has been accepted by the Colonel in command of the Fort, and will report themselves for active service tomorrow.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, April 24, 1861.
We understand it is in contemplation to form an Artillery company in this City. A Home Guard, consisting of the older citizens of this place, will also be organized at an early day.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, April 24, 1861.
FRONTIER GUARDS.—We understand the “Frontier Guards” of this City, are to have a place in the 1st Regiment, under command of Col. DeRosey Carroll. This Regiment will soon have marching orders for the Frontier, to give Mr. Jim Lane and his kith and kin, a whet for the palm of victory.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, May 22, 1861.
NOTICE.—All letters, communications and papers for the members of Capt. Carroll’s Company, the “Pope Walker Guards,” and for Capt. Brown’s Company, the “Van Buren Frontier Guards,” if left at the store of Ward & Southmayd, will be duly forwarded to the members of either of the above named companies now on service on the frontier.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, 29 May 1861.
FAREWELL OF THE VOLUNTEERS.—On Saturday morning last, Capt. C. A. Carroll’s Company of Cavalry took up its line of march for the (expected) seat of war. Previously to leaving, it paraded in front of the Court House and stood under arms, whilst the Captain tendered thanks for the favors that had been received from the Ladies of the City. It might have been Capt. Carroll’s intention to have delivered an extended address; but the scene that presented itself to him, forbade anything more than the short but hearty expression of gratitude he pronounced. The mothers, wives, and sisters of many of the volunteers in the ranks at the Court House Square, were bowed down in tears, and it was impossible for any one capable of experiencing human feeling, to utter a word that would heighten the grief they felt. Nearly every one wept—and we are assured that soldiers who leave for the battlefield with such blessings as the Cavalry Company received on Saturday, will make the bloodiest ranks in the conflict with the enemy. On the afternoon of the same day, Capt. H. T. Brown’s Infantry Company, the “Van Buren Frontier Guards,” were, in consequence of orders from Gen. Pearce, put upon the march. They had not a moment’s warning—no time for farewells or preparations. But there was no hesitation, and at the word “forward,” the steady tramp of their old home drill, was exchanged for the march of real service. It was contemplated to tender to the Guards some token of esteem upon their leaving; but the urgency of the orders upon which they act prevented. Had it been known that they were to leave, there would have been, short as the time was, a befitting indication of the regret experienced at their departure. The prayers of the mother, wife, and sister, and the smiles of the fair are with them.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, May 29, 1861.
CRAWFORD COUNTY VOLUNTEERS.—We venture to say, that no County, of the same population as Crawford, (being in territory one of the smallest in the State,) has turned out so many volunteers for the war as ours. We have now companies in Camp; and one, the “Crawford Artillery,” waiting orders to march, viz:
Capt. C. A. Carroll’s Company of mounted riflemen, the “Pope Walker Guards,” numbering eighty-four, rank and file, well mounted, armed with Sharp’s rifles and sword bayonets—a most effective weapon. This Company is made up of the best young men from the County, who have been on horseback from their youth up, and well trained in the use of arms.
The “Van Buren Frontier Guards,” Capt. H. Thos. Brown, numbering about eighty, composed mostly of young men of this City, armed with Minnie Muskets, is probably the best drilled company in the State. Their ranks are composed of the very elite of the city—”gentlemen all”—and are to be depended upon in all situations in which they may be placed.
The above two companies are now in camp in Benton county.
Capt. J. H. Foster’s Company of Infantry, numbering sixty-four members—armed with good muskets, which is about as good a weapon as can be used. This is a good company, and from their gallant Captain down, are itching for a fight; they are stationed for the present at Fort Smith, but will soon, no doubt, be under marching orders for the Kansas and Missouri line.
Last, but not least, Capt. J. M. 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.
Crawford County has reason to be proud of the Volunteers she sends to the field—there are no mercenaries among them—they are composed of good citizens, who go to fight, if need be that they shall fight, for their country, their homes, and all that they hold most dear. All honor to the Crawford County Volunteers.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, June 5, 1861.
LETTERS FOR CAMP WALKER.—Capt. Carroll, of the “Pope Walker Guards,” and Lieut. Lacey, of the Van Buren “Frontier Guards,” are now in our City, and will leave for Camp Walker tomorrow, and will take all letters for the Camp. Leave them at the store of Ward & Southmayd, and they will call for them.—Van Buren Press, Van Buren, Arkansas, Wednesday, June 19, 1861.
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