THE ARKANSAS PEACE SOCIETY OF 1861
From Russell P. Baker, Archivist
In the mountain counties of North Arkansas in the fall of 1861 secret organizations were formed for self protection and apparently to resist Confederate authority. Total membership in the organizations was estimated at 1700 and was concentrated in Searcy, Marion, Carroll, Izard, Fulton, and Van Buren counties. In these counties and perhaps in several others, the local units of the Arkansas Peace Society were quickly suppressed by extra-legal citizens' committees acting with the county militia units and with justice of the peace courts. Many of the arrested members were forced into Confederate service either by local citizens' committees or by the state military board at Little Rock. Some were tried for treason in Confederate circuit and acquitted. Many of those forced into Confederate service deserted and joined the Federal army.
Only a part of the records relating to the Peace Society survived, but they are sufficient to show the scope and nature of the organization. Surviving documents contain the names of 240 members and suspected members. Of these 181 were located in the United States census manuscript schedules, 1860. An analysis of that record revealed that of the 181, 115 were born in Tennessee, 13 in North Carolina, and 11 in Arkansas. The leadership of the movement was also predominantly Southern-born. Six preachers among the leaders seem to have been especially influential. The brotherhood was indigenous, composed of mountaineers who had no intention of going to war on either side and who wanted to be left alone. There could of course be no neutrality, and the members were forced to take sides.
From: Arkansas Historical Quarterly (Spring, 1958) page 83
MEMBERS OF THE PEACE SOCIETY 1861
Adams, Green Berry - Adams, Joseph -
Adams, Spencer - Addison, Mayfield - Arter, Carroll -
Arter, Joseph L. - Bailey, J. F. - Baker, B. A. - Baker, David C. - Baker, James A. - Ball, Gehuger
Ball, James W. - Barnes, James Jackson - Barnes, W. F. - Barnett, David - Bartlet, William
Bishop, Lindsay - Black, Simeon B. - Blasingame, Anderson - Bradshaw, Henry - Bradshaw, John H.
Bradshaw, William - Brantley, B. F. - Branum, Solomon - Bratton, William Milican - Brewer, Aaron V. B.
Brewer, Jonas - Brewer, Lewis S. - Brown, John - Brown, George - Brown, John - Brown, Solomon I.
Brown, William - Broyles, James F. - Carithers, John M. - Cash, Levi C. - Castleberry, John R.
Castleberry, Washington Cahal - Cates, William A. J. - Chambers, Jeff - Chambers, W. R. -
Christy, James F. Homer - Christy, John - Christy, Joseph C. - Clark, Lewis - Conley, Beverly L.
Cook, Henry - Copeland, Alexander N. - Copeland, James B. - Copeland, William - Cummins, Joseph
Curl, John W. - Curl, Samuel M. - Curry, Anderson - Curry, David - Curry, James E. - Davis, H. M.
Davis, William - Denton, Chris - Dickerson, E. - Downey, Patrick L. - Duck, Timothy Arthur -
Dugger, Jasper- Dugger, Thomas M. - Dugger, William M. - Ezell, Isiah - Ezell, John - Faught, Thomas J.
Faught, William C. - Fisher, William Thomas - Forehand, Jonathan - Forehand, Thomas - Foster, James B.
Gadberry, Wm. - Garner, Sr. Parrish - Garrison, _____ - Gary, B. H. - Gerner, Parish - Gilbreth, John
Grinder, Robert - Grinder, Samuel - Guthrey, Thomas - Harley, John - Harness, John W. - Harness, John
Harness, W. H. - Harris, John - Harris, Thomas - Harris, Wm. - Hatley, J. R. - Hatley, J. W. - Haynes, Wm.
Hays, George M. - Hays, Wm. - Hensley, F. H. - Hensley, P.M. - Henson, F. H. - Hoffs, John
Holly, Absolem - Holley, Alex - Holley, Reuben C. - Hollis, James M. - Holmes, John - Hooten, Geroge
Jamison, D. - Jeffery, Wm. - Jenkins, John H. - Johnson,Robert - Jones, Stephen - Kamey, Thomas
Kesner, W. A. - Kilburn Carroll - Kirkham, John W. - Kuykendall, Francis - Ladamon, R. C. - Laive, Jo
Lee, Robert - Long, George - Love, A. J. - Luttrell, James - Lynn, W. G. - Maness, Claiborine
Marshall, William H. - McBee, Alexander - McBee, James H. - McDaniel, John W. - McDaniel, William F.
McEntire, John A. - McInturn, Thomas W. - McLane, S. Allan - McMillan, E. L. - McNair, James Claiborn
Melton, Thomas - Moody, Jonathan - Morris, John Wortman - Morris, John, Jr. - Morris, John, Sr.
Morris, William - Null, John R. - Osborn, Eli L. - Packet, W. J. - Palmer, Benjamin F. - Parks, Daniel J.
Parks, Theophilus (Dink) - Parsley, A. A.- Parsley, Abraham J. - Parsley, J. B. - Passmore, Benjamin J.
Passmore, Joel Henry - Pearce, William - Phillips, Luther P. - Pierce, Austin - Potter, William F.
Price, Charles William - Price, Lindsay - Price, William - Ramsey, Smith - Reeves, Asa - Reeves, Jarrett
Reeves, Joshua - Reeves, Peter - Richardson, James C. - Richardson, Joshua - Ridings, James C.
Rose, M. - Ruff, David Crocket - Sanders, John L. - Satterfield, A. J. - Satterfield, John R.
Satterfield, Nathaniel - Satterfield, P. M. - Scott, William Franklin - Seaton, Nicholas - Shipman, Matthew
Shirley, Wm. - Singleferry, Wm. C. - Slay, Benjamin F. - Slay, Thomas J. - Smith, Abner H. - Smith, Claiborn
Smith, G. W. - Smith, Gilmore - Smith, John - Snellgrove, Gasaway - Stobaugh, Ananias - Stobaugh, Edmond
Strickland, John Anderson - Strickland, Paris - Strickland, Samuel Smith - Strother, Wm.
Sutterfield, Ananias J. - Sutterfield, Nathanial - Sutterfield, Peter Moore - Sutton, Logan - Tackett, W. J.
Taylor, Benjamin Franklin - Taylor, Hezikiah - Terry, Morgan M. - Thompson, James Patrick
Thompson, Samuel - Thompson, Thomas - Thompson, William J. - Tilley, James - Tinkle, Mike
Tinkle, Robert - Treadwell, John S. - Treat, James William - Treat, John B. - Treep, James
Treese, Benjamin - Treese, Daniel - Treese, William - Tucker, John Allen - Tucker, John Middleton
Turney, Bowman - Turney, Pleasant B. R. - Turney, Presley - Turney, Si (Josiah S.) - Tyler, Peter A.
Wallace, J. W. - Wallis, James - Ware, J. J. - Watts, Asa - Watts, Benjamin G. - Watts, Samuel
Webb, John - Wells, Wm. C. - Whitmire, Henry J. - Whitmire, J. J. - Wiley, Wallis - William Jasper
Wilson, John - Winn, Wm. M. - Woodrum, Vinsom M. - Woodworth, Nathan F. - Wortman, Christopher M.
Wortman, Franklin - Wortman, John - Wren, Shadrich J. - Yeary, Wm. H. - Younger, Alexander
There were members from other counties as well. These included: Marion, Newton, Carroll, Polk, Prairie, Pulaski, Izard, Fulton and Van Buren. A special thanks to Barbara Couser for contributing the information from the Arkansas Family Historian, Volume 21, Number 1, March 1983 - Publ. by Arkansas Genealogical Society.