WORTHY PRAISE OF ARKANSAS TROOPS
Stanley C. Harley writes the following paper:
In the October Veteran J. M. Berry, of Salem, Mo., wrote that Comrade J. N. Wilkinson, of Blooming grove, Tex., is correct in stating that Churchill was Colonel of the Eighth Arkansas regiment. Comrades Wilkinson and Berry are both wrong.
The Eighth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was commanded first by Colonel William K Patterson. General Churchill never commanded a regiment in the brigade to which the Eighth Arkansas belonged. He was Colonel once of the First Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, one of the famous regiments which Arkansas furnished to the Confederate army. This regiment was early in battle at Neosho, Mo., July, 1861, and from then on to April 26, 1865.
In all the battles in which it was engaged that resplendent courage was displayed which gave Arkansas regiments fresh glory in the Army of Tennessee.
They were the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Thirteenth. Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Fourth, also the Third Confederate, mainly from Arkansas.
The Second, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Arkansas and Third Confederate composed the brigade commanded by Brig. Generals W. J. Hardee, T. C. Hindman, St. John R. Liddell, and D. C. Gordon, respectively.
The First and Second Mounted Riflemen, Fourth, Twenty-Fifth, Thirty-First Regiments Arkansas Infantry and the Fourth Arkansas Battalion composed the Arkansas troops in Churchill's, McNair's, and Reynolds Brigades, respectively.
A history of the feats of valor performed by the Arkansas troops in the Army of Tennessee would indeed be chivalric. The First Arkansas was in General L. E. Polk's Brigade until he was disabled, then it became a part of Govan's Brigade, as did also the Thirteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Fourth which came from other brigades.
At the close of the war all of the regiments of infantry from Arkansas in the Army of Tennessee were consolidated into two small regiments: those of Reynolds's Brigade into one commanded by Colonel H. G. Bunn, now chief Justice of Arkansas: those in Govan's Brigade into one commanded by Colonel Peter Snyder, who died about the time of the surrender, April 26, 1865.
These Arkansas regiments took an active and prominent part in many battles in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South and North Carolina. No other troops covered so much territory or acquitted themselves as well everywhere. In several instances they inflicted losses upon the enemy as great as their own numbers. With one exception they never failed to drive the enemy either in open field or in intrenchments, and that was at Franklin, Tennessee. Their works were never taken but once, and that was at Jonesboro, Georgia when Gonvan's Brigade was stretched in single rank one yard apart with poor works, when they were attacked by seven lines of men.
At Franklin sixty-six per cent of Govan's Brigade were killed and wounded. The Third was the only regiment of cavalry from Arkansas in the Army of Tennessee. The First and Second Mounted Riflemen were dismounted early in the war, and fought as infantry afterwards. The Second Arkansas Cavalry was east of the Mississippi River part of the war. So were other Arkansas infantry regiments, but they were not in the Army of Tennessee, except a part of the Twelfth Infantry for a while.
The ninth, tenth, Eleventh, Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, Twentieth, Twenty- First, Twenty-Third were in the western army, east of the Mississippi, operating about Corinth, Jackson, Vicksburg, and Port Hudson. At the latter places many of them were captured, and after exchange saw service in the Trans-Mississippi Department.
The Third Arkansas Infantry Regiment was in Virginia all of the time, except during the Chickamauga campaign. It came with General Longstreet to the battle of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and back to Virginia. Owing to the lax way in which Arkansas regiments were numbered and named, it is difficult to ascertain how many regiments, battalions, and companies of infantry, cavalry, and artillery Arkansas furnished.
Confederate Veteran Vol. 9 No. 1
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