Many Thanks to Lou Ann Lunsford for being kind enough to share these newspaper articles with us here in Arkansas


Copied from a Special Edition of "THE MERRY GREEN PRESS"



We have just learned of the death of Lieut. Hugh McCollum of Camden, who fell at Jenkins' Ferry. He enlisted in the 1st Regiment of Arkansas Infantry on the 17th day of May, 1861, and was later wounded in the Battle of Shiloh. He joined Grinstead's 33rd Regiment and was in the Battle of Prairie Grove and with E. Kirby Smith at Pleasant Hill at Mansfield, Louisiana.

McCollum was killed leading his men against a circling fire of musketry and artillery. In the true sprit of the patriot, his last words were: "Carry me home and tell them I did my duty and died at my post."


Upon reaching the safety of Little Rock, some of the veterans of Steele's march were asked to comment on their experiences. Those statements are printed here in the hope that family members might receive the news through this paper.

Confederate veterans were interview in Camden by our correspondent assiged to Kirby Smith's army.


"We had been hungry for some time but now we began to actually suffer for want of food. I knew of a case where one man paid a comrade two dollars for a single piece of hard-tack, and another traded a silver watch for two of them"

"When we reached Little Rock, we filed past General Steele's headquarters. There would undoubtedly have been a good deal of music, but the fifes and drums had been so nearly used up on the campaign, the pounding was hardly as lively as usual."

"We were almost at the limits of human endurance, and some actually slept while marching."

"At Little Rock we received long-needed rations. Never were rations more speedily distributed or hard-tack and sow-belly put inside blue uniforms with greater haste."

"Many wagons were abandoned at Jenkins' Ferry as we privates were not so much interested in them as we were in the contents. The officers had all their fine clothes in them, so there came a sudden change of garments to save the best from burning; and men who had laid down ragged and dirty at dark were seen at daylight finely dressed in glossy coats with shining buttons, but hungry and tired as ever."

"Oh, the interminable time in that dreary swamp! Driven to the last extreme of haste by the imperative necessity for food, we were compelled to wait and linger, while the long train of wagons would stick in the mud, and the mules would flounder in the mire."

"Water and mud were waist deep in places; we waded, rather than walked. Timber with which to corduroy the road was scarce and when teams gave out, those used to pull the sutler's wagons were commandeered; when these balked, the wagons were burned. Animals too weak to be led were turned loose. Vehicles becoming hopelessly mired in the mud were left."

"During the battle, smoke became so dense, waving like a thick mass between the dark trees over the enemy ground, that it was impossible to see anything else at a distance of 20 yards."

"The Rebels did indeed fire too high or too low. Our men learned to stoop down under the smoke and fire at breast level which could not fail to hit its mark. The crowded and more than double formation of rebel lines must have suffered a dreadful slaughter."


"Our troops did not fight well. They got in confusion and it was impossible for the officers, most of whom are of no earthly account, to do anything with them."

"Following the fight in the cornfield, we posted ourselves at the edge of the woods in order to watch Infirmary Corps search for any wounded that might have been left behind. We wanted to prevent the mutilation and murder of our wounded which the enemy had inflicted on some who had been left on the field from the conflict before our arrival."

"Our brigade was dashed up gallantly to an old cornfield, where using our muskets quite soldierly, sustained the fight without assistance, agains 7,000 of the enemy for forty minutes."

"My General's arm was broken by a minie ball, but he refused to go to the rear. The foe threatened to envelop us in a sheet of flame."

"At one time during the battle our boys retreated. General Churchill rode up at that time, leaped off his horse, and seized a musket from one of our slackers. He rallied the remnant of the brigade around him in spite of a galling fire."

As Missourians we are part of the best brigade in the Confederacy and all that is left that volunteered at the breaking out of the war. We never lost a man except by death."

"After standing on the ridge for over 20 minutes, we advanced into the bottom. There was no romance of war or battle; no waving of banners; no martial music, no thronging of women and children. It was raining and we walked with our officers into that cheerless, dismal swamp. We were as steady as if we were on drill."

Grant County Museum in Sheridan, Arkansas printed in observance of the 125th Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Jenkins' Ferry that was fought April 29-30th, 1864 in what was then Hot Springs and Saline County Territory...later incorporated into Grant County in 1869.

The above information may be used for non-commercial historical and genealogical purposes only and with the consent of the page owner may be copied for the same purposes so long as this notice remains a part of the copied material. EDWARD G. GERDES

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