Lawrence County Arkansas and the Civil War.

"but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. "

Abraham Lincoln, 4 March 1865


SHILOH, A REQUIEM by Herman Melville

April, 1862

Skimming lightly, wheeling still, The swallows fly low

Over the fields in cloudy days, The forest-field of Shiloh

Over the field where April rain

Solaced the parched one stretched in pain

Through the pause of night That followed the Sunday fight

Around the church of Shiloh

The church, so lone, the log-built one,

That echoed to many a parting groan

And natural prayer Of dying foeman mingled there

Foeman at morn, but friends at eve

Fame or country least their care:

(What like a bullet can undeceive!)

But now they lie low,

While over them the swallows skim,

And all is hushed at Shiloh.

"Shiloh After Thirty-Two Years"

by George W. McBride

Published 1896

There were several notable units from the Lawrence County area. The first one organized was in the village of Smithville Arkansas on June 16, 186l and was organized by Colonel R. G. Shaver. His regiment saw service at Columbus and Bowling Green , KY and on the evacuation of the latter place by Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston in February 1862, Colonel Shaver commanded the rear guard of General Johnston's army to Nashville, TN, a most critical period.

At Shiloh, April 6 & 7, 1862, Colonel Shaver's own regiment went into battle and suffered huge losses. They were one of the first Arkansas Units to become consolidated due to the many casualties.

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and Colonel Shaver's Regiment earned the name, the "Bloody Seventh" due in part to the high number of casualties they suffered.

I've been to the Shiloh battlefield and cemetery and it was a sobering experience. I walked through the Union Cemetery with it's brick wall and huge trees all the way down to Pittsburg Landing where General Grant's forces landed..... I saw the peach orchard where so many died, the little Shiloh Church, with it's rock foundation, still there today. The old Church cemetery is in existence. I visited the mass grave of the Confederate soldiers who died there. It was a very still and quiet day, but I could almost hear the sounds of battle as I sat on a little stone bench next to the cemetery wall.

There were many other units from the Lawrence County area and many more died during that war, the Thirty-eighth Infantry, the 26th Infantry, the Forty Fifth Cavalry.... and so many dead. I went through many of the rosters of these units and saw many names familiar to me, some family, some friends, lives changed forever.

The word "Shiloh" means home..... and that battlefield did become home for many of Lawrence Counties young men who died there...

Jeri Helms Fultz

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