Red River Campaign

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Red River Sections
1 (pages 1-13) | 2 (pages 14-21) | 3 (pages 22-30) | 4 (pages 31-39) | 5 (pages 40-50) | 6 (pages 51-59) | 7 (pages 60-69) | 8 (pages 70-76)


John M. Wishard, 1st Lt.

Hiram Dacus, 2nd Lt.

John T. Briggs, Duty Sgt.
William Lyon, Sgt.
Samuel Huckaby, Sgt.
Milander McCurley, Sgt.
Joseph Crabtree, Sgt.

Hesikiah Inman, Cpl.
James M. Cook, Cpl.
John R, Page, Cpl.
Thomas J. Campbell, Cpl.
Lemuel L. Hames, Cpl.
James S. Sloan, Cpl.
James M. Barnett, Cpl.
Marcus L. Satterfield, Cpl.

Daniel Trobaugh, Blacksmith
William Dacus, Trumpter

John A. Moore, Wagonner, On temp, duty, since May 1, 1864

George, Harding W., Pvt.
George, Robert, Pvt.
Guinn, Joseph W,   Absent with leave in Yell Co.   8/26/64
Ladd, Joseph , Pvt.
Morse, Henry, Pvt.
Morse, James A., Pvt.
Miller, Lewis, Pvt. Absent w/leave in Yell Co. since   8/17/64
Mitchell, William, Pvt, Sick in hospital at Lewisburg
Sloan, ThomasA. , Pvt. On temp duty at regt, Hq.
Satterfield, Peter L., Pvt.
Stinnet, Joseph, Pvt.
Taylor, Thomas J., Pvt.
Williams, Lewis, Pvt.
Dees, Griiffin, Pvt., Absent in Hospital at Camden, Ark.


Page, Nathaniel, Killed, Sept. 7, 1864
Jones, Thomas M., Sgt. Killed, Sept. 7, 1864


Herring, Bright W., Capt.




1. Barrett, Hugh M., Pvt.
2. Bomegarner, Thomas D., Pvt.
3. Buchanan, John A., Pvt.
4. Clanton, William, Pvt.
5. Crownover, John, Pvt.
6. Dees, Alexander, Pvt.
7. Dowal, Noah, Pvt.
8. Grey, William. Pvt.
9. Giger, George S., Pvt.
10. George, James D., Pvt.
11. Hames, William, Pvt.
12. Hill, William A. Pvt.
13. Haney, John, Pvt.
14.Huckaby,   Kneland F., Pvt.
15.Haney, Clarence, Pvt.
16. Ivey, John, Pvt.
17. Johnson, Burk, Pvt.
18. Ladd, Milton, Pvt.
19. Morris, William A. Pvt.
20. Mills, Charles B., Pvt.
21. Mills, John A., Pvt.
22. Mullinax, Isaac G., Pvt.
23. Marney, Samuel, Pvt.
24. Nunnally, James S., Pvt.
25. Powers, Lewis, Pvt.
26. Prewett, William, Pvt.
27. Rainey, Francis, Pvt.
28. Thomas, James, Pvt.
29. Foster, Erastue, Sgt.
30. Haney, Thadeus, Sgt.
31. Smith. William C, Sgt.
32. Woodward, Ripley, Sgt..
33. Johnson, Elisha P., Sgt.
34. Crownover, James J., Cpl.
35. Choat, Thomas, Cpl.
36. Pledger, Simeon, Cpl.
37. McMillan, Jesse, Cpl.

Note: The last names, past No. 31, are illegible, due to a tape being put over them to repair the MSS. I have reconstructed the names from the August 31, Muster Roll.


From the middle of October, 1864, we are fortunate to have a better record of the Third. On that date Sgt. Orville Gillet was transferred and promoted to Lt. in G Company, Third Arkansas Cavalry. He kept a diary, and it had been published in the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. From this diary we learn that the Regiment started for Lewisburg on October 21, 1864, and that G Company was detached to DeVall's Bluff. He mentions a march in a hard rain. The life of a civil war soldier was not a easy one.

From November 5 to the 23rd there was another expedition to Ft. Smith. On December 1st C Company was involved in a skirmish at Cypress Swamp in Perry Co., Ark.

On December 1st Gillet notes in his diary that they secured lumber for their quarters, and that the men worked on the stables. Then "Lt. Gates (C Company) was killed by guerrillas on a scout south of the river, boys killed 2 bushwackers, and captured 3."

An attack by McCray (CSA) was expected on December 6, and Lt. Gillet was sent with his company on picket duty, but no attack was made. There were various scouts to the Cadron River, but generally things were quiet. The regiment was kept in order with various inspections and the like.

December 31, 1864, was a big day for the Third. The troops were paid for the first time since enlistment, and a muster roll was made out. The Muster Roll lists 2 officers, 18 non-coms and 21 privates, though all were not available for duty. 8 of the privates had "returned from desertion" since the last Muster Roll. No punishment was given them except for loss of pay during the time absent. This would have meant nothing in the past, but did now that the troops are being paid. The average soldier received $ 300.00, and one can imagine the card games that followed, and I am sure the saloons of Lewisburg did a brisk business.

Hawever the nasty business of war had gone on, and took it's toll. Privates Hampton Taylor and Norton Fox were killed in action. Private Griffin Dees is listed as killed in action, and died in hospital.

As the year 1865 entered the great civil war was winding down. Generals Lee and Grant were locked in a siege before Petersburg, Virginia. General Sherman had captured Savannah, and was preparing to move North.

For the Third, the first of the year was cold and wet at Lewisburg, and things were not going well. General John B. Magruder (CSA) had instructed Col. William H. Brooks to "obstruct as much as possible the navigation of the Arkansas River between Little Rock and Ft. Smith. Col. Brooks (CSA) was in Dardanelle by the first of the year.

On January 2, Gillet noted in his diary "news comes in of 900 rebs being at Dardinell. Scout went out to see." This was evidently a scout by F Company, as on the 7th he writes " Capt. John


Wishard returned from scout report of rebs being cut to pieces by our men confirmed by Capt. Wishard. On the 10th of January he mentions that he and Lt. Dacus of F Company had supper at his residence, and that it snowed last night.

On January 12, 1865, Lts. Wischard (F Company), Lt Allen (G Company) and Lt. Wylie (D Company) and 159 men left on a 5 day scout.

At about the same time a battle was being fought at Dardanelle. The battle lasted a couple of days, and all sorts of rumors and reports were made. Suffice to say that the Union forces held against a much larger rebel force, although shipping was destroyed during the enagement. Skirmishing continued until the end of the month. An example of patrol action is in a report of January 24, 1865:

January 24, 1865
(Via Lewisburg)

Maj. Gen. J.J. REYNOLDS,
Little Rock:

Scout in at 10 PM last night brought information of Newton's
regiment arriving at BOggs Mill, on the Chicalah, after dark,
for the purpose of grinding flour during the night to leave
at sunrise. At 12 PM Lt. Col. Steele with 150 of the
Eleventh U.S. Colored Infantry and detachment of the Yhird
Arkansas Cavalry, Lt. Wischard Commanding, who arrived at the mill at 5 this AM. Charging, captured their camp, papers, flour, 18 horses and 20 stand of arms. The enemy fled in every direction ......


Colonel Brooks sweep to the Arkansas River was the last major raid undertaken by Confederate troops in the war, into a section held by the Federals.

But the little nasty war continued. Men of the Third served as guards for supply trains to Ft. Smith, sometimes dismounted.

On February 12th the Third's old adversary Col. Witt (CSA) with a force of 60 to 100 men attacked and killed Capt. Jeff Williams. Col. Ryan sent Capt Carr and 70 men to track Witt and prevent him crossing the river to the south.

On February 28, 1865, a Muster Roll was made for F Company. It showed 2 officers, 13 non-coms and 38 privates. More of the September 7th deserters had returned. Private Samuel Pickens, who was one of the September 7th deserters, and returned November 29, 1864, was killed in action at Dardanelle, January 17, 1865.

On March 12th the Third made it's last scout into Yell and Searcy Counties, and Col. Ryan worried about his communications. He also reported that rebels were quite numerous in the vicinity of Dover.



General Sterling Price's "Great Missouri Raid" was a total failure. He moved slowly by cavalry standards, averaging around ten miles per day, allowing Federal General Rosecrans plenty of time to see to his defenses. He arrived before the Missouri State Capital at Jefferson City on October 7, 1864, and found the defenders in much greater strength than he had anticipated. He didn't attack it, and moved westward. An attack on St. Louis was no longer possible.

He fought and lost several skirmishes and engagements, and his army faded away as his Missourians, now near home deserted in droves. His route of march was marked by abandoned wagons, cassions and eguipment. In a battle near Westport, October 21-24 he was decisively defeated, losing more than a thousand dead and wounded, and 2,000 prisoners. Price in full retreat headed south. He had lost one half of his army. He had fought in 43 engagements, but he returned with a force that was no longer an army. On their retreat they had gone into Kansas and the Indian Territory, and finally on to Bonham, Texas, where they arrived November 13, 1864, a month after the Battle of Westport. On December 2, 1864 they entered Arkansas at Laynesport. This marked the end of Confederate Operations in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Although Price made a glowing report of his raid, listing all the Federal property he had destroyed, he failed to include his arny among it. General Kirby Smith (CSA) ordered an inquiry into the conduct of the raid, but the war ended before it took place.

Although the last Confederate army in the field was never to be in action again, the nasty business of guerrilla warfare continued. FOr the Third Arkansas Cavalry there would be action. Snipers attacked shipping on the Arkansas River. Guerrillas made swift attacks on lonely outposts. Bushwackers robbed and murdered at will. The main mission of the Third Arkansas would be to keep to river open to Ft. Smith. And it would seem the main objective of the rebel bands still operating in Arkansas was to interfere with this shipping.

After the debacle of September 7, 1864, all units of the Third were moved to Little Rock and operated from there until February, 1865.

During the time at Little Rock, an expedition was made to Ft Smith lasting from September 25 to October 13, 1864. Several skirmishes were fought during this scout. However it included only 50 men and a Capitan from the Third Arkansas. Company F was evidently with them, as Captain Herring, who would soon be cashiered, was mentioned in a dispatch, and complimented for his handling of the action. H Company was also involved. On October 8th on the way back to Little Rock Captain Herring was reported as wounded. Major Derry of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, who commanded the expedition reported they killed 20 of the enemy and captured 4 prisoners, and that he lost 2 killed and 2 missing and 1 later died.


On April 1, 1865, the last major battle of the Civil War was fought at Five Forks, Virginia. General Lee had abandoned Richmond, and on April 7, 1865, showed the way for the South when he said, "I must go see General Grant. I had rather die a thousand deaths." The Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomatax, Virginia. It was not until April 13th that Lt. Gillet got the news and wrote in his diary at Norristown "News of capture of Reb Gen Lee and his whole army".

Although the war was ending, it ended ever slower in the west. General Kirby-Smith (CSA) debated whether to lead his army into Mexico and join Maxmillian. However most of his soldiers were going home daily. On April 26, General Johnston (CSA) and the Army of Tennessee surrendered. It was not until May 26, 1865, that General Kirby-Smith (CSA) surrendered all of the forces of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi.

On May 18, 1865, the Third's old adversary Col. Witt wrote to MAj. Gen.Reynolds (USA) offering to surrender, and asking premission for his men to keep their arms, due to the outlawry in the country. He end with "the citizens seem very anxious to go forth and restore law and order. "

On May 29th Lt Gillet wrote in his diary "300 rebs came in with a flag of truce and gave up looked very raged and dirty".

On June 2, 1865 "more rebs came in ." June 5th "Plenty of whipped rebs coming in and giving up".

June 10 ..."Whipped rebs stil continue to come in by the hundreds."

On June 29, 1865, he noted in his diary "reed orders to go to Little Rock and sign the discharges for the men" all left except myself. I was married to Miss Julia A Dacus, at 8 P.M." (Miss Dacus was a sister of Lt. Dacus of F Company).

On June 30, 1865, the Third Arkansas Cavalry was mustered out of service. During is service, one officer and fifteen enlisted men were killed in action or died of wounds. 176 men and one officer died of disease or other non-combat causes.

F Company was also discharged this date. Their Muster-Out Roll, a copy of which follows, shows 1 Officer Dismissed, 3 men killed in action. 2 missing after action. 12 died in hospital, and 23 are still carried as deserters, including James S. Nunnally, Jr., who had been dead for several months. They also list 2 Officers, 4 Non-coms and 20 provates. Previously 7 non-coms and 16 privates had been discharged.


Bitterness would last a long time. It would take a generation for some to forget. The Arkansas Gazette in August, 1866 best described the situation in Northwest Arkansas after the war:

Wasted farms, deserted cabins, lone chimneys marking
the sites where dwellings have been destroyed by fire,
and yards, gardens and fields overgrown with weeds and
bushes are everywhere within view. The Traveler
soon ceases to wonder when he sees the charred remains
of burnt buildings, and wonders rather when he beholds
a house yet standing that it did not disappear in
the general conflagration. Such was the terrible
intensity of the recent civil war ......... "



Capt. Bright W. Herring, Dismissed Oct. 15, 1864

John M. Wishard, 1st Lt.

Hiram Dacus, 2nd. Lt.

William Lyon, Sgt.

Marcus L. Satterfield, Corp.

Daniel A. Trobaugh, Blacksmith

Louis Miller, Saddler


Bomegarner, Thomas
Clanton, William
Campbell, Thomas J.
George, Harding W.
Hill, William A.
Hunt, Joel
Hunt, John C.
Haney, Clarence E.
Inman, Hesikiah J.
Ladd, Milton
Morse, John A.
McMillan, Jesse
Marney, Samuel
Nix, Isom
Prewette, William
Pledger, Simion
Sloan, James S.
Sloan, Thomas A.
Satterfield, Peter L.
Taylor, Thomas J.
Williams, Lewis




John T. Briggs , Sgt.
Ripley J. Woodward, Sgt.
Elisha A. Johnson, Sgt.
Milander McCurley, Sgt.
James M Cook, Cpl.
John R. Page, Cpl.
James M. Barrett, Cpl.


Barnett, Hugh M.
Choate , Thomas
Foster, Erastus S.
George, Robert
Guinn, Joseph
Huckaby, Kneland
Hames, Lemuel L.
Haines, William P.
Johnson, Burke
Ladd, Joseph
Morse, James A.
Morse, Henry
Morris, William A.
Stinnet, Joseph
Smith, William
Tate, Jame M.


Hampton Taylor, Pvt., Killed Nov. 1, 1864
Norton Fox, Pvt., 18 Dec. 1864
Samuel Picking, Pvt.


Dees, Griffin
Jones, Thomas




Crabtree, Joseph
Cannon, George W.
Cannon, John
Dees, Griffin
Gault, Joseph C.
Giger, John
Huckaby, Samuel G.
Page, Nathaniel
Scaggs, John
Taylor, Benjamin F.
Wysinger, James
Walker, William


Brewer, Joseph
Buchanan, John H.
Crownover, James
Crownover, John T.
Crownover, William
Dees, Alexander
Dowell, Noah.
George, James D.
Giger, George F.
Grey, William
Haney, Thadeus
Ivey, John
Johnson, Burk
Mills, Charles B.
Mills, John A.
Nurmally, James S.
Powers, Lewis
Rainey, Frances
Thomas, James
White, Francis

Some names of deserters illegible, Some deserted at times other than September 7, 1864.


The above research, written by Paul P. Steed, Jr. is entitled Arkansas Fed.

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