April 2, 1863

April 2, 2013

One hundred fifty years ago, on April 2, 1863, the commander of a Union expedition into northern Arkansas had his hands full:
Carrollton, April 2, 1863.
I am enveloped in a cloud of guerrillas. They are firing into my forage trains. One of the drivers will, I presume, die of his wounds. A small reconnoitering party I sent to Huntsville could not reach there; was driven back. Marmaduke was at the rebel camp on Crooked Creek a few days ago. I have a lot of prisoners; some just from the Arkansas River. From them and from Colonel Kent, who has spies out, and from the whole country, I believe that some movement on the part of the rebels is imminent. Price and Kirby Smith are at Little Rock, making every exertion to fill up their ranks. Price is writing everywhere that he will move north as soon as grass grows. Marmaduke has sent a party of some thousand men to Vera Cruz, Mo. The boldness with which the guerrillas hang around my camp, coupled with information received, and the behavior of the secession inhabitants, all convince me that we had better prepare for another invasion. Of course, movements of our armies elsewhere being unknown to me, may change this programme. I find forage in great abundance as yet, and can remain in this country for some time. I want more cavalry just now. The Arkansas troops would be invaluable if over here, so that I might throw them out south. Prisoners state Marmaduke’s forces were to assemble at Yellville on the 1st of April. I sent a party in that direction while we were over attacking the rebel camp at Crooked Creek. They had two reconnoitering parties examining my camp. Vegetation here is very forward; animals can live now upon the grass. I am thrashing corn, so as to deposit it at Forsyth. Let us make the fight that is approaching in Arkansas. If we gain a victory, we have the State. Marmaduke can now be bagged if some force is moved against his front. I take him in the rear.
Yours, respectfully,
Colonel, Commanding.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

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