Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Arkansas Mounted Rifles

The First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles were two Confederate regiments of Arkansas troops organized shortly after the beginning of the Civil War near Bentonville by Brigadier General Ben McCulloch. He intended the mounted rifles as a unique brigade that could not only ride as cavalry but also dismount and fight as infantry, and he also felt they would make excellent scouts, since they were familiar with the territory.
The two regiments first saw significant action at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. The First Arkansas Mounted Rifles under Colonel Thomas J. Churchill was in the thick of the fight, and the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles under the command of Colonel James McIntosh saw action on the Confederate right. The latter men jumped a fence and drove off an attack by Federal troops under General Franz Sigel, capturing a Union cannon in the process.
The Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, again dismounted, also saw action on the first day of the Battle of Pea Ridge. The First Arkansas Mounted Rifles did not, and neither regiment saw action on the second day of the battle. Both General McCulloch and Colonel McIntosh were killed at Pea Ridge, and General Earl Van Dorn, commanding all the Southern forces there, reorganized McCulloch’s Arkansas Division, including the Arkansas Mounted Rifles, as the First Division under General Sterling Price.
The First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles continued to serve throughout the Civil War. Other engagements where one or both saw action include the Battle of Farmington (Mississippi), the Battle of Richmond and the Battle of Perryville during the Kentucky Campaign, the Battle of Murfreesboro, the Battle of Chickamauga (where the Arkansas Mounted Rifles earned acclaim for their valor), and numerous engagements against Union general William Sherman in an attempt to stave off his invasion of the South.


Blogger A.P. Hill said...

Thanks again Larry. You mentioned Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern battles. I am just now in the last stages of finishing up a 4'x 4' diorama, of the engagement along the Leetown road and Morgan's Woods and Oberson's Field. Unfortunately, no Arkansas Mounted Rifles units were specifically used in this area.


February 1, 2016 at 5:55 AM  

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