"The Attacks on Waldron" Arkansas 1863

Rusk County Avengers

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South of Fort Smith is a little town called Waldron, nestled in the Ouachita Mountains in a little valley with a little river no one has ever heard of. I've never looked into the CW history of that area, but have passed through a few times. I mainly ever remember it because between Mena and Waldron, is a little community called "Y City" and has some beautiful country.

I kind of got curious about the CW in that area, after James N. brought up the region in another thread, which I thought was almost non-existent due to the mountains acting as a shield to SW Arkansas much like Van Dorn and Hindman used the Boston Mountains as a shield for Fort Smith and the Arkansas River Valley. I found this so far:

Waldron, Attacks on - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Anyone else know anything about this? Or the war in the Ouachitas at all? Apparently Ed Bearss wrote an article about it, making me wonder if his old book on Fort Smith might hold clues. Nearest Battle to the region of good size would probably be the Battle of Devil's Backbone, which I think the States of Arkansas and Oklahoma are still arguing which State it was fought in.

I've done got curious, and I'm sure it might be of interest to other folks. Especially if they've run around the area, which sorry I don't have pictures as I'm always just passing through. Anyone who's seen the area would know that place would be a nightmare to fight a CW battle or even skirmish in. Unless you were playing defense....
 

James N.

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... Anyone else know anything about this? Or the war in the Ouachitas at all? Apparently Ed Bearss wrote an article about it, making me wonder if his old book on Fort Smith might hold clues. Nearest Battle to the region of good size would probably be the Battle of Devil's Backbone, which I think the States of Arkansas and Oklahoma are still arguing which State it was fought in.

I've done got curious, and I'm sure it might be of interest to other folks. Especially if they've run around the area, which sorry I don't have pictures as I'm always just passing through. Anyone who's seen the area would know that place would be a nightmare to fight a CW battle or even skirmish in. Unless you were playing defense....
It does, and following my trip to the area last October I got and read it. I mean to put in a review because it's very good indeed, but a little short on detail like you would want. There ARE a few Oklahoma historical roadside markers in the region that at least point out the basics.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Coffeeville, TX
I've been combing through the OR's on the war south of Fort Smith, which was still pretty unsettled. There seems to have been some very interesting happenings in the small towns throughout the Ouachita Mountain region.

Mt. Ida, Caddo Gap, and several other regions all seem to have seen very interesting activity. Both Bushwhackers vs. Federals, Confederate Cavalry vs. Federals, and apparently a bunch of "Mountain Feds" forted up on Magazine Mountain SE of Fort Smith and had to be rescued by Federal troops.

I'm just surprised I never knew any of this. There needs to be books on it....
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Coffeeville, TX
Guess we can learn something everyday. I had read about Massard Prairie and Ft Smith and heard about the Devil's Backbone, but the actions at Waldron were new. Thanks for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas link. It will be a handy reference for Arkansas in the CW.

This has done turned into a whole new world of CW research for me. I knew of Massard Prairie and Devil's Backbone, I think most T-M readers know of them, and that's all you'd think there was. But it seems a lot more went on.

Mount Ida Expedition - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

Caddo Mill, Skirmish at - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

After Prairie Grove and the fall of Fort Smith, you think its all over in Western Arkansas, and nothing going on in the Ouachitas besides bushwhacking and nothing else ever happened, but that region seems to have been busy. And considering the terrain, (beautiful region!), that makes it a LOT more interesting.

Next time I pass through there, I think I'm gonna hit some local museums just to see if any local authors have written any books on this theater of the war. This seems to be a truly forgotten theater.
 

Rusk County Avengers

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Location
Coffeeville, TX
OR's copy on the Mt. Ida skirmish, and another little fight right outside Waldron against Texas Cavalry:

Skirmish at Mount Ida, Ark. (argenweb.net)

Hahn's Farm, Skirmish at - Encyclopedia of Arkansas

More or less putting them in case I forget them. Waldron, and the Ouachita Mountain region of Arkansas might not have had any big battles, or any smaller battles outside of Devil's Backbone, (closer to Fort Smith), but this area was a busy little side show to the war.

Also funny story, looking over pictures trying to get clues of the war in the area I realized I have stopped by Queen Wilhelmina State Park outside Mena and run around the area besides just passing through. When I was kid the family went by there when there was a zoo up there, and in person I'd be happy to relate the story of the most epic beating I remember seeing someone take. At the hands of Chimps....
 

James N.

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... Also funny story, looking over pictures trying to get clues of the war in the area I realized I have stopped by Queen Wilhelmina State Park outside Mena and run around the area besides just passing through. When I was kid the family went by there when there was a zoo up there, and in person I'd be happy to relate the story of the most epic beating I remember seeing someone take. At the hands of Chimps....
A side note to the area around Mena that I relatively recently discovered is that nearby a few miles to the SE was another town, now long gone, Dallas. It apparently was the county seat at the time and was large enough to raise an artillery battery in 1861, though I don't know where they got their guns, but presumably the Little Rock Arsenal which had been seized before secession. This battery was commanded by a Captain Hart and served along with Good's Texas Battery, BOTH being known as The Dallas Artillery and serving in the division commanded by Ben McCullough at Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern Mar. 7-8, 1862. In the battle there, Good's battery suffered several casualties and was running low on ammunition, leaving the field to be replaced by Hart's which was soon overrun, losing a caisson and limber in their retreat. Hart was court-martialed by Earl Van Dorn for the loss, though he was subsequently acquitted and assumed command of another Arkansas battery, only to have it surrendered at Arkansas Post in Jan., 1863.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
A side note to the area around Mena that I relatively recently discovered is that nearby a few miles to the SE was another town, now long gone, Dallas. It apparently was the county seat at the time and was large enough to raise an artillery battery in 1861, though I don't know where they got their guns, but presumably the Little Rock Arsenal which had been seized before secession. This battery was commanded by a Captain Hart and served along with Good's Texas Battery, BOTH being known as The Dallas Artillery and serving in the division commanded by Ben McCullough at Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern Mar. 7-8, 1862. In the battle there, Good's battery suffered several casualties and was running low on ammunition, leaving the field to be replaced by Hart's which was soon overrun, losing a caisson and limber in their retreat. Hart was court-martialed by Earl Van Dorn for the loss, though he was subsequently acquitted and assumed command of another Arkansas battery, only to have it surrendered at Arkansas Post in Jan., 1863.

I knew I heard of them somewhere. I'm usually hesitant to share Wikipedia pages due to accuracy issues, but when it comes to Arkansas militia and regular units the articles are top shelf. I have a lingering suspicion that the Arkansas National; Guard historians for their museum are responsible as the articles on Wikipedia are identical to ones I've seen them publish.

I know their pages on Arkansas artillery units are mostly beyond reproach from experience.

2nd Arkansas Field Battery - Wikipedia
 
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