Arkansas


Regnat populus
Arkansas declared its succession from the Union on May 6, 1861. Arkansas formed some 48 infantry regiments for the Confederate Army in addition to numerous cavalry and artillery battery units. A conservative estimate is that one eighth of the male population of Arkansas died and another eighth were permanently disabled during the Civil War. The four year Civil War comprised the greatest human and economic disaster in Arkansas history.

John McCoy Taylor

By Danella Dickson

John McCoy Taylor was born in 1846 in Tishomingo County, Mississippi, the son of George Hiram and Keziah Euphronius Seay Taylor. In 1850 the family was living in Itawamba County, Mississippi but prior to 1860 they relocated to Carroll County, Arkansas.

John enlisted in August 1862 at the age of sixteen, in Company A, 3rd (Adams) Regiment Arkansas State Troops. This unit had been authorized by the governor with a special agreement specifying that these new troops would not be transferred out of the state of Arkansas by Confederate authorities. John’s military career did not start well; in early December of 1862 the regiment was sent to Washington County in northwest Arkansas where Confederate and Union forces met at almost equal strength to battle for control of that section of Arkansas. The battle began at dawn on December 7th, that afternoon the 3rd Arkansas Regiment was ordered into battle. They were first placed in a gap between two other regiments facing the 26th Indiana Regiment, when the Hoosier fell back the regiment climbed over the fence and advanced through the orchard. As they moved forward they ran into heavy fire from the 37th Illinois some of whom were armed with Colt revolving rifles. The regiment broke, many of the officers going with the men. At the end of the day the battle ended with both armies suffering about the same number of causalities. During the night the Confederates quietly withdrew because of a lack of ammunition and food.

The 3rd (Adams) Arkansas Regiment retreat in battle was a disgrace and as a result the regiment disbanded by special order of Lt. General Holmes. The remaining members of the regiment were transferred to General Cabell. John served the remainder of the war in Company A, Harrell’s Battalion. This unit saw light duty in the Camden, Arkansas area and was then involved in Price’s Missouri operations. According to John’s pension application he was honorably discharged June 14, 1865. (The war ended April 9, 1865)

Following the war John and a friend walked to Texas where he settled near Athens. Later his widowed mother and other family members left their homes in Carroll County, Arkansas and moved to Texas. John married Louvina Johnson June 29, 1866 in Titus County, Texas. They were the parents of three children. John supported his family by farming in Titus County and later in Hood County. Louvina died prior to June 1880, John was listed on the Hood County census with his three children and an orphaned nephew, James Roberts. John married Narcissus Hammack October 1, 1880 in Hood County, Texas.

Apparently John spent the remainder of his life dividing his time between Texas and Arkansas. He was listed on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Ellis County, Texas census. On June 18, 1904 John filed for a Confederate pension from the state of Arkansas. In a sworn statement he recalled the battle at Prairie Grove and said of the original sixty three members of his company nineteen were wounded or killed. During the battle John was struck in the left breast by a piece of bomb shell. The effects of the injury were described by a physician who mentioned that John’s heart was slightly displaced leaving him with a disability. The pension was approved for $25.00 a year, increased in 1907 to $75.00 and in 1911 to $100.00. Since John’s military service was with a Arkansas state unit he would have been ineligible to draw a pension in Texas.

John McCoy Taylor died in 1925 and is buried in Files Valley Cemetery, Hill County, Texas next to his wife Narcissus who had died in 1901.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

George Washington Taylor

By Danella Dickson

George Washington Taylor was born April 25, 1840 in Mississippi, the son of George Hiram and Keziah Euphronius Seay Taylor. The family moved from Mississippi to Carroll County, Arkansas between 1850 and 1860.

George Washington Taylor married Rachel Sneed about 1865 in Carroll County, Arkansas. The couple was the parents of seven children and made their home in Carroll County.

In July 1901 Rachel Sneed Taylor filed an application for a Confederate Widow’s Pension from the state of Arkansas. In the application Rachel stated she was the widow of George Taylor who had served as a soldier in the Army of the Confederate States, being a member of Harold (Harrell’s) Regiment of Cavalry from the state of Arkansas; that he was honorably discharged about May 1865. She further stated that she did not own property, real or person, in excess of the value of $400.00 and that her husband died after the close of the war. As proof of service sworn statements from William Usrey and Joe Bishop.* were included. Both men verified that George Taylor had served in Company A, Harold (Harrell’s) Regiment, that he had served from the spring of 1863 to 1865 and was honorably discharged. The application was approved by the state pension board for the specified amount of $50.00 per year.

George Washing Taylor is reported to have died about 1881. That same source reported he went through the Civil War without getting a scratch only to die when thrown from a horse and hitting his head on a tree stump. George is buried in the Taylor Cemetery, Carroll County, Arkansas. Rachel died November 9, 1917 in Carroll County and is buried beside her husband.

Note – Sgt. William Ussery and Cpl. Joseph W. Bishop both served in Harrell’s Battalion Arkansas Cavalry. This company first served in 3rd Adam’s Regiment Arkansas State Troops which was disbanded and the men transferred to the command of Gen. Cabell of which Harrell’s Battalion was a part. There is no record of a unit called Harold so it seems the name was mis-spelled on the application.
No military records have been found for George Washington Taylor, the pension application is the only source of information.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

James Anderson Taylor

By Danella Dickson

James Anderson Taylor was born June 18, 1835 in Tennessee, the son of George Hiram and Keziah Euphronius Seay Taylor. The family migrated west with stops in Mississippi before settling in Carroll County, Arkansas prior to 1860.

James is believed to have enlisted in August 9 1862 in Company A, 3rd (Adam’s) Regiment Arkansas State Troops.In early December 1862 the regiment was sent to Washington County in Northwest Arkansas where the Confederate and Union forces met to battle for control of that section of Arkansas. James survived the battle of Prairie Grove and the only remaining muster roll records his transfer from Adam’s Regiment by special order of Lieut. General Holmes to the command of General Cabell. This regiment became Harrell’s Arkansas Cavalry, Cabell’s Brigade, Trans- Mississippi. The regiment saw light duty in Camden, Arkansas, and then was involved in Price’s Missouri operations, the unit disbanded during the spring of 1865.

James married Martha Jane Hulsey about 1861 probably in Carroll County, Arkansas. They were the parents of twelve children and made their home in Carroll County and then in Baxter County Arkansas. James supported his family by farming but in later years became a Church of Christ minister. He is said to have pastored several churches in the community of Mountain Home, Baxter County, Arkansas. James died July 27, 1909 as reported in his obituary that was published in the Baxter Bulletin July 30, 1909, “Elder Taylor who lived north of Mt. Home, died on Tuesday night (July 27). He was over 70 years old and a very popular preacher of this county. He leaves many relatives, a wife and family as well as many friends to mourn for him.” James Anderson Taylor was buried in Reeds Grove Cemetery. When Martha died in 1928 she was buried beside James. At some later date stones were placed on the two graves but an incorrect death date of July 29, 1911 was engraved on James’s stone.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

Benjamin Franklin Taylor

By Danella Dickson

Benjamin Franklin Taylor was born in 1843 in Mississippi, the son of George Hiram and Keziah Euphronias Seay Taylor. The family was living in Itawamba County, Mississippi in 1850 but prior to 1860 had relocated to Carroll County, Arkansas.

Benjamin enlisted August 9, 1862 in Company E, 3rd (Adam’s) Arkansas State Troops. This unit had been authorized by the governor of Arkansas by specifying that these new troops would not be transferred out of the state of Arkansas by Confederate authorities. In Early December, 1862 the regiment was sent to Washington County in northwest Arkansas where Confederate and Union forces of almost equal strength met to battle for control of that section of Arkansas. The Battle of Prairie Grove began at dawn on December 7th, that afternoon the 3rd Arkansas Regiment was ordered into battle. They were first placed in a gap between two other regiments facing the 26th Indiana Regiment, when the Hoosiers fell back the regiment climbed over the fence and advanced through the orchard. As they moved forward they were met with heavy fire from the 37th Illinois some of whom were armed with Colt revolving rifles. The regiment broke, many of the officers going with the men. At the end of the day the battle ended with both armies suffering about the same number of causalities. During the night the Confederates quietly withdrew because of a lack of ammunition and food.

The 3rd (Adams) Arkansas Regiment retreat in battle was a disgrace and as a result the regiment was disbanded by special order of Lieut. General Holmes. On December 17, 1862 Benjamin was reassigned to Shaler’s Regiment Arkansas Infantry, also known as the 27th Regiment Arkansas Infantry. Shaler’s Regiment was also at Prairie Grove, but did not become actively involved in the fighting because the regiment was without arms.
The 27th took part in most of the principal battles fought in the Trans-Mississippi among which was the Battle of Bayou Fourche, the Battle of Pleasant Hill and the Battle of Jenkins Ferry. The regiment was sent to Louisiana in July 1863 to support Confederate operations against General Grant’s forces laying siege to Vicksburg. They returned to Arkansas in August 1863 and were involved in the defense of Little Rock September 10, 1863. The regiment surrendered with the Department of Trans- Mississippi May 26, 1865..

Benjamin Franklin Taylor died during the war, sometime after he was transferred to the 27th Regiment. There is no record of when he died or where.

Courtesy of J.B. and Ramona Roberts

Cpl. George Cheatham

by Matthew Aparicio

George Washington Cheatham was born in the year 1828 in Smith County, Tennessee. He married Mary Elizabeth Crawford(1838-1914). Together they had three children.

George enlisted for service in the Confederate Army on 25 April 1862, in Angelina County, Texas. He served in the 18th Reg’t Texas Infantry also known as Ochiltree’s. Cpl. Cheatham’s last roster call dated on Dec. 1862 stated that he was sick in a Little Rock Hospital. There were many men from Camp Hope (also know as Camp Nelson), in many makeshift hospitals in the vicinity of Little Rock.

It is most likely that he died in the St. John’s College Hospital. With his last known location as Little Rock, he is most likely buried in the mass grave In the Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas. This is the gravesite of 900 soldiers most of whom died in Little Rock, AR. hospitals.