The Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, C.S.A.

The Old Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA
The Army of the West

Military Research
Montgomery Co. ARGenWeb Project

Only a few survived to return to Arkansas, to face the hardships of the Reconstruction Period

4th Arkansas Infantry CO. A - E
McNair's Brigade CSA - 4th Arkansas Regiment  index
Civil War Poetry

Gammage,. W.L. The Camp, the Bivouac, and the Battlefield : being the history of the Fourth Arkansas Regiment, from its first organization down to the present date; Its Campaigns and its Battles with an occasional reference to the current events of the times, including biographical sketches of its field officers and others of the "old brigade." The whole interspersed here and there with descriptions of scenery, incident[s] of camp life, etc. / 1864 Selma / Little Rock : Arkansas Southern Press, 1958. 150 pp, 1 fold map.  Available via interlibrary loan. Contains the muster rolls of the companies with the demise of each soldier. W. L.  GAMMAGE, Surgeon - Enl 17 August 1861 at Mt Vernon, MO. Senior surgeon of the brigade.

Dr. Washington Lafayette Gammage b.1827 AL, graduated from University of Louisville medical school in 1848 - 1849, the senior surgeon of the Regiment, was with the Fourth Arkansas from its onset and participated in all its toils, its marches, its triumphs and its disasters. He kept a journal during the war and in 1864 before the war ended published "The Camp, the Bivouac, and the Battlefield" which covers the regimental history until December 1863. Gammage survived the war but was killed in an accident in Mobile, Alabama while on his way home to Cherokee Co., Texas in 1863. News of his death never reached his home county. 1850 census

Gammage wrote page 7: "what pen yet has told of the sufferings and toils and privations, the patriotism and heroism and deathless courage, the daring and gallant conduct and the chivalry of the humble musketeer, who, with scant rations and scantier pay has toiled and marched and suffered and bled in his country's cause, much of the time with clothes so tattered and torn that the bleak winds of winter whistled through the rents of immunity, and  the hard and stony earth, on more than one weary march, bore bloody evidence of their blistered and naked feet. - Alas, how many of these gallant dead have gone from the ranks of their company, unknown to the world, pierced by the enemy's rifle

"And left upon the field of battle,
Moaning out all alone the death-rattle."

page 59     26 Oct. 1862
"But saddest of all, we have watched her brave boys falling out of the ranks by sickness, and the enemy's bullets, never to answer the roll call, or turn out with musket and bayonet at the long roll of the drum which calls to arms, until now more than half the number of those who joined at the first enlistment, are either sleeping that last sleep which knows no waking this side of eternity, or are broken down by disease, or crippled by the loss of a limb for life."

Arkansas seceded from the North 6th May 1861.  Eight companies of infantry were raised southwestern Arkansas and arrived around the 16 August 1861 at Millers Spring in Lawrence Co. Missouri. On 17 August they were sworn into Confederate service. Companies A through H. 668 men. Officers were elected.
Colonel: McNAIR, Evander from Hempstead Co.
Major: MAY, James H. from Montgomery Co.
Its colonel, Evander McNair, was promoted to brigadier-general and earned enviable fame early in the war.  Born 1820 in Richmond City, VA.
McNair died in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, on November 13, 1902 and is buried at Magnolia Cemetery in Pike Co. Magnolia, Mississippi.  Campaigns: Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge, Richmond (KY), Stone's River, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Price's Missouri Raid.

On 18 August marched to Mt. Vernon, Missouri where the following commissioned and non-commissioned staff officers were appointed:
Surgeon of the Regiment: GAMMAGE, W.L. of Texas (Mrs S.E. Gammage of Travis Co. TX applied for a pension.)
Assistant Surgeon: JONES, F.N. of Arkansas
A.C. Quartermaster: WALKER, George W. An Englishman
Adjutant: GRANT, Nathaniel Lieutenant of company C. Montgomery Co.
Chaplain: BLACK, B.B. of Washington Co.
Sergeant-Major: JOHNSON, Needham O.S. of company E.
Fife Major: PRINCE, Wm. H. private of company E.
Drum Major: KNOX, Wm. W.  private of company E.
Forage Master: BOSTICK, John of company C. Montgomery Co.
Wagon Master: HARMON, Thos private of company H., Polk Co.
Quartermaster Sergeant: BLACK, Warren private of company A., Calhoun Co.
Commissary sergeant: BEARD, John private of company B., of Washington
Quartermaster's Clerk: FERGUSON, of Washington
Hospital Steward: KERR, Dr. E.W. private of company B, Hempstead Co.

Home Counties of the C.S.A. 4th Arkansas Regiment. Go to muster rolls.Two more companies, K from Calhoun Co. and I from Polk Co. joined then on 29 November to make a full regiment. The CSA was made up of divisions, divided into corps then brigades and subdivided into regiments or battalions. Ten companies to a regiment. Companies were approximately 100 men.

Company F did organize at Mount Ida and march to Miller's Springs, Missouri, but the other companies organized in their respective counties and marched separately to Miller's Springs, Lawrence county, Missouri, where the regiment was organized on August 17, 1861 and sworn in by by Lieut. Col. Dandridge McRea:.

Co. A   78 men Calhoun Escopets (Calhoun County)
Co. B   91men Hempstead Hornets (Hempstead County)
Co. C   79 men Caddo Rifles (Montgomery County)
Co. D   73 men Bright Star Rifles (Lafayette County)
Co. E   96 men Confederate Guards (Hempstead County)
Co. F   94 men Montgomery Hunters (Montgomery County)
Co. G   88 men Pike County Blues (Pike County)
Co. H  64 men Polk County Invincibles (Polk County)
Co. I    51 men Polk Rifles (Polk County)
Co. K  64 men Calhoun Invincibles (Calhoun County)

An eleventh company was temporarily attached-- Kelley's Co.—Pike County Rangers (Pike County)

Prior to the Civil War people rarely traveled more than forty miles from home. Most of these units were raised within a two and threes county area. Each unit was composed of the soldier's friends, neighbors and relatives. Enlistment continued throughout the war.  Men were lost men to illness, accidents, desertion as well as battle injuries. The 4th's first campaign was at Elk Horn Tavern, known as Pea Ridge by the Union forces.

What kind of guns did they have? Some of the companies were armed with double-barreled shot-guns. Cartridge boxes, bayonets, cap-boxes and belts were almost unknown in the command.
Companies A and B: The best shot-guns Gammage had seen.
Companies C, D, F, and G: Squirrel rifles.
Company E: Flint-lock muskets.
Company H: Hall rifles, a breech-loading gun with the cock in front, nicknamed the old saw mill by the boys.

Transportation: Two four or six mule wagons hardly sufficient to carry all the baggage the boys brought from home. e.g. home-made tents and quilts, pots and pans, coffee pots and skillets.

4th's Battles    State	Date             	Casualties 
Elkhorn     	AR 	Mar 7, 8 1862         	K5,W36,M14,DW10     
Richmond     	KY 	Aug 31 1862         	K4,W14,DW3 
Jackson     	MS 	Jul 12 1863        	K4,W10
Chickamauga 	TN 	Sep 19 20 1863        	K10,W37,M8,DW2
Murfreesboro 	TN 	Dec 31& Jan 2 1863    	K10,W57,M7,DW7
Resaca     	GA 	May 13 14 15 1864
New Hope Church GA 	May 29 to Jun 3 1864
Kennesaw     	GA 	Jun 17 to Jul 3 1864
Moore's Mill 	GA 	Jul 19 1864
Peach Tree Ck.  GA 	Jul 20 1864
Atlanta     	GA	Jul 22 1864
Ezra Church 	GA	Jul 28 1864
Jonesboro    	GA	Aug 31 1864
Lovejoy Station GA   	Aug 20 1864
Moon Station 		Oct 3 1864
Franklin     	TN 	Nov 30 1864
Nashville     	TN 	Dec 15 16 1864
Sugar Creek    		Dec 26 1864
Averyborough    NC	Mar 14 1865
Bentonville    	NC 	Mar 19 1865

Victories     Civil War Battle Summaries by State

illed, Wounded, Missing, Died of Wounds

"On the Battery" by Andy Thomas. Fighting rages around Elkhorn Tavern.

"ON THE BATTERY"  by Andy Thomas
The original painting 40" x 60" is on display in the Battlefield Visitors Center at the Pea Ridge National Battlefield in Pea Ridge, AR. 

Brig. General Albert Pike commandeered one of Brig. Gen. Ben McCulloch's two regiments of Confederate Cherokee Indians who fought at Elkhorn. They marched west of Elkhorn Mt. and Round Top and saw exhaustive action on March 7, 1862.   The dead of both armies at Elkhorn (Pea Ridge) were buried on the battlefield.  After the war their bodies were removed to cemeteries at Fayetteville, Arkansas and Springfield, Missouri.

How far did they have to march in one year?
Date From To Distance -miles Remarks
17 Aug 1861 Mt. Ida, AR Miller Springs, Missouri 261 The existing 4th Arkansas Regiment (in Pearce's division) was a State Troops regiment, mustered into State service for 90 days. The regiment organized at Miller's Springs was mustered directly into Confederate service for twelve months, and was the fourth regiment to do so, following Fagan's 1st Arkansas, Hindman's 2nd Arkansas, and Rust's 3rd Arkansas.
18 Aug 1861 Miller Springs Mt. Vernon, MO
31st Aug -5 Sep Mt. Vernon Washington Co. AR 34
14 Oct  -19 Oct Washington Co. Carthage, MO
20 Oct -22 Oct Carthage, MO Pineville, MO 47  
25 Oct -27 Oct Pineville Benton Co. AR 46  
29 Nov Benton Co. AR Benton Co. AR Winter quarters
16 Feb - 17 1862 Benton Co. AR Cross Hollows, AR  
19 Feb Cross Hollows Hog Eye 8 m s. Fayetteville
20 Feb Hog Eye Boston Mtn  
4 Mar Boston Mtn 6   
5 Mar Fayetteville Elm Springs 14  
6 Mar -7 Mar Elm Springs Elk Horn Tavern 28 via Bentonville
8 Mar - Elk Horn Tavern Van Buren 85 retreat.  Captain Simpson was mortally wounded in the
battle of Elkhorn, and First Lieut. J. W. Lavender became captain.
1 Apr -20 Apr Van Buren Little Rock 150 via Clarksville
  Little Rock Memphis 140 "Melton Brown" steamboat
-4 May Memphis Corinth, MS 100 in cars. Reg. reorganized 8 May
- 2 Jun Corinth, MS Baldwin   retreat
- 6 Jun Baldwin Tupelo, MS   via Blackland
30 Jun Tupelo, MS Chattanooga   Mobile & Ohio R R to Mobile
7 Aug -8 Aug Chattanooga Barboursville, 36 Cumberland Mtn - rough country
- 29 Aug Barboursville Cumberland Ford    
31 Aug 1862 Cumberland Ford Richmond, Ky 14 m., 3 battles  
1 Sep- 4 Sep Richmond Lexington, Ky 24  

The Fourth reorganized at Tupelo, MS. where the men signed up for three years of service or until the duration of the war, whichever came first.  A few chose to return home instead of re-enlisting.  Very few men came back who went east of the Mississippi as they saw a great deal of military action.

The flag not only carries the name of the state but alo the battlefields where they fought together."Uncles, cousins, brothers, in-laws, and neighbors fought together. That's why they were so proud of their regimental flag"

The Regimental Flag has not been located. It was not among those returned to Arkansas by the US government.  Sergeant Jesse Garrett the color bearer was shot and killed at Murfresboro. Lt. B.F. Logan took his place and suffered a leg wound which resulted in his death at the hospital. He in turn was replaced by Lt. G.D. Goodner who was also seriously wounded. Capt. Lavender witnessed the flag fall and raised it himself. Just as he salvaged the "Regimental Collors" at the Battle of Murfresboro  the staff was cut in half just above his head. Bill Carroll of Co. C. beating a hasty retreat rushed passed and said "Hell, this is no time to wait for company." "The Flag was shot almost to strings" Capt. John W. Lavender.

Our ancestors looked to flags as symbols of hope and strength. Battle flags absorbed the blood, sweat, and smoke of war and often did not survive capture. Poor storage conditions and early conservation efforts often affected those flags that were saved. Particles of dirt and blood taken from flags today can reveal how, when, and where the flag was used. Such studies can reconfirm what is known about the history of a flag or uncover new data that calls into question a flag's history and even its authenticity. Confederate soldiers went to great lengths to save their flags. This is one of the reasons why their are many Civil War Confederate flags today.

Through the end of the Civil War, women generally sewed the flags that soldiers carried into battle. In the absence of standardized patterns, each flag was unique  made from the materials then available. Silk, the most accepted choice, held dye and flew well. However, it was fragile, expensive, and not often available in Arkansas so women made flags from homespun cotton or wool or their silk dresses, dresses worn by the wives and daughters of the soldiers in the regiment. Flags today remain an expression of unity.

The Georgia Campaign
"Well we kept them Back but nothing but the Feds Bullets Could keep our Men a wake as we had been up two nights and days without sleep and on the Move nearly all the time and But little to eat" Capt. John W. Lavender

Consolidation: End of August 1863, the 31st Arkansas Regiment of Infantry was consolidated with the old fourth, and the 4th Arkansas Battalion. Company C and D of the 4th Arkansas formed one company, under the company of Captain Coatney. Companies F; G;  H; and I of the same regiment into one company, under the command of Captain Lavender.  All companies of the 31st into two companies.   Col. H.G. Bunn commanded the Consolidated Regiment.  Lieut. - Colonel May resigned 24 August.

Colonel Henry Gaston Bunn was in command of the brigade when it surrendered near Greensboro, North Carolina, April 26th, 1865. At the out break of the war Bunn had enlisted in Co. A. of the Fourth Arkansas Infantry and was promoted from time to time.

Evander McNair b.1820 Laurel Hill, Richmond Co., NC. Brigadier-General Evander McNair became colonel of the Fourth Arkansas regiment on August 17, 1861. The first experience of this regiment in battle was at Wilson's Creek, Mo., where the Confederates gained a signal victory. At the battle of Pea Ridge, when General McCulloch was killed and Col. Louis Hebert captured, Colonel McNair took command of the brigade. 

When Price and his army of the West crossed the Mississippi to the support of the Confederate army that had just fought the battle of Shiloh, the Arkansas troops formed a part of his force. On July 31st, Bragg and Kirby Smith met at Chattanooga and planned the Kentucky campaign. Price and Van Dorn were left to confront Grant in north Mississippi.

Bragg took Churchill's division, consisting of the brigades of McCray and McNair, and then sent them to Kirby Smith, who with his wing of the army pushed rapidly into the bluegrass region, utterly defeating the Union army at Richmond. In the desperate battle that here occurred, McNair's brigade turned the enemy's right and contributed to the rout that followed.

On November 4, 1862, Colonel McNair was commissioned brigadier-general. His brigade embraced the following Arkansas troops, the First and Second dismounted rifles, Fourth and Thirtieth infantry regiments, Fourth infantry battalion, and Humphreys' battery of artillery.

On the 31st of December, McNair's brigade took part in the brilliant charge of McCown's division, which, aided by Withers and Cheatham, drove the Federal right a distance of between three and four miles, bending it back upon the center, until the line was at right angles to its original position.

In May, McNair's brigade was sent from the army of Tennessee to reinforce the army forming under Joseph E. Johnston for the relief of Vicksburg. These troops were in the subsequent movements and engagements around Jackson, Miss. At Chickamauga, McNair's was one of the eight brigades which, under Longstreet's direction, rushed through the gap in the Federal line and put one wing of the Union army to rout. 

In this battle McNair was wounded. He and his brigade were sent back to Mississippi after the battle of Chickamauga, and in 1864 he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi department, in which he continued to serve until the close of the war. Source: Confederate Military History, vol. XIV, p. 406

References: (both books are available by interlibrary loan)
Gammage, W.L. The Camp, the Bivouac, and the Battlefield
Lavendar, Captain John W.  1837-1921. The War Memoirs of Captain John W. Lavender, CSA  The Southern Press, 1956. Sub title: They Never Came Back, the story of Co. F. Fourth Arkansas Infantry, CSA, originally known as the Montgomery Hunters, as told by their commanding officer. Edited by Ted R. Worley. Pine Bluff, Ark., W. M. Hackett and D.R. Perdue, {1956] "Transcription...from a microfilm copy of the original narrative." 158pp.

Suggested Reading:
Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front edited by Daniel E. Sutherland 
Civil War in Arkansas-beyond Battles and Leaders edited by Anne Bailey and Daniel Sutherland.