27th Arkansas Infantry Regiment

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27th Arkansas Infantry (Confederate)
Flag of Arkansas.svg
Arkansas state flag
Active July 1862– May 26, 1865
Country Confederate States of America
Allegiance Dixie CSA
Branch Infantry
Size Regiment
Engagements

American Civil War

Disbanded May 26, 1865
Arkansas Confederate Infantry Regiments
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26th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 28th Arkansas Infantry Regiment

The 27th Arkansas Infantry Regiment (1862–1865) was a Confederate Army infantry regiment during the American Civil War. The unit served entirely in the Department of the Trans-Mississippi and eventually surrendered at Marshall Texas at the end of the war.

Organization[edit]

27th Infantry Regiment was organized at Yellville, Arkansas, in July 1862, composed of a handful of companies of mounted volunteers, which were dismounted and reinforced with several companies of conscripts. James R. Shaler, a Missourian who had previously served in the Missouri State Guard, was appointed colonel of the new regiment. The field officers were Colonels Beal Gaither and James R. Shaler, and Lieutenant Colonels A. J. Magenis and James M. Riggs.[1][2] The unit was composed of companies from the following counties:[3]

    • Company A – Commanded by Captain Frederick T. Wood, organized on May 18, 1862 at Yellville, Marion County.
    • Company B (old) – Commanded by Captain Newton A. Evans, organized February 15, 1862 at Carrollton, Arkansas, Carroll County.
    • Company B (new) – Commanded by Captain T. A. Hartman, organized July 22, 1862 in Fulton County. This company contained many of the former members of Company F, Adams's Arkansas Infantry Regiment, which was disbanded following the Battle of Prairie Grove.
    • Company C (old) – Commanded by Captain Jacob O. R. Ruble, organized February 15, 1862, at Bellefonte, Carroll County.
    • Company C (new) – Commanded by Captain Unknown, organized in Izard County.
    • Company D – Commanded by Captain Beal Gaither, Jr, organized February 15, 1862 at Washington Barracks, Carroll County. This company contained many of the former members of Company B, Adams's Arkansas Infantry Regiment, which was disbanded following the Battle of Prairie Grove.
    • Company E – Commanded by Captain W. B. Flippin, organized June 18, 1862 in Marion County.
    • Company F – Commanded by Captain Waddy Thorpe Hunt, organized May 21, 1862 at Locust Grove, Searcy County. This unit contained many former members of the 45th Arkansas Militia Regiment.[4] This company also contained many of the former members of Company A, Adams's Arkansas Infantry Regiment.
    • Company G – Commanded by Captain Robert C. Mathews, organized May 18, 1862, Mount Olive, Izard County.
    • Company H – Commanded by Captain Thomas Morton, organized June 28, 1862, in Izard County.
    • Company I – Commanded by Captain James M. Riggs, organized July 6, 1862, at Richwoods, Izard County.
    • Company K – Commanded by Captain J. J. Coleman, organized June 28, 1862, at Yellville Marion County.

Battles[edit]

The 27th Arkansas participated in most of the principal battles fought in the Trans-Mississippi Department after September 1862, among which were the Battle of Prairie Grove, the Battle of Bayou Fourche, the Battle of Pleasant Hill, and the Battle of Jenkins Ferry.[citation needed]

The 27th Arkansas was initially was assigned to Colonel Robert G. Shaver's 2nd Brigade of Daniel M. Frost's 3rd Division of Major General Thomas C. Hindman's 1st Corps of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi for the Battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862. The other regiments in the brigade were the 27th, 38th, and Adams Arkansas Infantry Regiments. According to Colonel Robert G. Shaver's report on the Battle of Prairie Grove, the 27th, did not become actively engaged in the fighting at Prairie Grove because the regiment was without arms.[5]

After Prairie Grove the unit retreated to Van Buren, with the rest of Hindman's Army. On February 28, 1862, Brigadier General J. C. Tappan, formerly commander of the 13th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, was ordered to assume command of Shaver's brigade, consisting of the 38th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel Robert G. Shaver, the 27th Arkansas Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel James R. Shaler, and the 33rd Arkansas Infantry Regiment commanded by Colonel Hiram L. Grinstead. They remained with Tappan's Brigade through the remainder of the war. General Tappan was ordered to move his brigade to Louisiana to support General Richard Taylor's operations against General Grant's forces laying siege to Vicksburg Mississippi.[6] The 33rd spent the month of July 1863 in the vicinity of Delhi, Louisiana where they conducted raids on Federal interests between Delhi and the Mississippi River.[7] Tappan's brigade was ordered to return to Arkansas, via Pine Bluff, in August 1863.[8] The Tappan's Brigade and the 33rd Arkansas missed the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863, because of its operations in Louisiana.[7][7]

The 27th returned to Arkansas in August 1863, and was involved in the defense of Little Rock. In the first weeks of September, 1863, the 27th served in the Little Rock defenses near present-day North Little Rock. After General Price abandoned Little Rock on September 10, 1863, the 27th retreated down the Southwest Trail to Benton and on to the vicinity of Arkadelphia, while they spent the winter of 1863.[citation needed]

Colonel Shaler proved to be unpopular with his men and junior officers. Shaler was a Missourian and made several attempts to have the 27th added to a brigade of Missouri Troops. The regiment was eventually consolidated with Colonel Robert G. Shaver's 38th Arkansas Infantry Regiment. Because of this consolidation, and because of the similarities between the names Shaver and Shaler, several historian's have mistakenly reported that Colonel Robert Shaver was elected as commander of both regiments.[9]

Upon the launch of the Union Army’s Red River Campaign, seizing Alexandria, Louisiana and moving on Natchitoches and Shreveport, General Kirby Smith ordered Churchill's Arkansas Division which had most of his infantry (including Tappan's and Gause's brigades) south to Shreveport, Louisiana in early March, 1864 to assist in countering Union General Nathaniel Banks' advance along the Red River. Churchill’s division reached Keatchie, Louisiana in time to support Richard Taylor’s main force who routed Banks’ army in the Battle of Mansfield (Sabine Crossroads) on April 8, 1864. The next day, the Confederate forces united to attack the Union rear guard at Pleasant Hill on the afternoon of April 9. The Confederates had endured a long forced march from south central Arkansas to Mansfield, and another of ten hours to Pleasant Hill that day with only two hours’ rest. The Union troops held a formidable position, and although the Arkansans and Missourians fought valiantly, they were repulsed and retreated six miles to the nearest water.[citation needed]

After the battle of Pleasant Hill, Churchill's Division made a hasty return with General Kirby Smith back to Arkansas to assist General Price in dealing with the other half of the Red River campaign, Union General Frederick Steele's Camden Expedition moving southwest from Little Rock.[10] The Division and Tappan’s Brigade arrived just in time to join the pursuit of Steele's army as it retreated from Camden, and join in the attack on Steele as he tried to cross the Saline River at Jenkins' Ferry on April 30, 1864. After an all-night march through a rainstorm and ankle-deep mud, Tappan’s Brigade reinforced Gause's Brigade, and personally led by General Churchill, the Confederate force made repeated attacks on the Union federals attempting to cross the river. During the Battle of Jenkins Ferry, the consolidated command reported 4 killed and 22 wounded.[1] Tappan's Brigade and the 27th Arkansas returned to the vicinity of Camden following Jenkins' Ferry, and saw no substantial combat for the remainder of the war.[11] The regiment participated in the following battles:[12]

Surrender[edit]

This regiment surrendered with the Department of the Trans-Mississippi, General E. Kirby Smith commanding, May 26, 1865.[13][14] With few exceptions, the Arkansas Infantry regiments in the Trans-Mississippi simply disbanded without formally surrendering. When the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered, all of the Arkansas infantry regiments were encamped in and around Marshall, Texas (war-ravaged Arkansas no longer able to subsist the army). The regiments were ordered to report to Shreveport, Louisiana, to be paroled but none of them did so. Some individual soldiers went to Shreveport on their own to be paroled, others reported to Union garrisons at Fort Smith, Pine Bluff or Little Rock to receive their paroles, but for the most part, the men simply went home.[15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Confederate Arkansas Troops, 27th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, Accessed 27 January 2011, http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/regiments.cfm
  2. ^ United States. War Dept. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 41, In Four Parts. Part 4, Correspondence, Etc., Book, 1893; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth145061 : accessed February 14, 2012), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.
  3. ^ Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Page, 27th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, Accessed 30 January 2011, http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/27infhis.html
  4. ^ Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Page, 45th Arkansas Militia Regiment, Accessed 30 January 2011, http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/45milf&s.html
  5. ^ Thompson, Alan, "Re: Shaver's Report on Prairie Grove", Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 6 July 2012, Accessed 6 July 2012, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/arcwmb/webbbs_config.pl?read=26769
  6. ^ United States. War Dept. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 22, In Two Parts. Part 2, Correspondence., Book, 1888; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154590/m1/857/?q=Tappan : accessed July 02, 2012), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas
  7. ^ a b c Howerton, Bryan R., "Re: George W. Harbour, 33 Arkansas Infantry Company", Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 5 November 2005, Accessed 8 February 2012, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/arcwmb/arch_config.pl?read=11192
  8. ^ United States. War Dept. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 22, In Two Parts. Part 2, Correspondence., Book, 1888; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154590/m1/951/?q=Tappan : accessed July 02, 2012), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.
  9. ^ Taylor, Doyle "Re: 33rd Arkansas Letter', Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 14 January 2004, Accessed 6 July 2012, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/arcwmb/arch_config.pl?read=6286
  10. ^ "Arkansas Confederate Regimental Histories". Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gerdes, Edward G., "History of Colonel R.G. Shaver", Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Page, Accessed 21 August 2011, http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/38thshav.htm
  12. ^ National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, Confederate Arkansas Troops, 25th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry, Accessed 27 January 2011, http://www.civilwar.nps.gov/cwss/regiments.cfm
  13. ^ Howerton, Bryan, "1st, 2nd & 3rd Consolidated Arkansas Infantry Regiments", Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 26 July 2011, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/arcwmb/webbbs_config.pl?noframes;read=24472
  14. ^ Sikakis, Stewart, Compendium of the Confederate Armies, Florida and Arkansas, Facts on File, Inc., 1992, ISBN 0-8160-2288-7, page 69.
  15. ^ Howerton, Bryan, "Re: 17th/1st/35th/22nd Arkansas Infantry Regiment.", Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board, Posted 26 October 2011, Accessed 26 October 2011, http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/arcwmb/webbbs_config.pl?noframes;read=24907
  16. ^ Sikakis, Stewart, Compendium of the Confederate Armies, Florida and Arkansas Facts on File, 1992, ISBN 978-0-8160-2288-5, p. 118.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Allen, Desmond Walls. History of the 27th Arkansas Confederate Infantry. (Conway, AR: Arkansas Research, 1988). ISBN 0-941765-10-5.
  • Turnbo, Silas C. History of the Twenty-seventh Arkansas Confederate Infantry. (Conway, AR: Arkansas Research, 1988). ISBN 0-941765-86-5, 159 pages.

External links