Arkansas in the Civil War
Guide to Arkansas in the Civil War ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.During the Civil War, Arkansas raised more than 48,000 men for the Confederacy and more than 8,000 for the Union. Their records can be found in state records shown on this page, unit records which may be found on the military unit pages (see below for links), or country records. For ideas on how to begin searching for your Civil War ancestor, see Beginning United States Civil War Research.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Arkansas Military Units
- 3 Records and Resources
- 4 Other Sources
- 5 References
In 1861, Arkansas was still rural with a small population. It seceded from the Union on 6 May 1861. Soldiers from Arkansas served in both the Confederate and Union armies, however most served in the Confederate forces in about 48 infantry regiments as well as cavalry, artillery and other units. The United States War Department credited Arkansas with 8,289 white men who served in the Union Army.
For additional information about the history of Arkansas in the Civil War, see the Wikipedia article, Arkansas in the American Civil War.
17 Civil War battles were fought in Arkansas. The following have information about these battles:
- American Civil War site has brief summaries of the battles, with maps and photos.
- Arkansas in the American Civil War in Wikipedia has a list of battles with links to other pages about each battle.
- National Park Service site has brief summaries of the battles.
- Civil War Album site has modern photos of places or things relating to the battles. It can be searched.
- Heritage Preservation Services, Map showing Civil War battles in Arkansas.
Arkansas Military Units
Most units were numbered, however, many were named. See the table below for lists of the regiments, battalions, batteries, and other units.
The information in the lists of Arkansas Military Units comes from the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors web site. That web site also can be searched by the name of a soldier.
Records and Resources
Indexes and the compiled military service records are available at the Family History Library and the National Archives.
- USCT Headstones and Cemetery project in Arkansas by Tonia Holleman and Angela Walton-Raji E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pompey, Sherman Lee.Burial lists of members of Arkansas cavalry and infantry regiments in the Civil War. (Kingsburg, California: Pacific Specialties, 1972 FHL book 976.7 M28a.
- Allen, Desmond Walls. Arkansas' damned Yankees : an index to Union soldiers in Arkansas regiments. (Conway, Arkansas : Allen, c1987), FHL book 976.7 M28a.
Compiled Service Records
- The Compiled Service Records ($) (Fold3.com) of volunteer Union soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Arkansas are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The service records are also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms.
- The compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, place of birth, and date of death. For more information see Union Service Records.
- 1861-1865 - Arkansas Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I. For more information see Union Pension Records.
Report of the Adjutant General of Arkansas
- Arkansas. Adjutant General's Office. Report of the Adjutant General of Arkansas, for the period of the late rebellion, and to November 1, 1866, (Bethesda, Maryland: University Publications of America, c1990). Digital copy on Internet Archive.
Compiled Service Records
- The Compiled Service Records ($) (Fold3.com) of Confederate soldiers who served in organizations from the state of Arkansas are available online. In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. The service records are also available at no charge at National Archives research rooms.
- The compiled service records consist of an envelope containing card abstracts taken from muster rolls, returns, pay vouchers, and other records. Service records may provide rank, unit, date of enlistment, length of service, age, place of birth, and date of death. For more information see Confederate Service Records.
- Arkansas Historical Association Publications (Volume 3) Appendix E
- Arkansas pension records for Confederate veterans are located at the Arkansas History Commission.
- A searchable index to Confederate pension records is posted by the Arkansas History Commission.
- 1891-1939 - Arkansas Ex-Confederate Pension Records, 1891-1939 at FamilySearch — index and images
- The Family History Library holds microfilm copies of Arkansas Confederate pension records, 1901-1929, on 121 films. The pensions are alphabetically arranged. (Family History Library Films beginning with 1722443)
- Copies of individual pension records may be ordered from the Arkansas History Commission.
For more information on Arkansas pension records for Confederate soldiers, see Confederate Pension Records.
1911 Special Census
In 1911 a special census was taken of Confederate veterans. Returns are available for 40 of the 75 counties. All of these censuses are at the Arkansas Historical Commission, and most are on microfilm at the Family History Library.
- Abstracts of the questionnaires have been published in Bobbie J. McLane and Capitola H. Gazner,Arkansas 1911 Census of Confederate Veterans, Three Volumes. (N.p.: Arkansas Ancestors, 1977-1981. (Family History Library book 976.7 X2m; fiche 6019335.)
- An Index to the Three Volumes, Arkansas 1911 Census of Confederate Veterans has been published by the same authors. (Family History Library 976.7 X2m index.)
The web site Last Road to Freedom has information on America's Civil War contrband camps.
Civil War Contraband Camps in Arkansas were located in Helena, Camp Deliverance, Camp Wood, Camp Colony, Pine Bluff and Little Rock.
Southern Claims Commission
If a Union sympathizer in Arkansas claimed a loss during the Civil War due to Union military confiscation, he could apply to the Southern Claims Commission for reimbursement. Only a few applied per county, but their neighbors were called as witnesses and asked dozens of questions. Hundreds of the residents of all kinds in a county may be mentioned in answers to Commission questions, and their wartime activities described.
To learn how to find records mentioning these neighbors in Arkansas counties during the Civil War see the Southern Claims Commission.
- Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission web site has photos, a map showing locations of Civil War sites with links to more information about each, timeline, battles database, and a list of related links to other Internet sites.
- Rushing, Anthony C. Along the road to glory : a compilation and biography of the soldier, company and regiment of the Confederate Army from Saline County. (Bryant, Arkansas : Saline County History and Heritage Society (Arkansas), c1985), FHL book 976.772 M28r.
Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)
Grand Army of the Republic founded in 1866 - 1956, was the largest veteran’s organization in the country after the Civil War. It was a fraternal organization members were veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutler Service who served in the American Civil War. The group supported voting rights for black veterans, and lobbied the U.S. Congress to establish veterans' pensions. In 1890 the membership was 490,000.
In 1888 in California there were 62 post with 2,736 members.
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
With the death of the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was formed.
- Wikipedia.org, Arkansas in the American Civil War, (accessed 16 March 2011].
- United States. War Department, The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, (Washington, District of Columbia: Govt. Print. Office, 1880-1901), Series 3, Volume 4, page 1269. FHL book 973 M29u ser.3 v. 3, FHL film 845422.