The Arkansas Boys were drilled morning, noon and night at their camp and finally sent north to join the army. They arrived in Monterey, VA, in time to hear of the Beauregard’s victory at Manassas.

They were assigned to General William Wing Loring’s command. Brigaded with the 1st and 12th Georgia, the 23rd, 27th, 31st , 52nd Virginia and Hansbrough’s Virginia Battalion and commanded by General Henry R. Jackson, they first saw “The Elephant” (participated in their first battle.) in September of 1861 at Cheat Mountain. This is in what is now West Virginia in the Allegheny Mountains. This phase of the campaign was a total failure.
However, the boys from Rackinsack did acquit themselves in the next phase of the Cheat Mountain campaign.

Next the 3rd was assigned to Taliaferro’s Brigade consisting of the 1st Georgia and the 23rd and 27th Virginia. The Brigade marched north through Winchester and took part in Stonewall Jackson’s winter campaign of 1861-1862. They marched north toward Hancock, MD. The campaign was marked by freezing temperatures and the men had to endure the worst weather imaginable. They finally were able to proceed south through the ice and snow and arrived at Winchester, VA.

Jackson thought that General Loring had been derelict in his duties and filed court-martial charges. Through negotiations that entailed the Virginia Governor intervention, the court-martial charges were dropped; Loring’s command was removed from the Shenandoah Valley; and Loring was transferred to another area.

So much for the initial introduction of the 3rd Arkansas to the Confederate Army.

About Civil War Reflections

Vernon has been a Civil War buff since childhood, but had been inactive in Civil War history for over two decades. However, in the early 1990s his interest was rekindled after watching Ken Burns’ “Civil War Documentary” on PBS. He particularly became interested in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) and decided to learn more about this epic struggle.
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