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Re: Merrill Pence (1994) Chapter 3


As a cocoon lies dormant through the dead of winter, waiting the warm days of Spring before giving birth to a new butterfly, of which many do not survive, so it was with the men of the regt. The warm days were welcomed, but by the end of April, a dark cloud fell around them shrouding the joy of Springs arrival. The one feature characterizing the 19th Ark. at this time, was the great amount of sickness and death. Nine men died during March and by June 12 there had been 58 deaths, and 62 since the formation of the regiment. Other losses after April 1 included 27 discharges, 1 transfer and 1 man, R. W. Beggs, taken to the hospital at Armstrong Academy, located in the Choctaw Nation, about 10 miles southeast of Ft. McCulloch. His records ended here April 25. Four enlistments during this period were small compared to the number lost. Gen. Albert Pike, in a report dated May 4, referred to the sickness as the result of "bad cooking and bad weather." Smallpox and Typhoid are not contacted from rain or proper preparation of food. Poor sanitary conditions was likely the greatest contributing factor.

As men carved an existence from the frontier, continual exposure to the elements tempered them with the ability to endure hardship. The fields and forests grudgingly released the necessary items to sustain life. Clearing the land with an axe and cross cut saw, building log cabins, splitting rails and sledding large rocks from the fields were necessary tasks to obtain the desired ends. Though these people were accustomed to hard physical labor, they were ill prepared for the things now being faced. Within few weeks time, 150 bone weary miles had been marched through cold and heat, dust and rain, being hungry, thirsty and tired most of the time. Leaving Arkansas near Ft. Smith, they followed the Texas Trail through Indian Territory, which extended southwest from Ft. Smith to the vicinity of Dennison, Texas. The trail crossed Middle Boggy Creek near present day Atoka, Oklahoma, passed Boggy Depot, and on through the Oak Forests to Nail's Crossing on Blue River.

General Pike brought his brigade into camp on the southwest bank of that river, and built Fort McCulloch, named after Ben McCulloch, the Texas General killed at the Battle of Elkhorn. The site is undeveloped today and on private land, being located 1 mile south of where State Highway 22 crosses Blue River. Though unmarked, it can be located by the still recognizable earthworks that had been thrown up as defensive positions against enemy assault. Little time was devoted to the development of men into a well drilled unit during this period, instead they were kept busy digging entrenchments, preparing for a possible attack from the enemy. This work was carried on while the ranks were thinned by sickness. Organization of the various companies seemed to have been:

Co. A. Capt. W. B. Speer; 1st Lt. W. G. Stewart;

2nd Lt. Frank Gentry; 2nd Lt. James E. Stephens;

1st Sgt. John J. Bowen, Alfred Gentry 5-25-62,

and F. B. Stewart, 6-62; 2nd Sgt. Thomas Lamb, Samuel W. Gentry 1-15-62; 4th Sgt. Thompson Wingfield, Samuel W. Gentry, T. W. McLaughlin, John W. Wilson 1-15-62; 1st Cpl. John G. Poe; 2nd Cpl. John W. Joiner; 4th Cpl. William H. Wingfield; Cpls. Thomas J. Simpson, Edward H. Toms, Isaac W. Wingfield and James A. McLaughlin, 5-19-62.

Co. B. Capt. S. H. McCasland; 1st Lt. Robert L. Duncan; 2nd Lt. L. F. Henry, J. D. Forgy (returned to the ranks), B. C. Haller, W. J. Davis 5-24-62; 1st Sgt. William F. Mears, J. T. Bennett, L. F. Latimer 4-22-62; 2nd Sgt. James Cowley; 3rd Sgt. Joseph C. Reeder 5-4-62; 4th Sgt. Frederick Williams 4-22-62; Cpl's. R. W. Drapes, Joel Dyer, John Dyer, J. M. Harder, S. G. Standlee, W. W. Yeaszin, Charles R. Snoddy 2-1-62, G.D. Wood 2-28-62, Columbus Lee 5-4-62.

Co. C. Capt. J. W. Watson; 1st Lt. H. M. Carter; 2nd Lt. J. L. Martindale, W. J. Walker (from 1st Sgt.) 5-15-62; 3rd Lt. C. A. Floyd, J. W. Carroll 6-1-62; James K. Ferguson 5-16-62; 2nd Sgt. W. H. McClure; 3rd Sgt. J. W. Carroll; Sgt's. W. T. Allen, P. M. Crawford; Cpl's. O. E. McClure, C. R. Watson, W. M. Robinson 5-1-62.

Co. D. Capt. Nathan Eldridge; 1st Lt. A. C. Embry; 2nd Lt's. Rubin Faulkner, A. J. Downs, W. W. Wooton; 1st Sgt. James Gibson; 3rd Sgt. J. W. Hunter; 4th Sgt. E. D. Williams 5-1-62; Sgt's. A. P. Stoups, Elisha Young; Cpl's. E. Morris, W. N. Ralls, Morgan West.

Co. E. Capt. D. H. Hamiter; 1st Lt. L. F. Carter; 2nd Lt. J. T. Hamiter; 3rd Lt. James R. Hill; Sgt's. William B. Bone, H. T. Love, J. A. Morgan, C. Wilson; 3rd Sgt. Jesse G. Parker; 1st Cpl. A. T. Hamiter; Cpl. William E. Morgan.

Co. F. Capt. J. G. McKean; 1st Lt. J. S. Hankins; 2nd Lt. William J. Smith, M. M. Stovall; 1st Sgt. Anderson Welch; 3rd Sgt. James T. Pickens; 4th Sgt. William Sims; 5th Sgt. Francis M. Sawyer; Sgt's. J. V. Weaver, L. W. Odom 5-17-62; 1st Cpl. W. S. Riley; 3rd Cpl Robert McDowell, James M. Caneda; 4th Cpl. L. C. Jackson; Cpl. R. M. White.

Co. G. Capt. Daniel C. Cowling; 1st Lt. W. C. Reynolds, B. H. Miller 3-25-62; 2nd Lt. B. H. Miller, B. R. Barnett 3-28-62, from 3rd Lt; 3rd Lt. Paul D. Williams 3-28-62; Ensign Paul D. Williams 4-26-62; 1st Sgt. W. G. Scoggin, not served, James W. Scott 2-11-62; 2nd Sgt. Thomas J. Richey, S. F. Moon 2-11-62; 3rd Sgt. R. S. Hendricks; 4th Sgt. W. L. Boren; 1st Cpl. J. H. Alexander 2-11-62; 2nd Cpl. P. B. Goshen, William McScott 2-11-62; 3rd Cpl. J. M. Weaver 2-11-62; 4th Cpl. F. M. McCowen, P. B. Johnson from 2nd Cpl. 2-11-62; Cpl. R. S. Maybin, Charles Kent, to the ranks 2-11-62.

Co. H. Capt. G. W. Featherston; 1st Lt. Jerry C. Gibson; 2nd Lt. F. M. Featherston, G. A. Torbett; 1st Sgt, R. H. Holly; 4th Sgt. John Hiler, James Yandell 5-15-62; 5th Sgt. Dodson Huie; Sgt's. Jeremiah C. Gibson, Jr., Joseph Williams; 1st Cpl. William H. Highfield; 2nd Cpl. Elias Moad; 3rd Cpl. Philip B. Wilson; 4th Cpl. John Yandell; Cpl's. L. C. Hill, Martin V. Castle, Joseph Clark 3-28-62.

Co. I. Capt. B. W. Kinsworthy; 1st Lt. N. G. Neal; 2nd Lt. J. T. Kent, J. A. Turner, L. W. Delong; Ensign M. M. Draper 2-6-62; 1st Sgt. Boliver May, W. C. Ferguson 7-1-62; 2nd Sgt. W. C. Ferguson 2-26-62; 3rd Sgt. A. A. Leslie; 4th Sgt. J. T. Anderson 2-26-62; 5th Sgt. T. Y. Craig 2-26-62; 2nd Cpl. J. A. Puckett; 3rd Cpl. J. J. Runnels, J. R. Bryant; 4th Cpl. Henry Mayben; 5th Cpl. J. E. Chandler 4-24-62; Cpl. James Mitchell.

Co. K. Capt A. J. Jones; 1st Lt. M. W. C. Frazier; 2nd Lt. Harrison Herndon, J. E. Smith; 3rd Lt. J. T. Woods; 1st Sgt. Wm B. Hall, Theo Miller 5-31-62; 2nd Sgt. Wm L. Page, J. M. Smith 4-10-62; 4th Sgt. F. B. Ray; 5th Sgt. W. K. Dollarhide; Sgt. B. F. Boothe; 1st Cpl. E. O. Jones 4-10-62; 2nd Cpl. S. C. Hall; 3rd Cpl. A. J. Braden; Cpl's. A. T. Clawson, Jonathan Ayres, Elijah D. Skidmore.

A provision available allowed men to be released from the service, if they could furnish another to fulfill their enlistment period. Substitutions were arranged by financial agreement or other considerations. Robert T. Wallis (B), a Courier for Gen. Pike, furnished a substitute in the person of T. W. Wallace on May 1. James A. Wallace (B) on May 6, 1862, and David Corder (F), 4-14-62 was assigned to the same job. Many couriers were needed to carry messages to remote commands.

Transfers between companies were not frequent, however some were recorded. Often the person desiring to transfer would be required to furnish a man from another company in return for himself. On April 20, such a trade was made, sending Robert Barnett of Co. K, in return for John S. Robinson of Co. F. John M. Dollarhide and James Y. Robinson of Co. F swapped places with John Sawyers and Garlington Fuller of Co. K on March 30. Both companies had formed in Sevier County, and the transfers probably were made to allow closer access of friends or family members. On March 28, Jordan Arnold transferred from Co. B to K. When a soldier was being disciplined, he would frequently be transferred to another company. On April 4, N. D. Caldwell transferred from Co. G to I, and F. J. McFarland from C to B. Lt. Francis Featherston (H), transferred to the 1st Creek Regiment as Hospital Steward, no doubt because his medical expertise was needed. Later, on April 15, 1864, he was appointed Assistant Surgeon at Boggy Depot, serving through March, 1865. Men assigned as teamsters, or to the transportation dept. were:

Thomas Barns (B) Teamster 4-23. Wm H. Beeler (K) Teamster, 4-20.
Thos. W. Brown (F) T. Dept. 4-14. J. M. Caneda (F) Teamster, 4-14.
F. F. Coffee (F) Teamster, 4-4. J. M. Copeland (C) Frgmaster 4-62
S. T. M. Cothran (B) Teamster. G. W. Dickson (C) Wagoneer, 4-20.
W. H. Doss (C) Wagoneer 3-11. Andrew P. Dryer (B), Teamster 1-1.
R. A. Edminson (G) Teamster 2-4 William Edwards, (E), Teamster.
Franklin Elliot (E), Teamster 4-22 J. E. Eskew (G), Teamster 1-28.
G. H. Round (E), Teamster C. W. Vaughn (B), Teamster.

Joshua Falkinburg (F) 4-14. Henry C. Jackson (G), Teamster 3-12.
F. M. Humphries (K) Teamster 5-1 A. G. Henry (B) Frgmaster 11-21-61.
J. B. Gray (A) Wgnmaster 12-14-61 Robt. Grady (F) Wagonmaster 4-18-62
Samuel Jones (C), Wagoneer John Kesterson (B), Teamster 2-11
James L. Kyle (F) Teamster 2-8 F. M. Laird (E) Teamster 11-25
Robt. P. Laird (E) Teamster 4-22 Lewis S. Locke (F) Teamster 4-14
M. M. Miller (K) Teamster 4-14 B. F. Norwood (F) Trans. Dept. 5-20
Bennett Patty (K), Teamster 3-15 Sidney Rankins (F), Teamster 2-5
David R. Welch (F) Teamster 1-62 Zeb Umphrey (K), Teamster 3-12
A. G. Story (G), Teamster 3-12 William L. Smith (E) Teamster 1-1
Jordan Sims (K) Teamster 4-14 William Shrum (B) Teamster 4-25
B. G. Russey (K) Teamster 4-14 J. H. Roberson (C) Wagoneer
J. E. Young (E) Teamster 4-3

Other assignments were:

W. D. C. Hankins (F) Clerk 4-19 J. A. Gordon (K) Printing Office 4-19
James Austin (B) Drummer William Austin (B) Fifer
T. R. Briggs (B) ACS, 4-20 Charles S. Dikes (K) Drummer
James McAdams (K) Fifer H. H. Merideth (C) Ord. Dept. 5-3-62
James R. Millard (H) Fifer J. F. Miller (B) Comm. Dept. 11-21-61
J. C. Tate (H) Drummer Anderson Welch (F) Qm Dept. 4-12
David R. Welch (F) Qm Dept. 4-2

There had been 59 recorded deaths through April to early June. Some men assigned to work with the sick included F. D. Bush (F) as Hosp. Steward, replacing John C. Womack (F), J. H. Long, nurse and Chris C. Hammock (C) ambulance driver. Those who died included:

J. A. Arnold, (G) 4-22 James Austin, (B) 5-2

Thomas Baker, (B) 4-21 B. R. Barnett, (G) 6-12.

Alexander Barton, (I) 5-13 P. W. Bates, (A) 5-4

Washington Bates, (H) 5-8 Charles S. Beasley, (K) 5-9

John J. Bowen, (A) 4-25 B. F. Brown, (K) 5-18

R. M. Bryant, (A) 5-7 Jamison Cain, (A) 4-20

James Davis, (A) 4-4 John Dollins, (H) 4-4

John Dyer, (B) 4-26 J. H. Farly, (G) 4-29

W. J. Faulkner, (D) 4-? John Flowers, (A) 4-5

C. A. Floyd, (C) 5-30 David A. Floyd, (C) 5-1

Henry Fulsom Benton J. Halbrooks, (F) 4-15

C. W. Hale, (C) 5-17 Abram Hall, (I) 4-13

Martin Higgs, (G) 4-9 Francis Johnson, (A) 4-25

Joel Johnson, (G) 4-25 Joseph E. Johnson, (A) 5-3

E. Jones, (E) 5-24 Thomas Jones, (E) 5-14

Charles Kent, (G) A. H. Kirk, (A) 5-17

James R. Long, (H) 5-18 Thomas Mayben, (I) 5-25

J. L.. Martendale, (C) 4-23 home George W. McGill, (A) 4-30

Philip McIntire, (K) 2-27 home B. S. McLaughlin, (A) 5-4

S. McMillion, (E) 5-6 Himan Myrick, (G) 5-4

James Neugent, (A) 4-23 Thomas W. Owens, (F) 4-9

John Poe, (A) 5-1 A. A. Powell, (A) 5-25

S. M. Philips, (I) 6-4 Wilson Roberts, (D) 4-13

J. J. Runnels, (I) 4-23 J. B. Scoggin (I) 5-6 Paraclifta
L. K. Simpson, (G) 5-10 Elijah Skidmore, (K) 5-24
Christopher Smith, (B) 4-28 F. M. Thomas, (I) 4-22
Jasper Thomas, (A) 5-7 James W. Thornton, (A) 4-7
John Whitmore, (G) 6-3 T. J. Wilson, (C) 5-24
William Wilson, (E) 4-12 Owen Yarbrough, (E) 4-7
J. T. Dillard (I) died sometime in 1862.

In addition to those reported sick, 27 were discharged between April and June, 1862. Most, if not all of these possessed some physical disability or perhaps their age would not allow them to endure the rigorous schedule of life in the field. In any event, they were hindered from continued service. This list includes:

A. Airheart, (C) 4-26. William Austin, (B) 4-19.
J. R. M. Davis?, (I) 6-4. S. B. Davis, (C) 5-2.
Anthony Floyd, (C) 6-3. M. W. C. Frazier, (K) 5-13.
R. J. M. Gaines, (I) 6-4. W. S. Griffin, (K) 5-13.
E. P. Hankins, (G) 5-15. A. G. Henry, (B) 6-4.
John Hiler, (H) 5-13. Joseph Hiler, (H) 5-15.
J. N. Hix, (C) 4-26. W. P. Karr, (A) 5-13.
John Kesterson, (B) 5-3. E. R. W. McCrary, (I) 6-4.
William Odell, (I) 4-12. J. E. Power, (I) 6-30.
B. J. Roberson, (C) 1-1. J. H. Roberson, (C) 5-1.
Elijah Roland, (H) 4-1. B. F. Scoggin, (I) 5-6.
J. R. Tinney, (B) 6-3. Paul Williams, (G) 4-26.
C. Womack, (C) 4-26. David Yandell, (H) 5-16.
Samuel Yandell, (H) 5-15.

Excitement and interest swept through the home communities when local soldiers returned on furlough during April and May, 1862. Loving arms embraced and welcomed them home. Stories were told and retold throughout the homes, about the Battle of Elkhorn or the death of some loved one, whose personal effects were being returned to the families. No doubt some men returned home sick, requiring care, and tender hearts enveloped them. The greatest interest would be shown among the young boys who looked on their older brothers or cousins as heros. Upon arrival at home, the Captains of the individual companies seized the opportunity to enlist new recruits to fill their much depleted ranks. Most of these men were enlisted on June 16, with a few coming in before or after that date. According to the records, which cannot be relied on for complete accuracy, the number of men in the regiment was 967 by the 1st of July. There were no fewer than this number, and were probably more. Below is the number gained and the total count believed to have been on the company rosters as of July 1.

Co. A, add 20, now 108 men. Co. B, add 14, now 98 men.
Co. C, add 15, now 93 men. Co. D, add 13, now 91 men.
Co. E, add 7, now 99 men. Co. F, add 21, now 98 men.
Co. G, add 17, now 82 men. Co. H, add 23, now 109 men.
Co. I, add 20, now 101 men. Co. K, add 20, now 88 men.

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