"Have you seen documentation that actually verifies that future companies of the 26th were at Pine Bluff? I am aware of Hindmanís telegraph book that contains orders for them to go there, but I canít remember any mention of White Sulphur Springs in company endorsements."
Bob in responce to your questions Pine Bluff in May of 1862 was one of 10 (as I understand) cities that was designated as assembly, and what we would today call induction centers, for the recently passed Conscription Act of April 1862. At least two companies (C & D) were mustered into service at Pine Bluff on May 12th, 1862. I believe that there was a third Company also, but I can't remember which one it was.
As far as camps at White Sulphur Springs and there being no mention in the company records this is understandable. Pine Bluff had a problem with handling large numbers of men.
Pine Bluff was surrounded on the North by the Arkansas River, on the East by a low swamp which was what we now call the Hardin Drain, which drained a lake (Hardin Lake) which was only 4 Blocks south of the Jefferson County Courthouse and was a mile long and 3/4 of a mile wide. And finally to the west was Brumps bayou which also drained into the Arkansas River as did Hardin Drain. As a result the town itself by a river, a swamp, a bayou, and a lake, and occupied almost all of the available land within these terrain features.
It was also an unhealthy enviroment and the reason that many people from Pine Bluff also had homes in the Sulphur Springs area. Also the Sulphur Springs area, because of the local farmers, was able to provide food for these men.
It was the area used by the 9th Arkansas Infantry and the 2nd Arkansas Battalion in August and September of 1861. As well as Company "B" of Carroll's 18th Arkansas Infantry. So there is a previous history of this area being used for this purpose of encamping troops.
In reality the Sulphur Springs community was what we would call today a "Bedroom community" for the well to do of Pine Bluff. Many businessmen and promanate citizens of Pine Bluff had summer cottages there. So there was an availability of housing for troops.
The most widely used camp area for these men was the Lee Plantation on the present day Lee Springs road 1/2 mile west from the then White Sulphur Post Office, because of the large fields and good water availabilities. Almost no soldiers at all stayed in Pine Bluff except for functionaries such as Commissary Officer, telegraph and other official functions that had to be in town to conduct business.
The only time actual organizations of soldiers came into Pine Bluff was to be loaded onto the steamboats going to Little Rock for example. The references to Sulphur Springs itself did not start appearing in records until July 1862 when Gen. John S. Roane was ordered by Hindman to move his headquaters from Pine Bluff to Sulphur Springs in order to be more in contact with Col. Shavers and the troops there.
According to Hindmans telegraphs of June 1st and 3rd, 1862, Captains Tom McSwine, Fountain Pitts Yell, Samuel Gibson, and Capt Bragg, were still at Pine Bluff when they recieved orders to move to Little Rock.