On page 103 of Thompson's 1871 biography is stated, to wit:
"In the spring of '62, at Major Thompson's request, the regiment was transferred to Tennessee, and on its reorganization he was elected Lt Colonel."
You see that is what doesn't make any sence to me. Why was a mear Major making such requests that his regiment be transferred to anywhere unless he is in command of that regiment?
If Major Thompson is in Command of the 1st Arkansas, where is its Colonel, James Fagan? or the Lt. Colonel for that matter?
We can assume that Thompson was promoted to fill the Lt. Colonel vacancy in March of 1862. But the formation of the 1st Arkansas and its early history, is so mired in political intrigue that I can not believe that it's being transferred back to the Western Theater of operations was solely due to Thompson's request.
Especially since Col James Fagan was in command of the 1st Arkansas at Shiloh, in April of 1862, according to all of the Official Records reports. So this biography seems to be elevating Thompson's role beyond his station within the regimental Table of Organization
Lack of involvement in any action certainly is not a reasonable explaination either. Certainly the Virginia Theater of Operations was where the major action of 1862 were expected to take place. Not in the West.
Arkansas troops in Virginia in 1861/62 did not have a very good reputation as far as the Richmond high command was concerned. The famous Stonewall Jackson sent Albert Rust, and the later to be famous 3rd Arkansas, packing after their not following some of his instructions. During the Seven Days Battle the 3rd Arkansas was religated to digging trenches around Richmond.
It was the 2nd Arkansas Battalion under Wm Bronaugh which somewhat turned the reputation of the Arkansas Soldiers as dependable fighting men around. Even Gen. Albert Johnston at Shiloh admonished the Arkansas Troops to fight like soldiers and not like ruffian when he told them to use their bayonets instead of their preferred weapon, the Bowie Knife.