A few readers on this topic asked the question about what role, if any, was played by the local militia during the Little Rock Arsenal affair in February 1861. Though there may have been others, the premier Little Rock militia was known as the "Capitol Guards" under the leadership of Captain Peay. In his book, "First In, Last Out, the Capitol Guards, Arkansas Brigade," Calvin Collier makes it clear that Capt. Peay saw it as his duty to maintain the peace throughout this "saber rattling" event. As such, the Capitol Guards served as a sort of police force between Capt. Totten's Union garrison and the drunken mobs of out of town "militia" who might have otherwise stormed the armory to wrestle it from the Federal government. For his actions, which appeared anti-secessionist by the mobs, Capt. Peay took some heat -- his loyalty to "the cause" being questioned. The Capitol Guards escorted Totten's garrison out of the armory once evacuation terms were negotiated between Totten and Rector. Tired of the allegations questioning his loyalty, Peay later defended himself with words in the Little Rock press, and vindicated himself with actions when the Capitol Guards became Company A of the 6th Arkansas Volunteer Infantry.
Ralph Goodrich, a school teacher in Little Rock at the time, later joined the Capitol Guards though his service was short and uneventful. His diaries and letters prove to be of more valuable for giving insight into what was happening in Little Rock during the war. You can find his diaries posted at: http://goodrichpoems.wordpress.com/