Mr. Rushing, I can assure you it is fine. We keep our posts brief out of necessity and in doing so lose much that explains who we are. I am just so happy to find in you a wealth of information on Saline County. Not sure if the Pumphrey family consider me a relation, as my ancestor dropped the Pumphrey name after the war. They have published that he died in the Civil War and never had a family and like you, I find their historians loathe to admit mistake.
My understanding of service is based on muster rolls, traveling papers, depositions under oath on confederate pension documents by other men on his behalf, and the like. I don't have any oral traditions to go by, unfortunately.
William Morgan Pumphrey, one of his brothers, and their uncle Spencer McDaniel, followed Hindman and enlisted in the 2nd Arkansas in July 1861 at Camp Pillow in Tennessee. William's brother and uncle died within the month at Camp. William saw action with the 2nd in Tennessee and Kentucky - battles such as at Shiloh and the battle of Perryville.
In the carnage after Perryville, William must have shown aptitude as a medic. From March-October of 1863, William was assigned as a nurse at Bragg Hospital under medical officer Dr. Joshua Gore. The Battle of Chickamauga forced the evacuation of Bragg Hospital in the midst of battle, and records for William Morgan Pumphrey indicate he was captured during battle. This is where records for William Morgan Pumphrey end.
In the same time period, a John Pumphrey enlisted in a Kentucky union troop. The person who indexed the cards assumed he was the same man as William Morgan Pumphrey, and the cards were re-filed together. I am not sure if they were or not the same man. William had never used the name John on any document - neither before nor after. He had a younger brother named John who would have been 15 and was not serving.
The next record for John W. Pumphrey noted "dropped from rolls to Mo. rolls" on the next Union muster roll call. This my question, what would "dropped from rolls to Mo. rolls" mean?
There is a Confederate pension application file for him. A quick aside - for men who settled in Kentucky, don't put much weight on the list of Kentucky CSA pensioners. While Arkansas began granting CSA pensions in 1891, Kentucky did not do so till 21 years later in 1912, and then required proof of complete indigence. Union pensions were paid out by the Federal government and CSA pensions were paid by the states. Kentucky loathe to pay out and did all it could not to. Men who had enlisted at 18 would have been 70 when Kentucky finally offered a pension... then they were buried in red tape.
William applied for a confederate pension in 1912 at the age of 71. Despite the embarrassment of having to complete documents saying he had no income and was too feeble to work, he was not considered indigent. When he was 81 years old, his house burned to the ground one winter night, and after that his grandson revived the attempts to get the pension through - submitting court depositions from surviving soldiers on his behalf, etc. Another 10 years drug out with the pension office stalling. William finally died at 90 years of age - a month after his death another letter came back in 1930 saying "please provide more information so we can process your pension application."
You probably know some states passed the pension costs on to their residents, creating tax laws specifically funding the confederate pensions (Alabama is still to this day collecting taxes under a property tax law earmarked for CSA pensions... it generates about $400,000 annually - they put the money towards a confederate memorial park). Kentucky did not want to tax and it certainly did not want to pay. So the list of pensioners living in Kentucky is not a good representation of who had settled there after the war. Review the pension applications for all the men in a community when possible, since the men were testifying for each to supplement the lapses in records. These records are not indexed in any way so you may find a deposition on someone you are looking for in the application file of another man. This is helpful only when the Kentucky county did not flood, fire, or lose these application files. In this case, William Morgan Pumphrey had testimony from men who served under John Hunt Morgan that he was an Arkansas solider and had never taken the oath of allegiance.
To get back to Mr. Rushing's question - "how would I not call him a turncoat when he joined the vile, damn yankees?" So, I am not sure if John Pumphrey's enlistment was William Morgan Pumphrey under a name he'd never used before. And after the war, William was a member of the Morgan's Men association from 24 till his death at 90 years - their memorials, parades, reunions, fundraising for statues, he received the Confederate Veteran periodical, etc. William had "Hindman's Brigade" inscribed on his grave stone.
There is just one catch that makes me think he may have enlisted for a month or two in the Union, perhaps altering his name. In working on this, I have found a handful of 2nd Arkansas men who enlisted in Union troops in September and October 1863. They enlisted in the Kentucky and TN cavalry units who had chased and captured General John Hunt Morgan across several states during his "raids" (which had infuriated Bragg).
Morgan escaped from prison in November 1863, incidentally.
By the first 1864 muster roll, the 2nd Arkansas turncoats were no longer on union muster rolls. After the close of the war, these men settled together in Kentucky and were active with the Morgan's Men association.
Except for one man. Andrew J. Campbell also left the 2nd Arkansas and joined a Union cavalry unit chasing Morgan after his escape from prison. He was the man who shot John Hunt Morgan in the back and killed him while he was surrounded at his second capture in August 1864. I am including him in my research.
I am evaluating the possibility that several 2nd Arkansas men enlisted in the Union cavalry regiments chasing and guarding Gen. Morgan in order to spring him from capture. Lincoln assigned a special investigator to the escape, who concluded that men acting from the inside had enabled it to occur. On the night of Morgan's escape, he was permitted a female visitor from Carlisle, Kentucky who Lincoln's investigator alleged brought $30,000 with her. Incidentally, the men I am looking at above settled in that small town, Carlisle, after the war. That was also the city that hosted the first Morgan's Men Association reunion.
There are more related documents to describe, but I have gone on much too long as it is.