The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

Ford's Battalion, "Missouri" Arkansas Cavalry

Ford's Battalion has been on my list of units to revisit for a while, and Danny Odom pointing me to the muster rolls for the surrender of Thompson's forces at Jacksonport brought it back up. Included in those muster rolls are at least four companies from Ford's Battalion. Looking at some old posts from Bryan Howerton, and a few post on the Missour Board, here is what I know about this unit. Please join in if you have additional data.

Lieut. Col. Barney Ford's cavalry battalion is attributed to Missouri, despite the fact that all of its six companies were recruited and organized in Arkansas. The battalion was organized on August 27, 1864, and was part of Freeman's Brigade in Marmaduke's Division during Sterling Price's Missouri Raid in September and October 1864. There are few records of Ford's Battalion apart from the Jacksonport Parole List of June 5, 1865. ,

The battalion officers were Lieutenant-Colonel Barney Ford and Major Enoch O. Wolf. Barney Ford (1833-1911) was residing in Independence County, Arkansas, when the war started. He served as a second lieutenant in Co. B, 1st Arkansas Regiment 30-Day Volunteers, from November 19 to December 18, 1861. He next enlisted as a second lieutenant in Co. G, 27th (Shaler's) Arkansas Infantry, at Mount Olive, Arkansas, on May 12, 1862, and was successively promoted to first lieutenant and captain. He was dropped from the roll pursuant to General Orders No. 39, Headquarters Tappan's Brigade, dated November 18, 1863, for allegedly "having deserted his command while at Camp Mitchell." There are questions about the veracity of the charge against him. Col. James R. Shaler, a Missourian commanding the 27th Arkansas, was universally despised by his men. Shaler had a number of run-ins with his company officers, and it is supposed that Ford was a victim of Shaler's retribution.

Enoch O. Wolf commanded a company in the sort lived McCarver's 14th Arkansas Regiment in 1861.

Co. A, Commanded by Capt. Alfred Phillips, Bryan's data indicates that the company was from Independence County. The Jackson Port Muster rolls indicate Smithville in Lawrence County as the place of enlistment.

Co. B, Commanded by Capt. J. M. McCord. The Jacksonport Muster Rolls indicated Fulton County as the place of enlistment for most of the men. McCord is listed as Lawrence county. Folder 4: Muster rolls, June 1865: Scan 23, in the Meriwether Jeff Thompson Papers, #01566, Southern Historical

Co. C, Commanded by Capt. J. V. Richardson;id=10828. No Muster Roll from Jacksonport. Bryan's data suggests that the company was raised in Jackson County. The Missouri Message board indicates that many of these men had previously served in the 32nd Arkansas Infantry.

Co. D, Commanded by Capt. J. C. Armstrong. Bryan indicates that the company was from Lawrence county. The Jacksonport Muster Rolls indicate Fulton County as the place of enlistment for most of the Soldiers. Folder 4: Muster rolls, June 1865: Scan 24 , in the Meriwether Jeff Thompson Papers, #01566, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Co. E, No Muster Roll from Jacksonport. Commander is unknown. Bryan indicates that the company was from Lawrence county.

Co. F, No Muster Roll from Jacksonport. Commander is unknown. Bryan indicates that the company was from Izard county.

The battalion's only significant combat was during Price's Missouri campaign in the Fall of 1864. Beyond that, the battalion engaged in small unit skirmishes and ambushes. They were so successful that the Feds labeled them as guerrillas; however, Ford and his men were regularly mustered Confederate soldiers. Lieutenant-Colonel Ford surrendered his battalion at Jacksonport, Arkansas, where they were paroled on June 5, 1865.

Ford afterwards moved to Texas, where he died on December 23, 1911. He is interred in Little Saline Cemetery, Menard County, Texas. He was a native of Tennessee.

Major Wolf was captured during the battle of the Mine Creek during Price's Raid and was almost executed by Union authorities in retaliation for the death of POWs (Major Wilson) at the hands of Col. Tim Reeves. In the battle of Mine Creek, some twenty five miles from Fort Scott, where General Cabell and General Marmaduke were captured, the Federals captured seven majors, two of them were field officers and the five others were staff officers. Major Carlton, of Pine Bluff, Ark., and Maj. E. 0. Wolf, of Franklin, Ark., were the two field officers. The guards told Major Wolf that they drew straws to see which one should pay the debt, and the guard said that Major Wolf was the unlucky one, but neither Major Carlton nor Major Wolf had any hand in the drawing of straws

The next morning after Major Wolf got to St. Louis before breakfast the guard went to his room, took him out, and put a thirty two pound ball with chain to his leg. The chain was one of the short link leg chains used about sawmills as binding chains. The cuff that went around his leg had hinges on one side bent to fit the leg close, with three rivets on the other side well hammered, down on an anvil with a rivet hammer. Then they took him to a large room set apart and read this sentence to him: "By orders of Major General Roseerans. Major Wolf, you are to be shot to death with musketry in retaliation for the murder of Major Wilson and the six privates that Colonel Reeves executed." It was very early in the morning, and several Federal officers were present. On first reading Major Wolf did not fully understand, and called for a second reading, and when the adjutant had finished the second reading. Major Wolf explained that he knew nothing about the killing of Major Wilson, but as they were looking for an ardent Southern man to execute in retaliation, he supposed that they had made a fair selection. Major Wolf was born in Ohio, but reared in the Lone Star State

After the reading of the sentence they escorted Major Wolf to a cell, where he was closely guarded to await execution. They gave him four days. Captain Allen commanded the prison, and rendered Major Wolf much kindness.

General Cabell, of Dallas, Tex., and Major Cariton, of Pine Bluff, Ark., wrote several letters to the officers in authority at St. Louis in the interest of Major Wolf while he was under sentence of death. Major Wolf belonged to General Cabell's command. Colonel Reeves's excuse for executing Major Wilson was cruelty to prisoners. Colonel Reeves was proved to be severely cruel. Captain Allen went to Major Wolf's cell soon after he was locked in and made a sign which Major Wolf caught at once, but soon Captain Allen told Major Wolf that he could stop, as he had only taken the fellow craft degree. Captain Allen furnished Major Wolf with pen, ink, and paper, and he wrote a letter to his wife telling her the sad news and that it had fallen to his lot to be executed for the wrongs of other men. He told her how to rear his dear children and to take care of what he had left her. He hoped she would have no trouble rearing his children with the assistance of his Masonic friends. When Major Wolf had finished his letter, Captain Allen asked him if he wanted a preacher, and Major Wolf told him he reckoned he had better have one. Captain Allen told him the government had two employed Catholic and Episcopalian and he could have either. Major Wolf told him he did not want either, if he had a preacher, he wanted a Missionary Baptist

Captain Allen sent out and got Rev. A. C. Osborn, who told Major Wolf the order was positive and when the time came they would execute him, they had already executed the privates, and if he had any relics he wanted his wife to have, he would take charge of them and see that she got them.

The minister told Major Wolf if there was anything in the letter that was contraband he wouldn't be allowed to take it. He read down to where the Major told his wife to take care of what he had left her and with the assistance of his Masonic friends, etc. The preacher turned his face toward the Major and briefly asked: "Major, are you a Mason?" The Major replied: 'I am," He then dropped the letter and hurried out and called the lodge together and telegraphed Abraham Lincoln, who telegraphed back: ''Shoot no more men." The dispatch was read just in time to save Major Wolf. The guns were loaded and the guards were detailed to do the shooting. The men afterwards guarding Major Wolf told him how bad they hated the job, but could not refuse;id=7558

Messages In This Thread

Ford's Battalion, "Missouri" Arkansas Cavalry
Re: Ford's Battalion, "Missouri" Arkansas Cavalry
The Wooden Masonic Ring of Major Enoch Obid Wolf
Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 8.
Alfred Phillips commanded Company E