The Arkansas in the Civil War Message Board

"Arkansas Peace Society"

Many folks do not realize there was a stronghold of Unionists in the hill country of north-central and north-west Arkansas. The successfully stalled Arkansas secession until after the Ft. Sumter and Lincoln's call for 70,000 troops for the Union Army. During the fall of 1861, about 1700 men from the counties of Searcy, Van Buren, Izard, Carroll, Marion, Yell, and several others, tried to organize a "peace society" trying to form a "Little Switzerland". Confederate Governor caught wind of the effort and called out Col. Sam Leslie, commander of the 45th Arkansas Militia, to help round up the dissidents. Important work on this movement has been done by James J. Johnston, Ted Worley, and William Baker. I would appreciate help, if anyone has information that might help me tell this story as completely as possible. Many of these men impressed into Confederate service deserted at first opportunity and join the Union Army in 1863 and 1864. Thanks in advance.

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"Arkansas Peace Society"
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