Arkansas has a unique history and the early settlement is amazing. My wife's family has been in Arkansas before Arkansas was a state and I am amazed at the stories and history passed down. She had an ancestor in the 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles and I have appreciated your research and posts about them. Her ancestor witnessed his brothers death and was wounded himself in the same battle.
I have researched the Arkansas Battalion of Infantry and Mounted Gunman that served on the Western Border and the Indian Territory during the Mexican War. Many of the key leaders in Arkansas during the Civil War saw service either in Mexico or the Indian Territory. I think that helped in the shape of Arkansas politically and the military. I believe that the Mexican War era history is important in studying the Civil War history. The geography of Northern Arkansas greatly influenced the war itself. The Smithville Branch off the military road was built as a bypass when the Military road was flooded or too muddy to use. The road is why the Benge Route came through Northern Arkansas and down to Batesville. The Benge route is not as well documented. On the route the Cherokee experienced an average of 4 deaths per day. Local legend states 3 died at the camp site southwest of Smithville. I wonder how many passed an are buried along the trail in Arkansas.