The Texas in the Civil War Message Board

Miller County Arkansas 1836

I hope you won't mind discussing something a little earlier than the Civil War. I am writing regarding the Arkansas Militia during the territorial and early statehood periods. Most of the actual use of the militia during that time occurred in what was then Miller County, Arkansas, but is now the Texas counties of Bowie, Red River, Lamar, Fannin, and Delta. In 1836, a report of Indians massing near the settlements caused Territorial Governor Fulton to send Brigadier General George Hill, Commander of the 1st Brigade of Arkansas Territorial Miltia to Miller County, with a bundle of blank militia commissions. While the Miller County militia had previously been organized in 1824 under Major John Goodloe Warren Pierson, it appears that Pierson had moved further into Texas by 1836. The Arkansas Territorial Legislature had passed a new law in 1828 authorizing the election of militia leaders. Miller County had yet to conduct or at least report the election of militia officers to Little Rock before the Indian trouble of 1836, thus the bundle of blank commissions. Only parts of General Hill's report are legible in the Arkansas Gazette of June 14, 1836, but it does mention one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence:

Headquarters, 1st Brigade, Ark Militia,
Hempstead county, A.T,. May 31, 1836
His Excellency, William S. Fulton, Gov. and Commander-in-chief, of the Militia of Ark.
SIR- Your order of the 4th inst. came in hand on the 7th; and in obedience there-to, I immediately issued my General Order of the date last mentioned, Commanding the Commandants of Regiments, and separate battalions, within my command, immediately to organized their respective commands, and hold them in readiness for active service, and proceeded to authorize the raising of an Independent Company of mounted riflemen, in Hempstead County, which was accordingly raised ain on the 11th instant; Thomas Gambling was elected and commissioned Capt. and _________ and Robert L. Davis Second Lieut. Thereof. And I also also issued another order to Col. Rutherford and Lieut Col. Patt of , the first Commandant of the Hempstead county Regiment, both dated the 10th instant, requiring them to hold their respective commands in readiness for immediate active service. And having ordered Daniel Ringo, my Aid de Camp into service on the 10th Instant, on the 11th I proceeded with said Ringo towards Miller County, and on the 12th Instant ordered Maj. Davis, Commandant of the militia Sevier county, immediately to organize and hold his command in readiness for active service. On the 14th I reached the frontier settlements in Miller county, where there was a public meeting of the citizens of that vicinity, to volunteer companies being present, and finding that there existed much alarm in the breast of many of the citizens, and not being able to learn whether there existed an just cause of fear from the Indians on the frontier, I authorized the raising of an Independent Company of mounted riflemen in Miller county, which was raised immediately, and Albert H. Latimer elected and commissioned Capt. Wade H. Vining 1st and Robert S. Hamilton 2d Lieutenants, thereof, all of whom were there duly qualified on the said 14th.
And for the purpose of getting correct information as to the situation and disposition of the Indians on the frontier, I ordered Capt Latimer to send out two separate detachments of his company, one to consisted of six, and the other of twelve men, with orders to the one to go to the Cherokee towns and villages, on the south side of the Sabine, and to the other to go in the direction of the Cross Timbers, west and south of the settlements; and if it was found safe to do so, to proceed as far as the Cross Timbers, and for each detachment to ascertain as fare as practicable the disposition of the Indians on the frontier, and to report the same to me by the 26th inst. at James Clarks in Miller county, which detachments were respectfully dispatched on the 16th inst. and proceeded on their respective tours in pursuance of such order. And on the same day I proceeded westward and on the 17th, reached Mr. Peters a place about 40 or 45 miles south west of Fort Townsen, where the citizens had erected a small fortification, which was incomplete but would require but little time complete it, would afford a temporary protection for a portion of frontier should they be assailed by Indians, and inspire the surrounding settlements with confidence, and prevent their abandoning their settlements in case of alarm, as many of the settlers to the south east of that point about 10 or 15 miles, did at the time of the late alarm, and fly to the settlements below for security and protection. Not having received and satisfactory information, on the 18th I proceeded towards Fort Towson and, on the 20th reached Dockville in neighborhood of said Fort, and requested of the command officer of that post, such information as it might be in his power to provide and was answered by Col. Vo.. that he had no authentic information on that subject--- that his command consisted of 4 companies the 3rd U.S., 6 companies of the 7th U.S. Infantry and three companies
[Several illegible lines]
The numbers and ….
22d, I proceeded …..
James Clark’s ….
And there on the 27th….
Of Capt Latimore’s company….
Cherokee towns , had….
And reported that they…..
order, and…. and the Indians ….
following their usual….
ly disposed to be….
citizens and governor…..
way they were overtaken….
do Indians who prof…..
Friendly dispositions, and gave…..
stand that their tribe
friendly and a peace with…..
both the Cherokee and C….
that they had act at any….
signed hostilities towards…
zens. While at Doakville I….
Hughs, who was directly….
(as he informed……
marches, Pawanee, and …..
Indians, who informed….
were entirely friendly
from which as well as….
formation which I can…..
doubtful of the …
Hughs, I ordered…….
any force at the…..
tier, the citizens to be entirely free….
[illegible line]]
All which is respectfully….
Excellency, I have the

George Hill

I wondered if any of you Texans could shed any additional light on this event.

Messages In This Thread

Miller County Arkansas 1836
Robert Hamilton and SEC Football