6th Arkansas Infantry


6th Arkansas Infantry

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 6th Arkansas Infantry (Confederate)


caption=Arkansas state flag
dates= 1861 to 1865
country= Confederate States of America
allegiance= CSA
branch= Infantry
equipment=
battles=Battle of Murfreesboro
Battle of Chickamauga
Battle of Chattanooga
Battle of Shiloh
Battle of Perryville
Atlanta Campaign
Battle of Bentonville

6th Arkansas Infantry (June 10th, 1861-April 26th, 1865) was a Confederate Army infantry regiment during the American Civil War.

Organization

The 6th Arkansas was made up from recruits from various counties throughout the state, with its first commander being Colonel Richard Lyon. One of some 48 regiments organized by Arkansas during the war, the 6th Infantry was mustered into service in Little Rock, Arkansas on June 10th, 1861, a little less than a month after the state first began raising infantry regiments. Of those 48 regiments, the most combat active by the wars end would be the 1st Arkansas, 4th Arkansas, and the states most famous regiment, the 3rd Arkansas. However, many other regiments, to include the 6th Arkansas, would see substantial battle action.

Rough start

Initially poorly armed with outdated weapons, some of which were Flintlock rifles, as well as having mixed uniforms, they were by the end of 1861 given matching uniforms from the Little Rock supply depot, and later received better weapons. Prior to that, though, they were marched to Pocahontas, Arkansas where they were to be attached under the command of Colonel William J. Hardee. While there, the Measles broke out in the camp, and many of their soldiers died. When their initial enlistment ended, one full company, "B" company, which originated in Calhoun County, declined to re-enlist. A few other soldiers from other companies also declined extended enlistments.

The regiment saw no action in the coming months, taking part in a small raid in Missouri, and by October 1861 had been sent to Columbus, Kentucky. When their Colonel Lyon was killed during a river crossing, they fell under the command of Colonel Alexander T. Hawthorn. They experienced their first real combat while supporting Terry's Texas Rangers near Woodsonville, Kentucky.

hiloh and after

The regiment saw its first true battle action during the Battle of Shiloh, where it performed extremely well. Sent to Chattanooga, Tennessee following the evacuation by Confederate forces of Corinth, Mississippi, the 6th Arkansas became a part of the Army of Tennessee under Major General Braxton Bragg. It would be with the Army of Tennessee that the 6th Arkansas began to become involved in regular battle actions.

During the Battle of Perryville, the 7th Arkansas had taken devastating casualties, leaving that regiment all but ineffective. The 6th Arkansas had also suffered heavy casualties in that same battle, so the 7th Arkansas' remaining soldiers were augmented into the 6th. From December 31st, 1862 through January 2, 1863 the regiment was heavily engaged during the Battle of Murfreesboro, and would later fight in the Battle of Chickamauga and the Battle of Chattanooga. The entire regiment was captured along with several other regiments during the Atlanta Campaign, but were released several weeks later in a prisoner exchange.

Returning to the Army of Tennessee, they took part in the final charge of the army during the Battle of Bentonville. By this time, many of the Arkansas regiments assigned to the Army of Tennessee had suffered heavy casualties, so the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 19th and 24th Arkansas regiments were consolidated into the "3rd Arkansas Consolidated Infantry". Reorganized in Smithfield, North Carolina, the regiment was combat ready by April 9th, 1865, the very day General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment was surrendered with the rest of the Army of Tennessee on April 26th, 1865, in Durham Station, North Carolina.

References

* [http://www.geocities.com/capitalguards/history.html 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment]
* [http://www.civilwarhome.com/chattanoogaorderofbattle(confed).htm Order of Battle, Battle of Chattanooga]
* [http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/6thinff&s.html 6th Arkansas CSA, Field Officers and Staff]


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