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Yell County In Civil War

The rumor of war was debated throughout the North and South with hothead talk and denial, like this quote from Gone With The Wind.

Brent Tarleton: What do we care if we *were* expelled from college, Scarlett? The war is gonna start any day now, so we'd have left college anyhow.
Stuart Tarleton: Oh, isn't it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yanks may actually *want* a war?
Brent Tarleton: We'll show 'em!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk's spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides... there isn't going to be any war.
Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there's gonna be a war.
Scarlett: If either of you boys says "war" just once again, I'll go in the house and slam the door.
Brent Tarleton: But Scarlett...
Stuart Tarleton: Don't you *want* us to have a war?
[she gets up and walks to the door, to their protestations]
Scarlett: [relenting] Well... but remember, I warned you.

There seemed to be a combination of scenarios occurring that set the stage for a war between the north and south.

  1. Economic differences between the north and the south. The north had become industrialized while the south was still agricultural.
  2. States rights versus federal rights. States wanted to nullify any federal mandates they didn’t agree with.
  3. Slavery versus non-slave state proponents. Should new states admitted to the Union be allowed to choose whether they would allow slavery or not?
  4. Growth of the abolitionist movement. More and more people were against slavery.
  5. The election of Abraham Lincoln. Southern states believed Lincoln was anti-slavery and favored northern issues.

Arkansas had slave owners so there were many folks who were upset with the political and economic conditions arising from the pressures put on them by the north. Most Arkansans did not own slaves, but they were loyal to their family and friends and to Arkansas and would stand beside them, if it came to war. But not all Arkansans felt that way. They didn’t like slavery and they wanted it to stop. They also felt like Arkansas needed to progress toward industry that would better suit the economic needs of its citizens.

On 12 April 1861, war was declared and the fight was on. Many of my ancestors either volunteered or were called on to serve. Some of them stayed in Yell County where the served as barrel makers, wagon makers, and local militia protecting their homeland. Most of them went to fight. Individually their records have been difficult to find. Collectively, Yell County men who enlisted at the same place and the same time with the same company are easily found.

Name Confederate or Union Regiment
Walker, William T. Union Company F 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Pvt  - Enl 14 Oct 1863 in Yell Co, AR.  Ht 5' 5", eyes blue, hair lt, complx lt, farmer, age 18, born in Yell Co, AR. Died of inflammation of brain 5 Feb 1864 in hospital at Little Rock, AR.
Walker, Albany Confederate Company K 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Pvt  - Enl 28 Feb 1862 in Yell Co, AR. Left sick in AR 13 Apr 1862
Walker, John J. Confederate Company K 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Enl 28 Feb 1862 in Yell Co, AR. Resigned on surgeon's certificate of disability 4 Aug 1862
Walker, John A. Union Company H 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Pvt  - Enl 31 Dec 1863 in Yell Co, AR. Ht 5' 8", eyes blue, hair lt, complx lt, farmer, age 18, born in Gibson Co, TN
Walker, Thomas H. Union Company H 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Farrier  - Enl 23 Dec 1863 in Yell Co, AR. Ht 5' 9", eyes blue, hair drk, complx fair, farmer, age 47, born in Sevier Co, TN. Discharged for disability 11 Dec 1864
Walker, David F. Confederate Company E 17th Arkansas Infantry
Pvt -Enl 21 Dec 1861 at Dardanelle, AR. Drowned on the White River 23 Feb 1862 in the sinking of the steamer Cambridge
Walker, Joseph Union Company A 3rd Arkansas Calvary
Enl 19 Nov 1863 at Dardanelle, AR. Ht 5' 6", eyes blue, hair drk, complx drk, farmer, age 18, born in Pope Co, AR. Deserted 19 Sep 1864 at Little Rock, AR
Walker, James R. Union Company B 2nd Arkansas Infantry
CPL - 10 Sep 1863 Dardanelle, AR - Selby  Co, IL - age  25

Albany Walker and John J. Walker of the Confederate 3rd Arkansas Calvary Regiment, Company K are the sons of John and Patsy. I have their Civil War paperwork from the National Archives in Washington D.C.


It’s exciting for me to see a 148 year old document written in the hand on my 2nd great uncle, John J. Walker, brother of my 2nd great grandfather, Joel Walker. What does this letter tell me about him? He could write and therefore, presumably read. He was a patriot willing to fight and die for his country. He was a respected leader as he was elected to serve as 2nd Lieutenant by the other men in his company. He was not healthy when he enlisted in the military and grew evermore unhealthy from complications of pneumonia and camp life where conditions were unsanitary for cooking, cleaning, and personal care. He was 39 years old when he enlisted.

I have not found the Civil War records for my 2nd great grandfather, Joel Walker, but I do know that he and his brother Elijah served as evidenced by this picture.

“Lucy Ann George sitting far left. Behind her is either her husband, Elijah, or her brother-in-law, Joel S. Walker. Her husband, Elijah Walker, died in 1887. Supposedly, this civil war veterans reunion in Montgomery County took place in the 1890's. If so, the guy is Joel. The women all have tobacco in their mouths. Joel has a stogey!“

Of all the information I have found about my family in the Civil War, it appears my direct line of Walkers and Georges served in the Confederate Army. That doesn’t hold true for their brothers and cousins, though. For example, my 2nd great grandfather, William Presley “Press” George’s brother, Hardin W. George enlisted in the Union Army.

Organized at Little Rock, Ark., February, 1864. Attached to Post of Little Rock, Ark., 7th Army Corps, Dept. Arkansas, to May, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 7th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 4th Brigade, Cavalry Division, 7th Army Corps, to February, 1865. Post of Lewisburg, Ark., 7th Army Corps, to August, 1865.

GEORGE, HARDIN W. Pvt - Enl 14 Oct 1863 in Yell Co, AR. Ht 5' 4, eyes lt, hair, lt, complx fair, farmer, age 18, born in Yell Co, AR.
This information was printed exactly as given from the... ARKANSAS Edward G. Gerdes Civil War Home Page http://www.couchgenweb.com/civilwar/

Hardin is buried at Mount George Cemetery in Mount George, Yell County, Arkansas.  Those who fought with the Union military were given Federal Pension benefits after the war and a military headstone commemorating their service to the Union.  Those who served in the Confederate military were not honored by the Federal government.  After 30 years of petitions to the Federal government, the states were given the power to provide pensions to those who served in the Confederate military. 

One brother honored, another brother discarded depending on which side he served. It took a lot of hard work by dedicated Confederates to finally honor all who had served in the Civil War.

William Presley George (standing right) is my 2nd great grandfather.  These are his Civil War Pension Records. Press was the son of Hardin and Angeline Miller George and my 2nd great grandfather. There are 9 items in this file.

Pedigree Charts
Origins of Surnames
Scottish Ties
Will of David Walker
John Walker and Elizabeth Hunter
John Walker and Patsy Headrick
Trail of Tears
Understanding Arkansas History
1820 - 1840 Migration
Land In Arkansas
1850 and 1860 Census Records
The Civil War
1870 - 1880 Reconstruction
1880 - 1900 Community Growth
Yell County Marriages
Yell County Communities
1900 Centerville
Children of John and Patsy
Children of Joel and Sarah
Children of Albany and Malissa
Children of Amos and Martha
George Family
Dacus Family
Harley Family
Davis Family


"I trace my family history so I will know who to blame."