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UNIONIST IN ARKANSAS

Powell Clayton Reconstruction Governor
of Arkansas 1868-1871
One of the more interesting facts that I found while researching "Blood in the Ozarks" is that many in Arkansas had either given up in the War's last days or joined the Union when it took control of the State. Another interesting fact is that this proclamation was dated December 25, 1863. The same day as the massacre of Colonel Timothy Reeves' men of the 15th Missouri Cavalry , CSA and their families who had gathered for a Christmas dinner at on of Reeves' regimental camps near the Arkansas state line.

PROCLAMATION TO THE CITIZENS OF NORTHERN ARKANSAS “WE HAVE RECEIVED FROM A FRIEND:

"The following proclamation, issued by Col. Livingston, formerly commanding at this Post. He now has charge of the district of N.E.Arkansas. (Headquarters, Dist. North Eastern Ark., Batesville, December 25th, 1863.)” Proclamation to the Citizens of Northern Arkansas: Ordered to assume command of the District of North Eastern Arkansas, I have come among you clothed with authority to protect the loyal and summarily punish all violations of the laws of war.

I am not here to ask you what you have done in the past.Your actions in the future,more than your past conduct, shall serve as a basis for my guidance. To the noble sons of Arkansas, who have stood true to the old flag amid all the vicissitudes of this deplorable war,I extend the warm right hand of fellowship. To those who have already repented of their folly in resisting the best and most powerful government on Earth, I shall afford protection; and to such as are now in arms,but are anxious and willing to return to their allegiance to the United States, I promise security in the enjoyment of those inestimable blessings, which only the Government I represent can bestow upon her citizens.

 Let the strong reasons of good men be exercised to recall the misguided, who still persist in a fruitless and ruin-entailing struggle against fate. Be advised in time—forego the course of bootless warfare you have carried on in detached and unwarranted hands against the Government—return to your firesides and the bosoms of your families,and as far as in my power lies,I will protect you and your from harm. 

In every expedition sent out by my command, rest assured that the Guerrilla, Bushwacker or Jayhawker, as he is variously termed, will suffer death whenever found in a condition that convicts him of this crime against the law of nations.

No civilized armies recognize soldiers the merciless bands of robbers and murders who have brought so much suffering on their fellow-countrymen.—Wherever such bands return to their homes and the avocations of peaceable and law abiding citizens, they shall not only by unmolested, but they and their property will be protected. I ask and shall expect the full support of all good men in restoring peace to your desolated district.The hearty co-operation of law and order loving citizens in suppressing lawless bands, by information as well as by appealing to the erring, is essential to your own safety,and is demanded. It is proper that it should be fully understood, that in all operations against guerrillas in the northern part of this State, having the co-operation of the Generals commanding the southern districts of Missouri,I will hold such as escape into Missouri responsible, and pursue them north until they and their crimes are overtaken and summarily punished.

 —R.R. Livingston, Col. 1st Nebraska Cav. Comd’g Dist. N.E.Ark."

According to "The Aftermath of the Civil War , in Arkansas", written by Powell Clayton (Governor of Arkansas during its Reconstruction period), the amount of Unionist men in Arkansas who joined the Federal occupiers of Missouri would equal 10,000. Keep in mind that he was Arkansas Governor during Reconstruction so it is quite possible those numbers were more boastful than accurate.

Still, Powell's account combined with Colonel Livingston's Proclamation suggest that many in Arkansas joined the Union in the last year of the War but I write this not to make light of Southerners in Arkansas but to shed light on just how desperate Southerners in Missouri were to fight their occupiers.
From  "The Aftermath of the Civil War in Arkansas
By Powell Clayton
Arkansas Governor 1868-1871













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