Civil War Battle of April 18, 1863 - Fayetteville, AR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 03.955 W 094° 09.459
15S E 395748 N 3991879
Quick Description: The house was used at various times as headquarters for both the Federal and Confederate armies. The Battle of Fayetteville was fought on the house grounds and across the street on April 18, 1863. One of the doors still carries the minie ball hole.
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 1/12/2015 10:11:24 AM
Waymark Code: WMN7GQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

Long Description:

County of Marker: Washington County
Location of Marker: College Ave., courthouse lawn, Fayetteville
Marker Erected by: Mildred Lee Chapter, U. D. C.
date Marker Erected: 192.

Marker Text:

This corner was the scene of hot fighting by Confederate troops under Brig. General W. L. Cabell and Federal Forces commanded by Colonel M. La Rue Harrison, on April 18, 1863.

"In April, two of the state's most aggressive cavalry commanders attempted to reverse the Southerners' sagging fortunes. On the sixteenth, Brig. Gen. William Cabell led nine hundred Rebel cavalry north from Ozark to attack Federal forces occupying Fayetteville. Cabell, nicknamed "Old Tige," was a thirty-six-year-old Virginian and a West Pointer whose prewar service in the army had been primarily in the quartermaster departments On this spring morning, he would lead his troops into a fight that was a microcosm of the whole war. The First Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) would battle the First Arkansas Cavalry (Union) in an area both called home.

"A Federal officer described Fayetteville as "a beautiful little hamlet nestling among the foothills of the Ozark range,… the chief educational center of the state, the home of culture, refinement, and that inborn hospitality so characteristic of the South… The Public Square… was surrounded by stores and shops, broken only… by an old-fashioned tavern."

"The first "casualties" of the battle of Fayetteville were Lt. Gustavus F. Hottenhaur and eight of his men from Company B of the First Arkansas Cavalry (Union), who were enjoying a dance at a private home in West Fork some eight miles south of the town. A detachment of Cabell's cavalry under Lt. Jim Ferguson surprised the merrymakers and demanded their surrender. The shocked Federals scattered in every direction, "into the kitchen, the cellar, and under the floor." Their commanding officer demonstrated the greatest imagination by attempting unsuccessfully to climb up the chimney. All nine were taken prisoner.

"Cabell continued his march on Fayetteville, arriving shortly after sunrise on Saturday, April 18. The Confederates approached the city from the east with "wild and deafening shouts" and advanced on the headquarters of the Federal commander, Col. M. LaRue Harrison, located in the Tebbetts' house just northeast of the town square." Harrison's brother, Capt. E. B. Harrison, was asleep in the Baxter house across the street when the Rebels attacked. Awakened by the commotion, he looked out the east door of his room and saw, to his shock and consternation, a column of Confederate cavalry moving toward him. He escaped out the front door and ran to warn his brother.

"Cabell placed his two pieces of artillery on a hillside east of town and opened fire on the Federal camp with canister and shell. One of the first shots, an explosive shell, entered the Baxter house, where several women and children had sought shelter in the cellar. The shell crashed through the wall and struck a heavy wooden partition. The partition deflected the shell into a kettle of lye, which extinguished the fuse and prevented an explosion and, in all probability, saved the lives of the civilians huddled in the cellar. For almost four hours the battle raged around the Union headquarters. The Rebels managed to gain control of the Baxter house and a grove of trees south of the Tebbetts' house, but could go no farther.

"Around 9 a.m., Col. J. C. Monroe led a desperate cavalry charge against the Union right, only to run into "a galling crossfire ... piling rebel men and horses in heaps" in front of the Federals' ordnance office. Captain Harrison had sought protection behind a tree and witnessed the Rebel charge. He later wrote,

"I looked with wonder, as well as admiration, upon that splendid body of horsemen as they swept down Dixon Street.... [W]hen nearing College Avenue, they were met by a fire from the Federal soldiers the most heroic could not face it.... I stood by the tree as the cavalrymen came thundering down the road, many falling from their mounts, one horse (evidently wounded to its death) turned and with a terrific leap cleared the high plank fence and fell dead in the Baxter lot, carrying his rider with him, who, though evidently wounded, freed himself from the dead horse and made his way around the house.

"Monroe's charge was the Confederate high water mark. Gradually, the Union forces began to drive back both flanks of the Rebel line. The Confederates in the Baxter house at the center of the Rebels' position continued to resist for almost an hour after both wings had begun to give way, but eventually they too were driven out. By late morning, what remained of Cabell's command was retreating toward Ozark. Colonel Harrison had too few horses to mount a pursuit.

"Federal losses were four killed, twenty-three wounded, thirty-five missing, and sixteen captured (including Hottenhaur's ill-fated dancers at West Fork). Cabell reported his losses as approximately twenty killed, thirty wounded, and twenty missing. The fierce resistance of the Arkansas Federals surprised him. The First Arkansas (Union) had turned and run at the battle of Prairie Grove and ever since had been considered unreliable. But in his official report of the engagement at Fayetteville, Cabell noted, "The enemy all (both infantry and cavalry) fought well, equally as well as any Federal troops I have ever seen. Although it was thought by a great many that, composed as they are of disloyal citizens and deserters from our army, they would make but a feeble stand, the reverse, however, was the case."

"Cabell also reported that he could have burned a large part of the town, "but every house was filled with women and children, a great number of whom were the families of officers and soldiers in our service." He placed part of the blame for his setback on the superior weapons possessed by the Union troops. Many of his men were armed with "Arkadelphia rifles," which, he noted, were " no better than shotguns." The Federals were equipped with the longer-range Springfields and Whitneys. Despite his failure to take the town, Cabell reported that his men were "in fine spirits, and ready to try to take the enemy again and that he would shortly be prepared "to strike a heavier blow." ~ From Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas; - Courtesy of the Department of Arkansas Heritage

Date Installed or Dedicated: 1/1/1928

Name of Government Entity or Private Organization that built the monument: Mildred Lee Chapter, U. D. C.

Union, Confederate or Other Monument: Other or General Civil War

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