In May and June of 1861, men of Saline County were rushing to join the Confederate Army before the War ended since many believed the War would be short. The men arriving from Southern Saline County were the first to arrive and were designated Company "A" of the 11th Arkansas Infantry which was commanded by Lt. James T. Poe and Lt. Jasper Shepard. The men called themselves the Saline Tornadoes. In this group were two of Jackson Stuckey's sons, Calvin - age 19 and William - age 16. James Dalton did not join until March of 1962.
On August 9th, the 11th Arkansas Inf. left for Pine Bluff after weeks of training. They camped near the Arkansas River waiting for boats to carry them to Memphis. During this time, many men contracted Measles and when they finally arrived in Memphis, about 60 of the sick men were taken to the Hospital. Months went by as they awaited arms to arrive from New Orleans. Finally in December, the disgruntled men finally swapped their shovels for guns. They were then sent upstream to help defend movements by the enemy on the Mississippi River. They set up defenses on Island #10 near New Madrid, Missouri. (see MAP of Isand #10 ) Soon, fierce fighting broke out between the 11th Arkansas and Union troops and the 11th Arkansas was outnumbered 40,000 to 3,000. The Men from Arkansas were able to drive the Union army back for a short time but were pinned down in their ditches for several weeks. Soon the troops found themselves trapped with the swamps of Reelfoot Lake at their backs. Suddenly General MacKall, seeing their situation was hopeless, notified his men they were going to surrender. Calvin and William and others were not looking forward in seeing the inside of a prison camp. As they were herded away to Tiptonville, Mo., Calvin and William became separated and Calvin & some others managed to sneak away into the swamp and hung on to floating logs to hide themselves from detection and escaped back to Arkansas.
Unfortunately for William and others, they were sent to Camp Douglas near Chicago and their commander, James Poe, was sent to a prison in Ohio. Camp Douglas was a nightmare for William and his friends and they saw many men die from hungar and disease. On September 1st, 1862, the men of the 11th Arkansas were paroled, signing pledges not to take up arms against the USA and were sent to Vicksburg, Miss. Soon the 11th Arkansas and 17th Arkansas were consolidated and the men began to prepare for battle again.
Pvt. 18th Arkansas Infantry & Poe's Cavalry Batallion
Meanwhile, in March of 1862, James D. Stuckey, the 3rd Stuckey brother had joined the 18th Arkansas Infantry and was sent to Corinth, Mississippi under the command of General Beauregard. The Union Army drove the 18th Arkansas back to Tupelo and in August of 1862, James was wounded and sent to a field hospital to recover. James rejoined the 18th Arkansas in January of 1863 and was sent to Port Hudson, Louisiana on the Mississippi River. In May, the Union Army moved in and the 18th was forced to surrender in July of 1862. James was sent home on his parole in Mid July of 1863 where he finally met up with his two brothers and they all joined up with Major James T. Poe who had just formed a new Cavalry Unit called Poe's Batallion. The Stuckey brothers fought the remainder of the War with Major Poe's Cavalry in the battles of Poison Springs, Mt. Elba, and Mark's Mill. While fighting with Major Poe, Calvin was promoted to Sergeant.
In late 1863, while on furlough, James D. Stuckey was witness to the murder of a fellow soldier from Grant County. Two men by the names of Hopkins Pratt and J.W. Lockhart had been hunted down by a group of Confederate soldiers led by Jonas Webb. Pratt and Lockhart were alleged deserters and after being caught by Webb's men, Pratt was dragged to death behind a horse. James D. Stuckey had seen this and later signed a sworn statement, naming some of Webb's men as the killers. This statement was later found in some old papers in the possession of John W. Harrison of Leola. Hopkins Pratt had been a neighbor of Jackson and Sarah Stuckey. One of the men who killed Pratt, Jesse L. Pumphrey, was also a neighbor of Jackson & Sarah. The events leading to this murder are found in a diary written by Hopkins Pratt and are described on that page.
The events and stories on this page were taken, in part from the book, "Ranks of Honor", ( A regimental history of the 11th Arkansas Infantry), by Anthony Rushing of Benton, Arkansas (firstname.lastname@example.org) & from documentation found in the Grant County, Arkansas Museum in Sheridan, Arkansas.E-Mail to Wayne Beck
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