Baxter’s 4th Arkansas Mounted Infantry, USA
Dear Mr Cook,
I read with great interest your story about your family and the 4th Ark Yankee mounted infantry.. My family story is very similar. My Great Grandfather's brother, John Knight was in Co A. There are several other Knights in the unit I suspect cousins. John was discharged from Confederate service and went home to take care of a widowed mother and three small siblings. His three brothers remained in Confederate service, two died and one, Jessie, was wounded and disabled at Liberty Gap in Tenn. . they were in the 6th and 7th ark infantry. My mother's family were all Confederates as were the family members of my paternal GGrandmother. . I was most disturbed when I found a Yankee sympathizer in the woodpile some years ago. However, I have come to understand, after discovering the situation in North Ark at the time, the necessity to do the best for your family under the circumstances. I.e. work for the Yankees or get burned out and starve. Three of the other Knights in Co A were former Confederate Soldiers. I have been to the Lunenburg Battle site and attended a re-enactment there.
Thanks for sharing the very interesting tale about your Arkansas ancestors.
J.J., M.V., and M.M. Knight were in the 27th Ark. Infantry. MV is supposed
to have died in 1862. The other two are listed as deserters in Sept 1863.
This information came from a book about the 27th written by Desmond Walls
Allen. None of these men are known to be related to me, but I suspect that
they are cousins as several related families of Knights moved into the area
from Tenn in the 1840s and 1850s..
John Knight served in the 7th Ark infantry with his brother Jesse, John was
discharged after 6 months of service and went home to take care of three
young siblings including my ggrandfather and a widowed mother. . Another
brother, William Knight was in 6th Ark infantry and was killed at Stones
River. Jesse was wounded at Shiloh and again at Stones River and Liberty
Gap the last wound crippled him for life. He lived in Macon, Ms after the
War and died in Cal while visiting his sister in the 1920s. Another older
brother, James, left home early in the War to enlist in the Confederate Army
and was never heard from again He is not listed as a member of the
household in the census. I suspect he had remained in Tenn after the family
move and joined the family shortly before the war..
So the only member of Baxter's unit that is a known relative is John who
would be a ggranduncle.
They lived in Independence County near Batesville. The area later became
Stone Co. Their farm was directly across the White River from the Waugh Farm
fight. I still own the land..
With regard to the Lunenburg fight, my gggrandfather on my maternal side
was Solomon Rutledge Smith. He was from Lunenburg and fought with Col
Thomas Freeman's Confederates. There is better than a good chance that he
participated in that engagement. He later lost a leg at the Battle of the
Little Blue River during Price's Raid. He was captured and spent the rest
of the War in the Yankee prison at Alton, Ill. He was active in the KKK
after the war and his obituary states that "he remained unreconstructed to
They were all farmers, and though fairly prosperous for the area, they were
not slave owners. My Knight relatives moved to Texas after the war but
returned to Ark
I have very little to offer in the way a family stories. My dad knew very
little about the subject and by the time I was old enough to ask questions
the old folks were dead. I do recall as a very young boy maybe 7 or 8,
I would spend some time in the summer at the farm with my grandmother. My
grandfather died in his 50s and was gone by then.. Her mother, Rosa Martin,
was alive then though very old. She would talk about the Jayhawkers raiding
their farm and stealing everything. I do recall even at that young age being
impressed by her hatred of Yankees.
With regard to John Knight, I read a story about the war, I believe it
was in "Turnbo's Stories of the Ozarks", that stated that the home of John
Knight was known as a meeting place for Southern Men. From that I can
conclude that his service in Baxter's 4th was without enthusiasm. I do not
know if he was at Lunenburg, but he was in Company A under Taylor Baxter
and I believe Co. A was there.
I hope this information is of interest to you as your family story was to
David S. Knight
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