Baxter’s 4th Arkansas Mounted Infantry, USA
Skirmish at Stoney Point
On or About November 20, 1863
White County, Arkansas
On Nov. 9, 1863, General Frederic Steele reported he had designated Lt. Co. T. G. Black and his 3rd Missouri Cavalry to take station at Jacksonport. He is to be accompanied by Elisha Baxter, who is to raise a regiment ( 4th Ark. Mounted Inf.) for the Union at that post.
At that point in time, Jacksonport and vicinity was held by Confederate forces, commanded by Gen. Dandridge McRae and Col. Robert G. Shaver.
According to an official report by Col. Black, dated Nov. 26, 1863, the Colonel arrived at Austin sometime on or about Nov. 19. Black reports, Captain Berry, had left Austin with a small contingent of men. The next morning, Capt. Berry and his command, several miles north, in the vicinity of Stoney Point, was surprised by some of McRae’s men. A short skirmish took place. With 6 wounded, Berry retreated until he met an advance guard of the 3rd Missouri, which immediately charged the Confederates, killing 3 and wounding several.
Stoney Point is approximately 5 miles west of Beebe and 8-10 miles north of Austin.
It was at or near Austin, where Baxter enlisted Captain W. P. Berry and his recruits in to service for the 4th Mounted Inf.
Capt. Berry’s men are enlisted as Co. C, 4th Mounted Inf.
Capt. William P. Berry resigns his commission due to health reasons Dec. 28th, 1863. The command of Co. C, is turned over to Capt. James E. Connor. Capt. Connor’s roster of men in Co. C, states, 2 men were killed and 4 wounded at Stoney Point. This is a total of 6, matching the number Col. Black states as wounded in his Nov. 26 report. 2 must have died later from their wounds. Connor dates the skirmish Nov. 25, 1863. I have searched the official records and reports. I find no such action on that date in the vicinity of Stoney Point, only the skirmish reported by Black on or about Nov. 20.
Men killed or wounded at Stoney Point.
Pvt. Peter Barnwell, Killed
Pvt. Clayburn W. Brewer, Wounded
Pvt. John Burris, Wounded
Pvt. William H. Crigler, Wounded
Pvt. Madison J. Harding, Killed
Pvt. Ran Scroggins, Wounded
Part of General Steele’s Report
Major- General. HEADQUARTERS, Little Rock, Ark., November 9, 1863.
Maj. Gen. JOHN M. SCHOFIELD, Commanding Department of the Missouri:
I designated the Third Missouri Cavalry to take station at Jacksonport, and have been waiting for them to be paid. Baxter and Padgett, two fugitives from Independence County, are going with them, and each expects to raise a regiment for the United States service. . . . . . I have heard of Brigadier-General McRae and [Colonel] Shaver at Jacksonport and on Crowleys Ridge. Their force has been estimated as high as 800. I do not believe they have half that number. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Very respectfully, your obedient servant
Report of Lt. Cot. Thomas C. Black, Third Missouri Cavalry.
Jacksonport, ARK., November 26, 1863.
Lt. GEORGE O. SOKALSKI, Acting Assistant Adjutant- General.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the arrival of my command at this point, on the 21st instant. Upon my arrival at Austin, I found that Captain [C. E.] Berry, ( I am certain this is Captain W. P. Berry) commanding a squad of Arkansians, had left with his command. I encamped 4 miles north of Austin. The next morning I sent forward an order to Captain Berry to halt until I came up; but he had started early, and was not overtaken until he had encountered the enemy some 6 miles in my advance. He was fired upon from an ambush, wounding 6 of his men and 1 citizen. Captain Berry retreated until he met my advance, which immediately charged the rebels, killing 3 and wounding several. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, yours, T. G. BLACK, Lieutenant- Colonel Third Missouri Cavalry, Commanding Post
Baxter’s deposition to the Southern Claims Commission, on behalf of William P. Berry, Dec. 14, 1871.
Elisha Baxter (Witness) Duly sworn, disposes that “I am 44 years of age and resident of Independence County, Arkansas, Judge 3rd Judicial Court Of Arkansas. I met him (William P. Berry), and found my first acquaintance with him at Austin, near Little Rock, when on my way from Little Rock to Jacksonport with Col. Black 3rd Mo. Cav. I had an escort and proceeding to Jacksonport for the purpose of recruiting a Regt. It was in the fall of 1863. He was in command of 60 or more men that he had got together and he tendered them to me for enlistment and they were all enlisted that were found serviceable, from that time until the present, I have known him intimately. I believe his loyalty to have been such a character as to deserve a special recognition by the U. S. Government.”
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