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12th Arkansas Infantry Regiment

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Allegiance  CSA
Size  Regiment
Branch  Infantry
12th Arkansas Infantry Regiment
Active  July 27, 1861–May 26, 1865
Country  Confederate States of America
Engagements  American Civil War Battle of Island Number Ten Battle of Port Hudson

The 12th Arkansas Infantry (1861–1865) was a Confederate Army infantry regiment during the American Civil War. The regiment spent much of its service defending Confederate strong points along the Mississippi River. The unit participated in the defense of Island No. 10 in early 1862 and later became part of the garrison of Port Hudson in 1863. Following the capitulation of the garrison of Port Hudson, the survivors of the 12th were eventually paroled and exchanged back to Arkansas where the regiment was consolidated with the remnants of several other Arkansas regiments to become the 2nd Arkansas Consolidated Infantry Regiment.



12th Infantry Regiment was organized July 27, 1861, by E. W. Gantt. Many of the men were recruited in Dallas County. The field officers were Colonels Edward W. Gantt and T. J. Reid, Jr., Lieutenant Colonels W.D.S. Cook and E.C. Jordan, and Major J. S. Walker. The unit was composed of volunteer companies from the following counties:

  • Company A – Commanded by Captain J.M. Ruffin, organized in Clark County, Arkansas.
  • Company B – the "Arkansas Toothpicks" – commanded by Captain G.A. Hale, organized in Clark County, Arkansas.
  • Company C – the "Ouachita Guard", commanded by Captain H.W.L. Johnson, organized in Ouachita County, Arkansas. This company was originally organized as a volunteer company, under the command of Captain Joseph R. White in the 39th Regiment, Arkansas State Militia, Ouachita County on June 3, 1861.
  • Company D – the "Holly Springs Targeteers" – commanded by Captain E. Chandler, organized in Dallas County, Arkansas. This company was originally organized as a volunteer company, in the 46th Regiment, Arkansas State Militia, Dallas County, on May 30, 1861.
  • Company E – the "Hot Springs Rifles" – commanded by Captain Thomas Glasgow, organized in Hot Spring County, Arkansas.
  • Company F – the "Jackson Minute-Men" – commanded by Captain J.C. Brewer, organized in Jackson Township of Dallas County, Arkansas.
  • Company G – the "Southern Flag Company" – commanded by Captain B. Abernithy, organized in Sevier County, Arkansas. This unit was originally organized as a volunteer company of the 37th Regiment, Arkansas State Militia.
  • Company H – the "Red River Mounted Riflemen" Commanded by Captain A.C. Lovett, organized in Sevier County, Arkansas.This unit was originally organized as a volunteer company of the 37th Regiment, Arkansas State Militia.
  • Company I – Commanded by Captain Mathew Archer, organized in Dallas County, Arkansas.
  • Company K – the "Southern Defenders" – commanded by Captain Josh B. Davis, organized in Hempstead County, Arkansas.
  • Battles

    It served in the Western Department, and later at Beall's Brigade, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. The 12th had the unfortunate distinction of being captured in two engagements: Battle of Island Number Ten, and the Siege of Port Hudson. The bulk of the 12th Arkansas was captured at Island #10 and sent to prison with the other captured regiments from that post. At the prison camps, they joined with those regiments previously captured at Ft Donelson. As was the case with other regiments, there were escapees from the surrender of Island No. 10, including those in hospital or on detached duty, etc. The members of the 12th Arkansas who avoided capture at Island No. 10 were consolidated into two companies assigned on June 16, 1862, as second companies D and F of the 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment and returned to the 12th Regt after it was reorganized October 2, 1862. Meanwhile, the 6th Arkansas embarked on Bragg's Kentucky campaign, and thus, these two companies were unable to rejoin the exchanged regiment until about December 1862: Still other escapees of the 12th Arkansas were consolidated with the 14th and 23rd Arkansas regiments on September 10, 1862, at Saltillo, MS, to form the 12th/14th/23rd Arkansas consolidated regiment.

    Prisoners of the 12th Arkansas were delivered to Vicksburg, Mississippi, on or about September 16, and/or September 23, 1862. The regiment was then reorganized by the election of new officers on October 2, 1862, at Jackson, Mississippi. The 11th Arkansas and 12th Arkansas regiments were consolidated after release. The 12th Arkansas was officially "exchanged" on November 10, 1862. Because Col. Gantt was confined as a prisoner at Fort Warren, when the 12th Arkansas was exchanged and reorganized at Jackson, T. J. Reid, Jr, was elect to the Colonelcy. The other regimental officers elected at the reorganization were:

  • Lieutenant Colonel Ed Jordan
  • Major Walker
  • Adjutant Hemingway
  • Quartermaster Jonas
  • The company commanders elected in this new organization were:

  • Company A, Captain Stewart
  • Company B, Captain Donnell
  • Company C, Captain Johnson
  • Company D, Captain Linzee
  • Company E, Captain Glasgow
  • Company F, Captain Bowen
  • Company G, Captain Doggett
  • Company H, Captain J.E. Inge
  • Company I, Captain Archer
  • Company K, Captain Davis
  • After the surrender of Island Number 10., many of the soldiers refused to return to the command. There were too few men to bring the regiment up to effective strength, so the officers were granted leave to return to Arkansas to recruit replacements, while the enlisted men were temporarily attached to the 11th Arkansas under the command of Colonel Logan. When the officers returned to the regiment, the added recruits brought the its strength up to approximately 300 men in the ranks. The 12th Arkansas participated in the following engagements as a separate regiment:

  • Battle of Island Number Ten
  • Battle of Port Hudson
  • Following the capitulation of Port Hudson, the men were exchanged, but the officers were sent to Johnson's Island. The survivors of the regiment were consolidated with the remains of several other regiments surrendered at that place or at the Siege of Vicksburg and formed into the 2nd Arkansas Consolidated Infantry Regiment.


    The 2nd Arkansas Consolidated Infantry was surrendered with the Department of the Trans-Mississippi, General Kirby Smith commanding, May 26, 1865. When the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered, all of the Arkansas infantry regiments were encamped in and around Marshall, Texas (war-ravaged Arkansas no longer able to subsist the army). The regiments were ordered to report to Shreveport, Louisiana, to be paroled. Virtually none of them did so. Some soldiers went to Shreveport on their own to be paroled, but for the most part, the regiments simply disbanded without formally surrendering. A company or two managed to keep together until they got home.


    12th Arkansas Infantry Regiment Wikipedia

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