Letter from Brigadier-General W. L. Cabell

To the People of North and West Arkansas:

In obedience to special orders from Headquarters Trans-Mississippi District, I this day assume command of all the troops, of whatever kind, in Northwest Arkansas. In doing so, I hope to be able in a short time to rid that section of the State of the presence of an insolent and unscrupulous abolition invader. To do this I must have the hearty co-operation and sympathy of the citizens, and the united and determined effort of the soldier. I bring with me to the task the life-time experience of a soldier, coupled with the zeal of a citizen. Arkansas is the home of my adoption, and that part of it which I am assigned to command is my favorite locality.

The soldiers of Arkansas have, in the present struggle for independence, distinguished themselves on every battlefield. The record they have made on the bloody plains of Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi have shed a halo of glory around their name, and I know that in defending their homes and families they will maintain the character they have made in other States. I therefore ask every man in Northwest Arkansas, capable of bearing arms, to rally to the defense of their homes and their firesides. Every man knows he owes his country service, should come forward at once, and enroll themselves beneath their country’s flag, to protect their rights and their liberties. Come at once! In war, moments are precious.

Those who betake themselves to arms are expected to do their whole duty; those who remain at home should do theirs. The soldiers must be fed and clothed. I hope that a spirit of industry will pervade all classes; that farms will be cultivated with care; that the hum of the busy wheel will be heard in every household, and that the women of Arkansas will emulate the mothers and daughters of the Revolution. We are engaged in a war with a bitter, unscrupulous and mercenary enemy–our success alone can terminate it. The motto of our enemy is: “Subjugation and spoliation;” ours is: “Peace–independence.”

We must conquer it. The enemy must be driven from the soil of Arkansas, and beyond the borders of Missouri. The war has now assumed such vast proportions, and is being prosecuted with so much vigor, that it can not, in the nature of things, be of long duration. One united and vigorous effort on the part of the soldiers in Arkansas will expel the invader. He will not return.

W. L. CABELL, Brigadier-General, Commanding Northwest Arkansas.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas. Chicago, IL, USA: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889.

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