Stark’s Battery

Battery A, First Arkansas Light Artillery Volunteers, known as “Stark’s Battery,” was raised by Denton D. Stark, then adjutant First Arkansas Cavalry. “April 1st the battery was full,” so says the adjutant-general’s report, “but was not mustered into service until August 31, 1863. Meantime and until the 25th of April, of this year, it was stationed at Fayetteville, Arkansas, (though officers and men were absent in Missouri procuring horses when the battle of the 18th of April took place), when, by orders from headquarters of the department of the Missouri, Northwestern Arkansas was evacuated. From May 4th to September 21st, 1863, the battery was stationed at Springfield, Mo., receiving, while there, guns and equipment. In September Lieut. Robert V. Thompson, with one section of the battery, participated in an expedition under the command of Col. M. La Rue Harrison, through Southwestern Missouri and Northwestern Arkansas, in pursuit of Col. Coffee’s command, then raiding that section of country, and proceeded thence to Fayetteville, Ark. The remaining two sections of the battery, under the command of Capt. Stark, left Springfield, Mo., September 21, 1863, for Fayetteville, marching first, however, as far north as Greenfield, Mo., under Col. Harrison, who was then in pursuit of Gen. Shelby. Moving thence to Fayetteville, one section of the battery took part, about October 20, in a skirmish with the enemy, under Col. Brooks, at Cross Timbers, Mo. The battery remained at Fayetteville until March 19, 1864, when, by order of Brig.-Gen. Thayer, it marched to Fort Smith. On the 23d of March it joined the expedition to Camden, forming a part of Col. Adams’ brigade. It was present in the skirmish at Moscow on or about the 13th of April, with four guns in action, and relieved the Second Indiana Battery, under a severe fire from the enemy’s artillery. Leaving Camden with the retreating force under Gen. Steele, April 28, it reached Little Rock May 3, 1864, and moved thence with the frontier division of the Army of Arkansas, to Fort Smith. In October one section of the battery, under Lieut. Mayes, was sent with other troops in pursuit of Col. Gano, who had captured a supply train between Fort Scott and Fort Smith, making a forced march to Cabin Creek, north of Fort Gibson, where they came up with the enemy retreating, but he escaped. The battery occupied Fort No. 2, at Fort Smith, until the 30th of August, 1865, when it was mustered out of service. [The men] were faithful, brave and efficient, and reflected great credit upon the battery and the State.”

The officers were Captains, Denton D. Stark and Henry H. Easter; first lieutenant, Robert Thompson; second lieutenants, Edward D. Brogan, William Mayes; first sergeant, Alex Thompson; quartermaster-sergeant, John B. Malidon.

The battery was largely represented by Washington County men. Their casualties were twenty-five, who were killed and died of disease.

Back to: Washington County, Arkansas History

Source: History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, And Sebastian Counties, Arkansas: From the Earliest Time to the Present, Including a Department Devoted to the Preservation of Sundry Personal, Business, Professional and Private Records ; Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Original Observations, Etc., Etc. Salem Mass.: Chicago : Goodspeed Pub. Co., 1889.

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