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1864 April 30: Skirmish at Mount Elba, Arkansas

May 4, 2014

The following articles are from the April 30, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal.

The first article is about a skirmish at Mount Elba, Arkansas.  The expedition to Mount Elba began on March 27, 1864, when the Federal forces under left the post at Pine Bluff on a mission to attack the Confederate forces camped at Monticello. The battle of Mount Elba was fought on March 30,1864.

THE 28TH IN A FIGHT.—Six companies of the 28th Wisconsin, under command of Col [sic]. L. J. SMITH,¹ left Pine Bluff on the 26th ult., together with three regiments of cavalry and the 18th Illinois infantry upon an expedition towards the Saline River.  The following Tuesday they destroyed a bridge on the Saline, burned 38 of the enemies [sic] wagons, and captured 270 prisoners with over 200 horses and mules.  Up to this time they had not fired a gun.  On Wednesday they had a sharp skirmish at Mount Elba.  The rebels were driven back.  On our side the entire loss was two killed, both members of the 28th Wisconsin—THOMAS GREEN² of Co. G., and PATRICK O’BRIEN³ of company I.  Fifteen of the enemies [sic] dead were buried by our men, and over thirty were wounded.  The expedition returned to camp with 320 prisoners.

Finger002  The Copperheads say the reason men do not now volunteer with as much rapidity as at the beginning of the war, is because of the emancipation proclamation of the President.  Do they suppose the public so stupid as to be deceived by such nonsense ?  The reason men do not volunteer as readily now as formerly is simply that a million of the able-bodied men of the country have already volunteered.  There were thousands of men at the beginning of the war who had no business or family ties to keep them at home.—They could enlist as well as not.  This class is well nigh exhausted.  Most of those who now go, unless it be the young men who have become of proper age since the war began must abandon families and settled business in order to enlist.  It is this, and not opposition the policy of the Administration, which renders it more difficult now to find volunteers.

STATISTICS OF MISCEGENATION.—There were 411,613 mulatto slaves in the South in 1860, of whom 69,979 were in Virginia, 43,281 in Kentucky, 36,900 in Georgia.  These numbers are considerably beyong [sic] the legitimate proportion of those States.  There were also 176,739 free mulattoes in the United States in 1860, of whom 106,770 belonged to the South, and 69,969 to the free States.  Of the free mulattoes Virginia contained 23,485, which number, added to her slave mulattoes, makes a total of miscegenated population of 93,824.  Her mulattoes in the free States.

The whole number of mulattoes, slave and free, in the Union, in 1860, was 588,352, of whom 69,969 belonged to the free States and 518,383 to the slave States—a number greater than the combined white population of Arkansas, Delaware and Florida—greater than the white population of Maryland—almost twice as great as that of South Carolina, and twice as great as the combined populations of Delaware and Florida.  The mulatto population of Virginia alone exceeds the number of whites in Delaware and Florida.

We hope that some of our copperhead exchanges will try to do justice to the enormity of the practices disclosed by these figures.

1.  Captain Lyndsey J. Smith, from Troy, was captain of Company I of the 28th Wisconsin.
2.  Thomas Green, from Genesee, was killed in action March 30, 1864, at Mount Elba, Arkansas.
3.  Patrick O’Brien, Jr., from La Fayette, was killed in action on March 30, 1864, at Mount Elba, Arkansas.

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