Thursday, October 1, 2009

A day with the Jackson Guards

As I visited Jacksonport, I learned about the soldiers that formed Jackson Guards. This unit was formed in 1861 of 120 men from Jackson County. These men left Jacksonport on May 5, 1861 after receiving a flag made for them by local woman of Jacksonport.

This unit was part of the First Arkansas Infantry and fought in several major battles such as the battle of 1st Manassas, Virginia, the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee and the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. On June 5, 1865 Confederate General Jeff Thompson also known as the "Swamp fox of the Confederacy" surrendered over 6,000 troops to Lt. Colonel C.W. Davis at Jacksonport. Several members of the Jackson Guards were part of the 6,000 troops that surrendered during this time.

The monument in the picture was built by Confederate Veterans to honor the Jackson Guards. William E. Bevens a former member of the Jackson Guards wrote his reminiscences in order to raise money for the construction of the monument. One can still read Bevens memories of his experience in the Civil War in a book titled "Reminiscences of a Private". The monument was original dedicated in Newport, Arkansas in 1914; however, it was moved to Jacksonport State on November 10, 1973. The monument now sits on the point that the Jackson Guards left from beside the White River.

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