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The Twenty-Fifth Arkansas Infantry Regiment was a Confederate unit that saw service during the Civil War. The unit was also known as the Thirtieth Arkansas for a time.
The regiment began the war as the Eleventh Arkansas Infantry Battalion. Organized under the command of Colonel Charles Turnbull, the unit comprised six companies stationed in northern Arkansas in the spring of 1862. As Major General Earl Van Dorn moved across Arkansas after the Battle of Pea Ridge, he ordered the unit to join his forces and cross to the east bank of the Mississippi River. The battalion moved to Mississippi, and additional companies, including some from the Eighth Arkansas Infantry Battalion, joined the unit to bring it to full strength as a regiment. It was renamed the Thirtieth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, and Turnbull continued to lead the unit. The companies in the regiment were from Randolph, Pulaski, Prairie, and Arkansas counties.
The regiment served in a brigade under the command of Colonel Evander McNair. The brigade included the First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles, the Fourth Arkansas Infantry Regiment, the Fourth Arkansas Infantry Battalion, and a battery of artillery from Arkansas. Participating in the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, in August 1862, the unit lost one killed and nine wounded. The regiment next saw action at the Battle of Stones River in Tennessee in the winter of 1862–1863. Losing its colors in the battle, the unit lost ten killed, sixty-three wounded, and twenty-two missing out of 266 men.
Due to these losses, the regiment consolidated with the Thirty-First Arkansas in early 1863 under the command of Colonel Thomas McCray of the Thirty-First. This consolidation was not permanent, and, during this period, the regiment was renamed as the Twenty-Fifth Arkansas. Another unit that served in the Trans-Mississippi during the war became known as the Thirtieth Arkansas.
The regiment served with the Army of Relief during the Vicksburg Campaign, working to relieve the Union pressure around the besieged city. Unable to lift the siege, the regiment rejoined the Army of Tennessee after the city fell in July 1863. Serving in the Chickamauga Campaign, the regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Eli Hufstedler. Due to heavy losses, the regiment consolidated with the Thirty-Ninth North Carolina Infantry under the command of Colonel David Coleman. The Twenty-Fifth had about 111 enlisted men in the battle and a total strength of 133. The regiment lost seven killed, fifty-one wounded, and three missing for a total of sixty-eight casualties. The unit also captured a set of enemy colors in the battle.
The regiment participated in the Meridian Campaign in early 1864 and moved to Georgia in the spring, where it rejoined the Army of Tennessee and participated in the Atlanta Campaign. The Twenty-Fifth served in a brigade with other units from Arkansas under the command of Brigadier General Daniel Reynolds. The other units in the brigade were the Fourth and Ninth Arkansas Infantry regiments and the First and Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles (Dismounted). The unit fought at the Battles of Peach Tree Creek and Jonesboro.
Seeing action at the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, Reynolds’s brigade lost twenty killed and eighty-two wounded. The regiment suffered such heavy casualties that Lieutenant Thomas Edwards commanded the unit by December 1864. In early 1865, the brigade moved into North Carolina and, that March, fought there in the Battle of Bentonville; Reynolds lost a leg in the battle. The entire Arkansas brigade numbered 178 men at Bentonville. At full strength, the brigade would have numbered 5,000. The brigade lost seven killed, thirty-three wounded, and one missing at Bentonville.
With so few men, the brigade was consolidated into a single regiment. This unit was called the First Arkansas Consolidated Mounted Rifles. This unit joined a brigade under the command of Brigadier General Winfield Featherston. The brigade also consisted of two newly created consolidated Mississippi regiments and a standalone Mississippi unit. In late April, the Confederate Army of Tennessee, including the survivors of the Twenty-Fifth Arkansas, surrendered in North Carolina.
For additional information:
Bradley, Mark. This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.
Harrell, John. Confederate Military History. Vol. 10: Arkansas. Atlanta: Confederate Publishing Company, 1899.
Robertson, Brian. Things Grew Beautifully Worse: Captain John O’Brien, 30th Arkansas Infantry, C.S.A. Little Rock: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, 2001.
Willis, James. Arkansas Confederates in the Western Theater. Dayton, OH: Morningside House, 1998.
Henderson State University
Last Updated 4/20/2017
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