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Skirmish at Perry County

Location:

Perry County

Campaign:

None

Date:

December 3, 1864

Principal Commanders:

Lieutenant Robert W. Wishard (US); unknown lieutenant (CS)

Forces Engaged:

Company C, Third Arkansas Cavalry (US); Franz and Conly’s companies (CS)

Estimated Casualties:

1 killed, 1 wounded (US); 5 killed (CS)

Result:

Union victory

The December 3, 1864, Skirmish at Perry County was one of many military events of the Civil War to occur within the Arkansas River Valley, exemplifying the contentious nature of the Union’s occupation of the area around the Arkansas River.

The only known surviving document is a report by Colonel Abraham H. Ryan of the Third Arkansas Cavalry, headquartered in Lewisburg (Conway County) at the time. According to this report, Lieutenant Robert W. Wishard conducted a scouting expedition into Perry County (the exact location is not given) and encountered Rebels affiliated with the companies of John A. Conly and a man named Franz. The resulting fight left five Confederates dead, including a lieutenant, and one Union private dead. Wishard pursued the Rebel companies southward for twenty-five miles.

Col. Ryan and the Third Arkansas Cavalry operated along the Arkansas River and central Arkansas, engaging the enemy at such places as Norristown (Pope County), Quitman (Cleburne County), and Yell County for much of late 1864. Two days before the Skirmish at Perry County, his troops fought another skirmish at Cypress Creek in the northern part of the county.

For additional information:
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series 1, Vol. 41, p. 980. Washington DC: Government Printing Office, 1893.

Guy Lancaster
Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

Last Updated 1/2/2013

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