Organized in northeast Arkansas with 5 companies in February, 1862 under the command of Major W.D. Barnett. Sent east of the Mississippi and assigned to Hindman's Brigade, Hardee's Division, of the Army of Central Kentucky later that month. This command went to Columbus, KY, thence to Bowling Green, and performed outpost duty along the Green River. It covered, with other cavalry units, the retreat of General Albert Sydney Johnston out of Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, and on to Corinth, MS. Served as a screening and security force at Shiloh and covered General Beauregard's retreat from Shiloh back to Corinth. and in the Corinth Campaign as part of Beall's Cavalry Brigade. Consolidated with Phifer's 6th Arkansas Cavalry battalion at Corinth, MS on May 15, 1862, and the consolidated unit renamed as the 2nd Arkansas Cavalry Regiment.