Organized in February, 1862 under the command of Colonel George W. King and field officers Lt. Col. Alf Carrigan and Major James H. Fletcher. Served in an unattached status with Van Dorn's Army of the West at the battle of Pea Ridge on March 7-8, 1862. Subsequently assigned to the garrison of Fort Pillow, TN from April through June, 1862. Moved to Corinth, Mississippi and assigned to Rust's Brigade in the Army of the West in April, serving in the Corinth campaign. Renamed as the 20th Arkansas Infantry on May 13, 1862.