8th Arkansas Infantry Regiment










The 8th Arkansas Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organized under state service at Camp Price, near Jacksonport (just south of present-day Newport, AR) on July 13, 1861. Companies of the 8th Ark. mustered in at Camp Price, Oil Trough, West Point, and Pocahontas. The 8th Arkansas was mustered into Confederate service for a period of 12 months (later extended "for the war") on September 10, 1861.

The Regiment's first commander was Colonel William K. Patterson. Field Officers were Major (later Lt. Col. and Col.) George F. Baucum, Lt. Col. H.M. Couch, Col. John H. Kelly, Major John A. Price, Major (later Lt. Col.) Anderson Watkins, Lt. Col James H. Wilson, and Major W.P. Witt.

Following organization, the 8th Arkansas marched to Pocahontas where it was sworn into Confederate service under the command of General Hardee. In October, 1861 Hardee took his division, including the 8th Ark., across the Mississippi River into Kentucky, where they served on occupation duty until the Confederates were forced to evacuate that state after the fall of Forts Henry and Donelson in February, 1862. Hardee moved to Nashville, then retreated south to Corinth, Mississippi later in March.

The 8th Arkansas's were thrown into the Battle of Shiloh on April 6-7 as part of Wood's Brigade in Hardee's Corps, as part of the Confederate right wing in that battle, entering the early part of the battle at Fraley's Field, then the desperate fight to reduce the "hornet's nest", and finally rolling up against Grant's Last Line just before dark. The 8th suffered heavily at Shiloh, losing more than half its strength.

Following the repulse at Shiloh, the 8th served in the early part of the Corinth campaign, then went with Bragg as a part of Liddell's Brigade (what would soon be come as the Army of Tennessee's "Arkansas Brigade" of Pat Cleburne's Division to invade Kentucky once again, fighting and losing heavily again at Perryville and at Stone's River. After Stone's River, the 8th Ark. was so reduced in manpower that it was combined with the 19th Arkansas in order to maintain some semblance of combat power. They were engaged in the Tullahoma (TN) campaign, and fought at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Ringgold Gap, the Atlanta Campaign, Dalton, GA; Resaca, New Hope Church, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, the Atlanta campaign and siege thereof, were captured at Jonesboro, and paroled just in time for the disastrous campaign at Franklin and Nashville, TN. They returned to the Carolinas under Gen'l Joe Johnston where they attempted to fight off Sherman's advance on Richmond from the rear, and in the final battle of the western Confederate army at Bentonville. Less than a hundred survivors were still with the colors when they surrendered with the Army of Tennessee on April 26, 1865 near Durham, North Carolina.

Previous Page