Dandridge McRae was born in Baldwin County, Alabama, October 10, 1829. He was graduated from South Carolina College in 1849; he took up residence in Searcy, Arkansas, where he was admitted to the bar, and was for six years clerk of the county and circuit courts. In 1861 he was inspector general of the state on the staff of Governor Rector, and was one of the first to enter Confederate service as major of the 3rd Battalion of Arkansas Infantry. As colonel of the 21st Arkansas he took part in the battles of Wilson's Creek and Elkhorn, and was promoted brigadier general on November 5, 1862. He participated in the attempt to capture Helena, Arkansas, in 1863, in order to make a diversion in favor of beleaguered Vicksburg. McRae's brigade was later in the command of Sterling Price, during the Red River campaign, in which it fought at Marks' Mills and Jenkins' Ferry. Resigning his commission in 1864, General McRae returned to his home in Searcy and resumed his law practice. Elected deputy secretary of state in 1881, he subsequently became a one-man state chamber of commerce, serving as commissioner to various expositions, and as president of the state bureau of information. He died at Searcy, April 23, 1899, and is buried there.
Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner. Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.