Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker Program

The Civil War in Lawrence County/Skirmishes in Lawrence County

 

City: Smithville

County: Lawrence

Location: 80 Highway 115W

Sponsor: Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, City of Smithville, Arkansas Humanities Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

GEO Coordinates

UTM-X: 652609
UTM-Y: 3994135
UTM Zone: 15

Latitude: 36.079860
Longitude: -91.305114

Marker Text

The Civil War in Lawrence County

Smithville was the Lawrence County seat in 1861, and while most residents supported secession, others stayed loyal to the Union. At least 17 Confederate companies were raised in the county. Other troops were conscripted into the army later, and slaves and Unionists sought refuge in Federal camps. Civilians faced privation and lawlessness as the war dragged on. Smithville lost its county seat status when Sharp County was carved from Lawrence after the war. Freed people established a post-war village south of Smithville that was called “Little Africa.”

No. 141

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

City of Smithville

Arkansas Humanities Council

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

Skirmishes in Lawrence County

Smithville’s site at a strategic crossroads led troops from both sides to the area. The 5th Illinois Cavalry occupied the town in May 1862, and they skirmished with partisans west of town on June 17. Most fighting involved Confederate irregulars, and neither side controlled the area, though both depleted its supplies. Other fighting in what was then Lawrence County took place Oct. 7, 1863, near Evening Shade, Feb. 8, 1864, at Morgan’s Mill and April 13, 1864, near Spring River. Confederate troops passed through during Price’s 1864 Missouri Raid, recruiting men.

No. 141

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

City of Smithville

Arkansas Humanities Council

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program

2015

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