Dandridge McRae papers


Repository: Arkansas State Archives
Title: Dandridge McRae papers
Date: 1860-1898
Date: Bulk, 1861-1865
Quantity: 1.0 Cubic feet
Call number: MS.000229
Language: Materials entirely in English.

Biographical/Historical Note

Dandridge McRae was born in Baldwin County, Alabama, October 10, 1829, and came to Arkansas (Red River Township, White County) in 1849. He moved to Searcy in 1853 and began practicing law there in 1854. In 1856 he was elected County and Circuit Clerk and served for six years. McRae became actively involved in organizing troops in 1861 during preparations for the Civil War. Many companies reported to McRae at the outset of fighting and he took command of them at the request of Confederate General Ben McCulloch. McRae organized a regiment and was made its colonel. He served under McCulloch at Wilson's Creek, Missouri, Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and Corinth, Mississippi. McRae returned to Arkansas in 1862, raised another regiment, and was then assigned to command a brigade. Another promotion to Brigadier General in 1862 gave McRae the rank at which he served until the end of the war. He played an important role at the Battle of Helena, capturing the only fortification taken by the Confederacy during that engagement. McRae also participated in battles at Jenkins Ferry and Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Following the war he returned to his law practice in Searcy and later held several positions in government. Dandridge McRae died April 23, 1899, and is buried in Searcy. The town of McRae, Arkansas, was named for him.

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Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of General Dandridge McRae during the Civil War. It contains a variety of material including correspondence, narratives, reports/orders, and rolls/lists. Except for items described as "typescript" or "original," the papers are comprised of handwritten copies (apparently copied by Mrs. McRae) of documents from Dandridge McRae's personal collection.

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Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17-U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this material is liable for any infringement.

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Administrative Information
Preferred Citation

Dandridge McRae Papers, Arkansas History Commission, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Immediate Source of Acquisition


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  • Correspondence

    • 1. 1862 August 1: N.H. Darnell, commanding a Texas brigade at Crystal Hill [Arkansas], to General Thomas Hindman, making recommendations for appointments [typescript] (Box 1)

    • 2. 1862 September 10: Colonel Dandridge McRae, Hope [Arkansas], to Colonel R.C. Newton, acting Adjutant General at Little Rock [Arkansas], calling attention to the failures of rifles and ammunition to reach his army

    • 3. 1863: General Dandridge McRae, Jacksonport [Arkansas], to Mrs. McRae, referring to several military events [extract from letter]

    • 4. 1863 May 29: C.B. Moore, Little Rock [Arkansas], to General Dandridge McRae, promising to leave the following morning and describing the difficulties experienced in securing conveyance. Also 1864 July 24: George Gallagher, Major and AAA General at Headquarters, to General Dandridge McRae, ordering three companies of Dobbins' Regiment to report to their regiment

    • 5. 1864 January 29: Brigadier General Buford to Rear Admiral Porter

    • 6. Undated: Petition to General Dandridge McRae, requesting appointment of certain officers to command

    • 7. Undated: General Dandridge McRae to his wife, referring to military events [extracts]

    • 8. Undated: To General Dandridge McRae, criticizing the treatment of Arkansas by the Confederate government

  • Narratives

    • 9. 1861 May: Act to admit the State of Arkansas to the Confederacy

    • 10. [1862]: Comments on the carnage at the Battle of Prairie Grove [Arkansas], "From the Land We Love"; also quotes "The Jacobin Trinity"

    • 11. Undated: General Earl Van Dorn's comments on the conduct of Arkansas regiments at Elk Horn [Pea Ridge, Arkansas], and lists of some men who were killed or wounded in the battle

    • 12. Undated: Narrative of the role of McRae's Brigade in the Battle of Helena [Arkansas]

    • 13. Undated: Opinions concerning the conduct of General Theophilus Holmes in attacking Helena [Arkansas] [typescript]

    • 14. 1863 June 21: Quotes and comments regarding the Battle of Helena [Arkansas], reflecting on the wisdom of the attack [typescript]

    • 15. 1864: Narrative concerning some principal military events, including Wilson's Creek-Oak Hill [Missouri]

    • 16. 1864-1865: List of principal military events in Arkansas in 1864; also, list of principal military events in Arkansas during January and February of 1865

    • 17. Undated: Comments on the effects of the Confederate Congress' Act which permitted state volunteers to be transferred to the regular Confederate Army; also, discussion of the treatment Arkansas received at the hands of the Confederacy and comments on the conduct of Arkansas's troops

    • 18. Undated: Quote from President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Virginia [typescript]

    • 19. Undated: Narrative of battles, particularly Elkhorn Tavern [Pea Ridge, Arkansas]

    • 20. Undated: Narrative of the Battle of Oak Hill [Wilson's Creek, Missouri]

    • 21. Undated: Discussion about Kansas jayhawkers, written by General Dandridge McRae

  • Reports/Orders

    • 22. 1861 April 12: Order from W.C. Schaumburg to Colonel Dandridge McRae to report to Corinth [Mississippi] and take command of the regiments and battery there

    • 23. 1861 July 1: Report of arms, equipment, clothing, et cetera, on hand, Company J, First Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers, at Camp Walker [Arkansas]

    • 24. 1861 July: Description of the composition of General Ben McCulloch's forces; how Captain James McIntosh's forces were raised; and of the attitudes of certain Indian tribes

    • 25. 1861 August 31: Description of the composition of McCulloch's Brigade, Provisional Forces; also, in 1861 October

    • 26. 1862 January: Description of the composition of Colonel James McIntosh's "Army of the West," following the Battle of Oak Hill [Wilson's Creek, Missouri]

    • 27. 1862 June: Orders issued from Headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi District at Little Rock [Arkansas] [typescript]

    • 28. 1862 June 10: General Order Number 11 from Headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department at Little Rock [Arkansas] by General Thomas Hindman, establishing standards of transportation and making assignments of men

    • 29. 1862 September 2: John W. Crabtree, commanding Company B in Camp Hope [Arkansas], recommends furlough for John J. Peebles; also 1862 July, receipt from James Ragsdale, commanding the post at Springfield [typescript]

    • 30. 1862 September 23: Report of W.L. Sims on the condition of the Camp at Hope [Arkansas]

    • 31. 1862 September 30: Order of General Thomas Hindman from headquarters at Little Rock [Arkansas], directing Dandridge McRae to take command of the District of North Arkansas

    • 32. 1862 September 30: Order of General Thomas Hindman from headquarters in Little Rock [Arkansas], directing Dandridge McRae to proceed to Des Arc [Arkansas] with entire force and prevent the enemy from crossing the White River

    • 33. 1862 October 5: Invoice of quartermaster's property transferred, Des Arc [Arkansas] [original]

    • 34. 1862 October 21: Report of arms of Johnson's Regiment [typescript]

    • 35. 1862 October 30: Special report of Dandridge McRae's Regiment [original, oversize]

    • 36. 1862 November 8: Report of Colonel A.T. Hawthorn's Regiment [typescript]

    • 37. [1862]: General John Schofield's statement concerning the Confederate forces and the Special Order from Assistant Adjutant General S.S. Anderson at Little Rock, directing Dandridge McRae to report to Major General Thomas Hindman on the eve of the Battle of Prairie Grove

    • 38. 1862: Organization of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi Department; also, miscellaneous orders concerning McRae's Brigade

    • 39. 1863 July 3: General Order Number 2 from Headquarters of District of Arkansas, in the field, Phillips County, gives the orders of General Theophilus Holmes for the attack on Helena [Arkansas] the next day, including disposition and arrangement of troops [also typescript of part of order]

    • 40. 1863 September 30: Special Order Number 171 issued from Arkadelphia, headquarters of District of Arkansas, making changes in the organization of troops [typescript]

    • 41. 1864 May 26: Petition addressed to Brigadier General W.R. Boggs by the field, staff, and line officers of McRae's old brigade (currently under the command of Colonel L.C. Ganse), requesting that General McRae be assigned to again command the brigade

    • 42. 1864[?] June 1: Abstract of the men present for duty (stationed at Camden [Arkansas])

    • 43. Undated: Morning report, Second Brigade, Arkansas Volunteers, commanded by A.J. McNeil [original, oversize]

    • 44. 186[?] July 16: Morning report, Matlock's Regiment, Infantry, at Little Rock [Arkansas] [original, oversize]

    • 45. Undated: Report of the transportation in First Brigade, First Division, Army of the Southwest

  • Rolls/Lists

    • 46. Muster roll, Captain L. Armstrong's Company B, First Regiment of Cavalry, Arkansas Volunteers (organized by Armstrong in Johnson County, 1860 October) [oversize]

    • 47. Muster roll, Captain Thomas J. Kelly's Company H, First Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Volunteers (organized by Kelly in Fayetteville, Washington County, 1861 April) [original, oversize]

    • 48. Muster roll, Captain Park's Company D, First Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Volunteers (organized by Captain George Featherston in Scott County, 1861 April) [original, oversize]

    • 49. Muster roll, Captain P.H. Sanders' Company, Infantry Battalion, Second Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers (organized in Madison County, 1861 May 22) [men 1-49 missing from list]

    • 50. Muster roll, Captain P.W. Buchanan's Company K, First Regiment of Infantry, Arkansas Volunteers (organized in Washington County, 1861 May 25)

    • 51. Muster roll, Captain Charles Carroll's Company A (Pope Walker Rangers), First Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Volunteers (organized in Crawford County, 1861 May) [original, oversize]

    • 52. Muster roll, Captain J.M. Pittman's Company, Second Regiment, Mounted Infantry, Arkansas Volunteers (organized in Carroll County, 1861 May)

    • 53. Muster Roll, Captain Cabell's Company F, First Regiment, Infantry, Arkansas Volunteers (organized in Franklin County, 1861 May) [original, oversize]

    • 54. Muster roll, Captain John R. Titsworth's Company, Third Regiment, Arkansas Infantry Volunteers (organized in Franklin County, 1861 June) [original, oversize]

    • 55. Muster roll, Captain John Denny's Company, Second Regiment, Arkansas Militia (organized in Carroll County, 1861 June)

    • 56. Muster roll, McRae's Battalion, Company B (mustered in 1861 July 10 by Lieutenant Colonel Dandridge McRae)

    • 57. Muster roll, the first company "to go" from White County (organized by Captain Dandridge McRae, 1861)

    • 58. Muster roll, Company C (mustered into service by Colonel Dandridge McRae, 1861 July); also extract from a letter, General Dandridge McRae to his wife, 1862 July 28

    • 59. Descriptive list of Lawrence's Company, Second[?] Regiment, Arkansas Infantry Volunteers (mustered into service at Camp Walker, 1861 July) [original, oversize, also handwritten copy]

    • 60. Muster roll, Company D, McRae's Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers (mustered into service at Bentonville, 1861 July)

    • 61. Muster roll, Company A, McRae's Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers (organized by Captain James Hobbs in Benton County, 1861 July)

    • 62. Muster roll, Captain John F. Hill's Company, Arkansas Mounted Infantry Volunteers (organized at Clarksville, 1861 July)

    • 63. Muster roll, Captain Thomas M. Gunter's Company, Regiment of Mounted Infantry, Arkansas Volunteers (organized in Fayetteville, 1861 July)

    • 64. Muster roll, Company C of Mena Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers, Captain James Stewart, 1861 July

    • 65. Muster roll, Company B, McRae's Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers, Captain Edward B. Knott (1861 July 10-1861 August 31)

    • 66. Descriptive list of men detached to form a company of sappers and miners, Texas Cavalry, 1862 July 27-28 (Box 2)

    • 67. Muster roll, Company K, enlisted by John Hussey in July 1862, Springfield, Arkansas, attached to Captain Burney's Company 1862 August 16

    • 68. List of persons belonging to the First Regiment, Trans-Mississippi, who are on detached service (Camp Hope [Arkansas], 1862 August 27) [original, oversize]

    • 69. Roster of Company J, Matlock's Regiment [no names]

    • 70. Descriptive list of Captain J.R. Titsworth's Company, Third Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers [original, oversize]

    • 71. Muster roll, John Critz' Company E Battalion, Arkansas Volunteers

    • 72. Muster roll, Polk County "Dallas Invinsibles" [sic], Captain William H. Earp (also known as the Polk County Invincibles, Fourth Regiment, Arkansas Infantry) [original, oversize]

    • 73. Roll and narrative of activities, Company F, Fifth Trans-Mississippi Department, McRae's Brigade; prepared by First Lieutenant Lafayette McHaney in 1898

    • 74. Roster of Company C, First Arkansas Mounted Riflemen, undated

    • 75. Roster of Companies A, B, C, D, E, F, G, I, K, Second Arkansas Regiment, Mounted Infantry. Note states: "Roster was prepared from old letters since there is no muster roll. Many old war records were burned in Gen. McRae's law office in 1877."

    • 76. Roster of miscellaneous names, Brigadier General Dandridge McRae's Brigade, undated

    • 77. Roster of field and staff officers, Fourth Regiment of Trans-Mississippi Infantry, undated

    • 78. Roster of men on detail service, Fourth Regiment, McRae's Brigade, undated

    • 79. Roster of field and staff officers, Second Arkansas Regiment of Mounted Infantry, undated

    • 80. List of absentees and their whereabouts, Colonel A.J. McNeil's Regiment, undated [original, oversize]

    • 81. Men in the engagement at Cane Hill, Arkansas, and Battle of Oak Hill (Wilson's Creek)

    • 82. List of casualties in the detachment commanded by Captain G.W. Rutherford, undated

    • 83. List of shoe makers belonging to Colonel Matlock's Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers; also, list of men recommended as suitable persons to go home after clothing for the regiment [original]

    • 84. List of offiers and privates of the "Bright Star Rifles" company, undated

    • 85. List of men killed at the Battle of Helena in McRae's and Parson's brigades, undated

    • 86. List of miscellaneous men in General Dandridge McRae's Brigade, with information about each man, undated

    • 87. List of companies in McRae's Battalion of Arkansas Volunteers

    • 88. List of men in the Battle of Wilson's Creek, undated

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