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Riding With The Ragged Colonel of The Rawhides

Monroe's Arkansas First Cavalry,

       In the summer and fall of 1862 a flood of volunteers flocked to the enlistment centers volunteering for service in the Confederate Army in Arkansas. This was largely due conscription laws that were strictly being enforced. Every white male between 18 years old and 35 years old was given a choice of volunteering, or face the possibility of being drafted. There were stigmas associated with conscription. Southern men prefer to volunteer, for they felt it was a disgrace to be drafted. I think this played a major role in the decision-making process that my 2nd great-grandfather Hartwell Stain Reynolds employed. He volunteered for service in Monroe's Arkansas First Cavalry at Pine Bluff, Arkansas and enrolled as a private on June 16, 1862, to serve from Oct.1, 1862, through April 30, 1863. Volunteering for service gave him an option to choose which branch of the service he wanted. This preference for service was quite apparent by the large number of volunteers for Cavalry service. So many units were formed that it would be necessary to dismount Cavalry units, re-designating them to infantry regiments. I believe this preference for Calvary duty was the case with my third great-grandfather Hartwell Reynolds.

       Becoming a horse soldier appealed to the frontiersmen who had to learn to ride and shoot at an early age in order to survive. (Note. Confederate Cavalry West of The River, by Stephen Oates) Colonel James Code Monroe commanded Monroe's Arkansas First Calvary. Colonel James C. Monroe was one of the most colorful figures in the Trans Mississippi department of the Confederate forces. He was a well-known figure in the western division as the ragged Colonel of "The Rawhides," because he refused to live better than the conditions his men were experiencing. If the regiment was short on rations and his men went hungry, he would not eat. If his men were poorly clothed, he wouldn't wear anything better than they had. J. C. Monroe had a well-earned reputation as a cunning adversary and was referred to as the Terror by General Steele. (Note. Clark County Historical Jounnal-1994, The Ragged Colonel of The Rawhides)

        . Hartwell was ordered to Mulberry, Arkansas, which was being used as a staging ground for campaigns in northwest Arkansas.8  Mulberry is located on the Arkansas River.  The Confederate army was using Mulberry or Fort Smith as a landing to unload supplies that were shipped up the river.  His official military record states he was detailed to report to D. B. Clark at Mulberry, and he was marked absent on the muster roll.  This period of the enlistment was from October 1, 1862, to April 30, 1863.  The record also states he was issued a horse and a gun.  During this time frame the regiment participated in the Battle of Cain Hill and then fought the Battle of Prairie Grove near Fayetteville, Arkansas.

      Hartwell died in camp somewhere in Franklin County.  This info can be found in Elizabeth's obituary on Page 3 of the Arkansas Methodist, dated April 26, 1884. Another source of information is from William Forrest Reynolds.  William was born May 9, 1886, in Rye, Arkansas, and lived close to Henry Reynolds, Elizabeth’s father-in-law.  Henry died of pneumonia on November 24, 1887, at age 78.  Henry's plantation was located south of Rye in Hurricane Township, Bradley County, Arkansas.  William knew many of Henry's descendants personally. He had firsthand knowledge of the family and had access to the Family Bible Records.   

      The following is a letter written by Hartwell Reynolds while serving with (Monroe's) Arkansas Calvary. This was the last letter the family received before he died. He was on his way to Yellville, Arkansas, but Monroe’s orders were changed and he was ordered to Fort Smith to stop a union advance on the city. Hartwell was sick while traveling with his cavalry unit and somewhere in Franklin County he died in camp. The family Bible records list the cause of his death as the flux. I can only speculate as to the time he died while stationed in northern Arkansas. The letter was dated Sept. 24, 1862. Company G’s first major engagement was Cane Hill, fought on November 27, 1862, and then Prairie Grove fought on December 6, 1862. In the letter he states his condition as improving and because of this, he might have been well enough to have participated in some battles and then died later. To prove this would be hard, because his official military states, “That he was detailed to attend to D. B. Clark on the Mulberry, December 10, 1862 and not reported.”


Soldier letter H. S. Reynolds               

A private in Capt. Davis

Fagans’ Regimen

Des Arc Sept. 24,1862

 Dear Lizzie,

      I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines.  I have been a little unwell but am improving.  I hope the few lines will find you all well.  I have no particular more to write you.  I recon you hear more then I do. We will start in the morning to Yellville.  We are taking the field every day.  I don't think that we will have much more fighting to do. I just written you a few lines because we are going away. Address your letters to Pine Bluff. No name at the present. I am ever yours affectionately

H. S. Reynolds



One of my sources of information on the Henry Reynolds history is William Forrest Reynolds. William was born May 9, 1886, in Rye, and lived close to Hartwell and his wife Elizabeth's farm there at Rye. Henry Reynolds was Hartwell's father and died of pneumonia on November 24, 1887, at the age 78. Henry's plantation was located south of Rye, in Hurricane Township, Bradley County Arkansas. It might be interesting to note that Bradley would become Cleveland, County in 1885. William knew many of Henry's descendants personally and had firsthand knowledge of the family. He worked many years compiling data and had the opportunity to talk to family members that were still living at Rye. Franklin County could be the location of his grave. His military record and the research that William Forrest Reynolds suggests this location, but I have not been fully able to prove this. Roll 15, entry 393, pages 66,36 and 20, Freedman's Bureau of Records, Monticello, Arkansas, lists Hartwell Stain (H. S.) Reynolds family living in Bradley County. This record lists Confederate soldiers that were either alive or dead in 1863. Hartwell is listed as being in service and serving in Monroe's Arkansas First Cavalry. This date, 1863, pin points the year he died in camp, because there are no known records about him beyond this date.      

       The decision to enlist in the Confederate Army must have been a difficult choice for Elizabeth and Hartwell to make. Hartwell was married to Elizabeth (Isaacs) Reynolds. The 1860 Census of Bradley County, Arkansas lists their four children as Leonidas age 5, Erasmus age 2, and Mary age 1. Silas C was born August 12, 1861. Silas was less than one year old when his father enlisted on June 20, 1862. There's a good possibility that his mother was still nursing him. Elizabeth was 34 years old at the time of his enlistment. Elizabeth wasn't considered a young woman, because the life expectancy in 1862 was less than it is now. Her obituary states that she struggled with the storms of life, but always kept her faith in Christ. I can well imagine how hard it must have been on her when she lost Hartwell.

       She was left to raise three boys and one girl. Arkansas had been depleted of a most of its economic resources. The most precious being those love ones that were killed and would never return. The economic burden was further intensified by the many that would return wounded or crippled from the war, and would never be able to work again. The economy of the South was left in shambles and would not fully recover until the Second World War. Elizabeth was truly facing a bleak future, with four young siblings to raise by herself and there weren't many good prospects for marriage available. She knew it would be difficult to manage the farm without the help of her husband. The casualty rate during the Civil War was horrendous and Arkansas experienced one of the highest death rates. Her prospects of finding strong able-bodied men to help her work on the farm did look too promising. I am not trying to suggest that her situation was a hopeless. She was living close to her father-in-law Henry Reynolds and Hartwell had several brothers that might have been able to advise and assist in the management of the farm. There was a Methodist Church and a fellowship of believers in the community that she could depend upon. It is more than probable that the people in her community pooled their resources to rebuild their lives.

       Elizabeth Isaacs was no exception to the common denominator, faith in Christ, that influenced the lives of her parents. In researching the documents associated with the Isaac family, records go back 150 years. Their faith in Christ clearly stands out and reoccurs throughout the historical records that they left. Rediscovering these records has been an inspiration to me.


Researched and written by Robert E Reynolds, 2nd great-grandson of Hartwell and Elizabeth Reynolds.

For more information click on link below

Link to First Arkansas Cavalry Colonel James C. Monroe


Arkansas Methodist on April 26, 1894, pg. 3, column 2., obituary


Our Church at Lakeside, Pine Bluff, has again been bereaved by the death of one of our best women, in the person of Sister Elizabeth E. Reynolds, who was in the 66th year of her age. Our sister's maiden name was Isaacs. She was married to Hartwell S. Reynolds, whose body now fills a soldier's grave, having died in camp during the late war, leaving her with three sons and one daughter to battle with the storms of life, which she nobly did. Having in her early life taken Jesus into her life he did not desert, but stood by and gave a helping hand. Her life was one of devotion to God. Her religion was her strong support, and when death came she was ready, talking of her funeral and its management as but a short journey. Sons and daughters, you can afford but to live for your mother's heaven.  Jon F Caar Pine Bluff, Arkansas





Hartwell Stain Reynolds


Descendants of Hartwell Stain Reynolds


Generation No. 1


1.  HARTWELL STAIN3 REYNOLDS  (HENRY2, HENRY1) was born 1832 in North Carolina, and died Apt. 1863 in Franklin County, Arkansas.  He married ELIZABETH E. ISAACS, daughter of SILAS ISAACS and SARAH ISAACS.  She was born 1828 in Alabama, and died April 09, 1894 in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas.



Burial: A Soldier Grave

Census: 1860, Census Bradley, Co.

Individual Note: Living in Hurricane Township in June 9, 1860

Military service: CSA Monroe's Arkansas First Cavalry, CO., G

Property: Purchased land at Champagnolle land office in July 1857. Source: AR Land Records



Burial: 1894, New Hope Cemetery, Grant County, Arkansas.

Census 1: 1850, Census Marshall Co.  Miss., Southern Division

Census 2: 1860, Census Bradley Co.  Hurricane Township

Census 3: 1880, Census Bradley Co.  Hurricane T. S.



                  i. LEONIDAS BASCOM4 REYNOLDS, b. June 26, 1856, Bradley County, Arkansas; d. February 16, 1913, Gorman, Eastland County, Texas; m. NANCY A. HOGAN, December 10, 1879, Cadron, Faulkner County, Arkansas; b. October 15, 1860, Cadron, Faulkner County, Arkansas; d. November 13, 1921, Gorman, Eastland County, Texas.



Burial: 1913, Left Arkansas for Eastland, Co., Texas

Cause of Death: Cancer Of The Stomach

Census: 1860, Census Hurricane Township, Bradley Co., Ar.

Census 1: 1890, Census Hot Springs Township, Garland Co., Ar.

Census 3: 1900, Census Hot Springs Township, Garland Co., Ar.

Individual Note: Information provided by Velma Bennett

Individual Note 1: Leonidas Bascom went by L .B. Reynolds.

Individual Note 2: 1913, Gorman Cemetery Eastland, County, Texas

Medical Information: Moved To Eastland Texas on advice of doctor because he had asthma. This part of Texas has a dryer climate. Left Hot Springs 1909.-

Occupation: 1910, He was a peanut farmer in Texas.

Property: Farm was located near Kokomo, Texas.


Notes for NANCY A. HOGAN:

Burial: Gorman Cemetery Eastland, County, Texas

Census: 1860, Page No. 35 Sheet No.477

Census 1: 1860, Census Conway Co, Arkansas, Cadron Township



Marriage: December 10, 1879, Cadron, Faulkner County, Arkansas


                 ii. ERASMUS H. REYNOLDS, b. October 25, 1857, Bradley Co., Arkansas; d. February 07, 1899, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; m. ELIZABETH H. WESTMORELAND; b. April 1866, Texas; d. 1933, Pine Bluff, Arkansas.



Burial: Bellwood Cemetery, Jefferson County

Census: 1880, Bradley, County

Individual Note: Hale Funeral Records 1891-1984 Pine Bluff. Ar.

Individual Note 1: Had wife and two small children

Obituary: Arkansas Methodist, July 26, 1899

Religion: Member Lakeside Methodist Church, Pine Bluff



Burial: Bellwood Cemetery, Jefferson County

Census: 1900 Census Vaugine T. S. Pine Bluff AR

Record 1: Bellwood Cemetery Records Pine Bluff, AR

Religion: Member Lakeside Methodist Church


               iii. MARY MOLLIE REYNOLDS, b. June 06, 1859, Bradley Co., Arkansas; d. February 08, 1927, Little Rock, Arkansas in a Confederate Home; m. WAMPUM EDWARD MCMILLAN, February 24, 1877, Cleveland Co.; b. January 1844, Tennessee; d. December 12, 1920, Little Rock Ar., Confederate Home.



Burial: Buried Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Cabot Ar.

Census: 1900, Census Polk County, Arkansas

Record 1: 1927, Died in a Confederate  Nursing Home at Sweet Home AR

Record 2: 1877, Cleveland Co. Marriage Records Book 1 Page 131



Burial: Harlow Cemetery, Rison, Arkansas

Census: 1910, Census Jefferson Co. Vaugine T. S.

Census 1: 1900, Census Polk Co. AR



Marriage: February 24, 1877, Cleveland Co.


                iv. CONSTANTINO SILAS REYNOLDS, b. August 12, 1860, Bradley County, Arkansas; d. March 10, 1937, Cabot, Arkansas; m. MAYETTA DICKEY; b. March 05, 1870, Kentucky; d. March 17, 1944, Cabot, Arkansas.



Burial: Mount Carmel Cemetery, Lonoke County

Census 3: 1900, Census Polk Co., Ar., Center Township

Record 1: Buried row 34 section A, Mt. Carmel Cemetery



Burial: Mount Carmel Cemetery, Lonoke County

Census: 1900, Census Polk Co., Ar., Center Township

Record 1: Buried row 34, Section A, Mount Carmel Cemetery


2012- 2003-copyright The information posted on the Reynolds' Archives may be used for non-commercial, historical, and genealogical purposes. It can be freely downloaded by researchers and those interested in our family history. It can not be used otherwise without my written permission. When using this material, make mention of this web site as your reference.


Posted by Robert Reynolds

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