I have in my possession the Union Pension Records of my ancestor, Richard Smith. However I have recently learned that he was in the Confederate Army prior to joining the Union Army in 1863. I have been trying to find record of his service in the Confederate Army.
Page 40 of Richard Smith’s (Union) Pension application form lists his Confederate service summary, as provided by the Department of the Interior:
One Richard Smith, private in Capt. L. H. Stone’s Co. A Clarkson’s Battalion, Ark and Mo. Cav. C.S.A. – date and place of enlistment not shown, is reported on roll, without date, the only roll of said Co. on which his name is found, absent “Transferred, Aug. 4 – 1862 to Capt Mc Donel.
Roll of Capt. James Mc Donel’s Co F Clarkson’s Batt. Ark & Mo. Cav. C.S.A. dated, Sept 14, 1862, only roll of said Co. on file, shows Richard Smith, age 24, enrolled by Capt. James Mc Donel, May 1, 1862, in Franklin Co., Ark. for 12 Mos. – present. Remark “Stampeded at Camp Riley, C. N. July 3. – reported back Aug 2, 1862.
Roll of Capt Forrester’s Co B, Buster’s 15 Batt. Ark. Cav. formerly Co G. Clark’s Regt. Mo. Inf C.S.A. from Feb 28, 1863 to Apr 30 1863 first on file shows Richard Smith enlisted May 8 1862 at Ozark by Capt. McDonel for 12 Mos. – present.
June 30 1863 last on file “Absent – without leave.” No record of conscription or disability found.
* Co G Clark’s Regt – Mo. Inft CSA appears to have been organized by transfers from Co’s D, E, F, and G of Clarkson’s Batt’n Ark & Mo Cav C.S.A; M. W. Buster was Lieut. Col. Of Clarkson’s Batt. Ark & Mo. Cav. Also of Clark’s Regt. Mo. Inft. And Buster’s 15 Batt’n Ark & Mo Cav C.S.A.
I pulled up Footnote.com and did a search for “Richard Smith” + Arkansas but I could not find any mention of the above Battalions and Calvaries. Then I did another search on Richard Smith, applied a filter of Civil War Records, then applied an additional filter of “Civil War Soldiers – Confederate CSA.” Beneath that under Military Unit, I found Clarkson’s Battallion of Independent Rangers and filtered my results for that!!!
This resulted in a total of 3 pages for Richard Smith. The first page was the standard card that contained the file numbers for the other two pages. The second and third pages contained the muster rolls for Company A of Clarkson’s Battalion from Feb 1, 1862 – Oct 31, 1862 (page 2 of 3) and Capt James McDonald’s Company from Sept 14, 1862 (page 3 of 3).
These documents matched up for the most part with what was written in Richard’s Union Pension files – that he was transferred to Captain McDonald’s Company in May of 1862; However there is no mention of when or where he originally signed up with the Confederate Army prior to May of 1862 when he was transferred to Capt. McDonald’s unit. [Goal: keep looking for these records, although I don't expect to find them since they were not mentioned in Richard's pension file].
The next set of records I found for Richard Smith were from Clark’s Regiment, Missouri Infantry, also on Footnote.com. I found these by searching in the Civil War Collection and filtering my results by “Civil War Soldiers – Confederate – MO.”
I found two muster cards for Richard Smith for Mar & Apr 1863 – he was present in Clark’s Company G; and for May & June 1863, also in Company G, however he was “Absent without leave.”
Richard’s pension records had mentioned a muster card from Captain Forrester’s Company B, Buster’s 15th Battalion AR Cavalry, formerly Company G of Clark’s Regiment MO infantry C. S. A. dated Feb 28, 1863 – Apr 30, 1863 in which Richard Smith was “present.” – I have not been able to locate this card or Buster’s 15th Battalion [Goal: Locate this unit and muster card]; and frankly I find this a bit confusing. How can the 15th Battalion AR Cav be “formerly of Clark’s Company G” if Richard supposedly was present in this unit in Feb-Apr of 1863 and absent in June of 1863 according to his pension papers but yet he is present in Mar & Apr of 1863 and absent in May & June of 1863 in Clark’s Company G unit according to the muster rolls I found on Footnote.com?
Anyways, that’s for another day. The whole reason I have been looking for these records is to determine when and where Richard Smith signed up for duty. He supposedly had two brothers, John and Clabe or Claiborne Smith who joined the Army at the same time. If I can determine when and where and in what regiment Richard Smith joined the Confederate Army, then maybe I can find John and Claiborne with him.
So my goals are the following:
1. To continue looking for Richard’s original enlistment regiment and muster rolls
2. To obtain Richard Smith’s Confederate enlistment papers – is this possible? Can these be obtained from the National Archives? I have in my grandfather’s notes that Richard Smith’s parents’ names are listed on his enlistment papers, but I don’t have the copies of his enlistment papers. I wonder what happened to them?
3. To find enlistment information for Richard Smith’s supposed brothers John and Claiborne Smith – did they all enlist at the same place at the same time? What happened to them?
If you can provide suggestions on how to obtain enlistment papers on Confederate service, please email me or comment below.
Source: “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations Raised Directly by the Confederate Government,” digital images, Footnote.com (http://wwwfootnote.com : accessed 28 June 2011); Richard Smith (Clarkson’s Battalion of Cavalry, Independent Rangers, C. S. A) index card; imaged from Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865, M258, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives [n.d.]), roll ?. Records were found by searching on “Richard Smith,” in the “Civil War Collection;” Then I applied a filter for the “Civil War Soldier – Confederate – CSA,” and then under Military Unit, I applied the filter for “Clarkson’s Battalion, Confederate Cavalry, Independent Rangers, L-Y AND Lyon’s Escort, Forrest’s Cavalry CSA AND Martin’s Escort CSA”
Source: “Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Missouri,” digital images, Footnote.com (http://wwwfootnote.com : accessed 28 June 2011); Richard Smith (Company G, Clark’s Regiment, Missouri Infantry, Confederate) index card; imaged from Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations, compiled 1903 – 1927, documenting the period 1861 – 1865, M322, (Washington, D.C.: National Archives [n.d.]), roll ?. Records were found by searching on “Richard Smith,” in the “Civil War Collection;” Then I applied a filter for the “Civil War Soldier – Confederate – MO.”