Friday, January 24, 2014

Stood Their Ground Through Three Charges

The 11th United States Colored Infantry was in action on January 24th 1865 at Boggs’ Mill in Arkansas.

The 11th Regiment of the United States Colored Troops was recruited in the autumn of 1863 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  It was made up mostly of former slaves that lived in the area, as well as a few slaves from the Choctaw Nation.  They were attached to the 2nd Brigade of the District of the Frontier in the 7th Corps of the Union Department of Arkansas.  The unit was at first assigned to garrison duty at Fort Smith.

Their first action came in the summer of 1864 when the 265 effectives of the 11th were sent into the Indian Territory to guard stock and hay at Gunther’s Prairie.  On August 24th 1864 the 11th were attacked by about 350 Confederate Cavalry.  There was a hard fight that lasted over two hours with the Confederates making three charges, before they were forced to retreat.  The 11th lost 3 men killed and 14 missing or wounded.

Returning to Fort Smith until November 1864 when they were ordered east into Conway County, Arkansas.  On January 24th 1864 they confronted a detachment of the 10th Arkansas Cavalry at Boggs’ Mill.  The Confederates under the command of Colonel Robert C Newton had taken the mill a few miles from Dardanelle, Arkansas.  The 11th surprised the Confederates, capturing 18 horses, arms and Newton’s official papers.

After this the 11th was placed on garrison duty in both Little Rock and Lewisburg, Arkansas through April 1865.  As the Civil War was wrapping up the 11th was merged with the 112th and 113th becoming the 113th United States Colored Infantry on April 22nd 1865.

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