Monday, July 25, 2011

Vintage Photo: Macy M. Williams, 4th Arkansas Mounted Infantry

ATTENTION! Important Historical Re-Discovery Below!

Macy M. Williams. Company A 4th Arkansas Mounted Cavalry
Pictured above is Macy M. Williams, a member of Company A of the 4th Arkansas Mounted Infantry (USA) during the Civil-War. Macy's brother, Asa A. Williams has long been recognized by history as the only troop to have lost his life during the Lunenburg Skirmish of January 20th, 1864. It is very likely that Macy was there that day, possibly even at his brother's side, when Asa was struck down that cold winter day as their patrol attacked a group of Confederates camped near Cooper Valley along Rocky Bayou.

The 4th Arkansas, led by Captain Taylor A. Baxter (brother of future Governor Elisha Baxter), had been dispatched into Izard County to dispel the rebel forces gathering in support of Colonel Thomas Freeman. The Union force of around 40 came upon the encamped Company F of Freeman's Regiment near Cooper Valley and a running battle ensued resulting in the death of Asa A. Williams. Ultimately, the confederates were driven to withdraw into the wooded hillsides.

The Memorial Marker placed on the grounds of the Lunenburg Community Center last year reads as follows:

“On January 20, 1864, a detail of 44 men of the Fourth Arkansas Mounted Infantry Volunteers (U.S.) under Capt. T. A. Baxter, the brother of a future Arkansas governor, attacked Col. T. R. Freeman’s Confederates, driving them from their camp at Lunenburg. Four Confederates were seriously wounded and two were captured, along with horses and equipment. The Fourth Arkansas lost one man killed in the skirmish. The combat at Lunenburg illustrates the war’s true nature: Most of the men in both forces were residents of Izard County.”

The "one man killed", of course, was Asa A. Williams as verified by documents (including application for Confederate pension by Asa and Macy's father, Josiah Williams) provided by a descendant of Asa, Jim Evans. As of the weekend of July 16-17, 2011, however, there is new information that could be added to the inscription upon the marker.

During that weekend, a small group of Izard County historians and genealogists began trading information about the Hinkle family of Lunenburg as a result of a connection Freda Cruse Phillips had made in her new book, Places of Our People. Sparked by Freda's remarks, Roger Harvell, President of the Izard County Historical & Genealogical Society, Bud Cooper, it's Member at Large, Bob Cooper, and Sue Chrisco began putting their heads and hearts together and discovered that despite what has been known, there was at least one Confederate casualty that day among those four "seriously wounded" Confederate casualties referred to on the historical marker.

Buried in the Lunenburg Cemetery, likely only yards from where Company F was camped on that January day of 1864, is 18-year old William A. Hinkle, who died on January 20th, 1864.

Folks, people of like interest, when linked-up to the World Wide Web, can literally change history!

Get out your Grandma's photo albums and scrap-books. Dig through those shoe-boxes stored under Grandpa's bed! Check in those family Bibles in the closet of your Mama's house! Share the photos and info you have. It's easy to scan photos and documents these days. If you don't have the capability, someone very close to you probably does. You never can tell, you may re-discover something really, really cool about your own family!

Photo Courtesy Jim Evans

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