The Flanagin administration had the humiliating duty of
over a government in exile. In the summer of 1863, the defeat
the only major Confederate army in Arkansas at Helena on July 4
the end of the Vicksburg campaign made it possible for Union
move into the interior of Arkansas. Facing an
overwhelming force, the
Confederate army in Arkansas moved out
of Little Rock on September 10,
1863. The entire state government
abandoned the capital city and
relocated at Washington in
The course of the war produced an even more dramatic political
trend following the initial support of secession. By 1863, there
few reasons to be hopeful of Confederate success in Arkansas.
troops marched into Arkansas early in 1862 and never left
federal victory at Pea Ridge on March 2-3, 1862, was
followed by the
withdrawal of the Confederate troops that had
served there into
Mississippi. Confederate Gen. Thomas
Hindman, former Arkansas Congressman, successfully resisted the
subsequent effort of the Union
Army under Gen. Samuel A.
Curtis to capture Little Rock, but Curtisí
army still managed to
march across northeastern Arkansas and seize
declaration of martial law, and his use of draconian
his efforts, offended many Arkansans who saw them as an
infringement on their liberties. Later in 1862, another Confederate
force was defeated in northwestern Arkansas at Prairie Grove.
capture of Fort Smith and Little Rock in September 1863, left
over half of Arkansas under federal control. As conditions
worsened, many politicians decided to return to the Union.
When federal troops occupied Little Rock, the city saw an influx
of men who sought to reestablish a loyal Union government.
Edward W. Gantt of the 12th Arkansas Infantry was typical
of this new
type of Unionist, one that might better be called a
for they were ready to reconstruct the Union.
Gantt was joined by others
like Jesse Turner of Van Buren, a
delegate to the secession convention
who had voted to leave the
Union after Fort Sumter. Even planters such
as Anthony A. C.
Rogers of Pine Bluff had become convinced the Confederate cause