Col. Harrison's Headquarters
This historic structure, now a
museum, was the command
post of Col. Harrison during
the Battle of Fayetteville and
was the focus of the arrack.
The Battlefield
Union troops formed on the
grounds and in the buildings
surrounding Fayetteville's
historic Headquarters House.
The Battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas - Union Reports
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas
The following excerpts are from The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official
Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
, Series I, Volume 22, Part One (pages 305-308).

Report of Col. M. LaRue Harrison, 1st Arkansas U.S. Cavalry

April 18, 1863

Arkansas is triumphant. The rebels, 2,000 strong, with two 6-pounder guns, attacked
Fayetteville at daylight this morning, and, after four hours’ desperate fighting, they were
completely routed, and retreated in disorder toward Ozark. General Cabell commanded in
person, assisted by Colonel Scott, of the Virginia Black Horse Cavalry, Colonel Monroe,
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomson, Major Dorsey, and others. Their artillery was silenced at 9 a.m.
by two companies of the First Arkansas Cavalry, and a brilliant cavalry charge under Colonel
Monroe was repulsed in the center of town by our cavalry and infantry. Our stores are all safe;
not a thing burned or taken from us.

Our loss is 5 killed, about 17 wounded, and a few stragglers and pickets taken prisoners. The
enemy’s loss is estimated at 20 killed and 50 wounded, which does not include those taken
off on their retreat. Every officer and man in my command was a hero; no one flinched.


Report of Col. M. LaRue Harrison, 1st Arkansas U.S. Cavalry

April 19, 1863

…On Saturday morning, 18th instant, at a few minutes after sunrise, the enemy made a forced
march from the Boston Mountains during the night, surprised and captured our dismounted
picket on the Frog Bayou road, and approached the town with wild and deafening shouts. Their
cavalry charged up a deep ravine on the east side of the city, and attacked my headquarters
(the Colonel Tibbetts place). The firing of the picket had alarmed the command, and by the
time the enemy had reached the town, the First Arkansas Infantry had formed on their parade
ground, under command of Lieut. Col. E.J. Searle, assisted by Maj. E.D. Ham, and slowly
retired, by my orders, toward the cavalry, then formed, dismounted, at their camp. Fearing that,
not being uniformed, they might be mistaken for the enemy, and fired upon by the cavalry, I
ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Searle to post seven companies as a reserve in a sheltered
position in our rear, two of which were afterward ordered to support the left wing. The
remaining three companies of the First Infantry, together with four companies of the First
Cavalry, formed the center of our line under my own immediate command. The right wing was
composed of the Third Battalion First Cavalry, under command of Maj. Ezra Fitch; and the left
wing, Second Battalion First Arkansas Cavalry, was commanded by Lieut. Col. A.W. Bishop,
assisted by Maj. T.J. Hunt. Headquarters was made the “bone of contention,” and was
repeatedly charged by the rebels, but they were gallantly repulsed by our men. In less than
thirty minutes after the first attack, the enemy planted two pieces of artillery, one a 12-pounder
and one 6-pounder, upon the hillside east of town, near Colonel Gunter’s place, and opened a
sharp fire of canister and shells upon the camp of the First Arkansas Cavalry, doing some
damage to tents and horses, but killing no men. At 8 a.m. our center had advanced and
occupied the house, yard, outbuildings, and hedges at my headquarters; the right wing had
advanced to the arsenal, and the left occupied the open field on the northeast of town, while
the enemy had possession of the whole hill-side east, the Davis place, opposite to, and the
grove south of, headquarters. This grove was formerly occupied by the buildings of the
Arkansas College. At about 9 a.m., or a little before, Colonel Monroe led a gallant and
desperate cavalry charge upon our right wing, which was met by a galling cross-fire from our
right and center, piling rebel men and horses in heaps in front of our ordnance office, and
causing the enemy to retreat in disorder to the woods. During this charge, Captains [William
C.] Parker and [George W.R.] Smith, of the First Infantry, while bravely cheering their men, were
both wounded in the head, though not dangerously. At about the same time, by my order, two
companies of the First Cavalry, led by the gallant Lieutenant Robb, advanced within rifle-range
of the enemy’s artillery, and guided by the blaze of its discharges, fired several volleys into the
midst of the artillerists, which effectually silenced their battery and caused its precipitate
withdrawal from the field. The enemy’s center, occupying the Davis place, made a desperate
resistance for nearly an hour after both wings had partially given way, and skirmishing
continued at intervals for some time with pickets, reconnoitering parties, and stragglers. At 12
m. their whole force was in full retreat for Ozark. Having only very few horses, and they already
on duty with picketing and reconnoitering parties, I was utterly unable to pursue them. During
the whole action the enemy occupied ground covered with timber and brush, while my
command was in the streets and open fields.
East Mountain
Confederate artillery placed
on this ridge proved highly
effective until the guns ran
short on ammunition.
Union Graves in Fayetteville
The Union dead from the
battle are buried at
Fayetteville National
Cemetery.
Battle Damage
The front door of the
Headquarters House was
damaged by Confederate
bullets during the battle.
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