Sterling Price

Civil War Camps At Pocahontas

General William Hardee

General William Hardee

Camp Shaver was established in 1861 in two locations. Located along Mill Creek in south Pocahontas, the Army of Northern Arkansas was commanded by General William Hardee (the force was later moved to Pitman’s Ferry in NE Randolph County).  The men there prepared fortifications along the creek.  Some 800 are said to be buried there (we don’t know exactly where), victims of a measles epidemic.  The other part of Camp Shaver was Arkansas’s first and primary basic training camp.  That was located in the area behind radio station KPOC in north Pocahontas.

General Sterling Price

General Sterling Price

When the Confederate Army of Missouri under General Sterling Price was run out of that state by Union forces, they relocated here.  Constant disputes between Price and the Confederate generals here led the Confederate government in Richmond to create the Army of the West under Major General Earl Van Dorn early in 1862, headquartered here in the old St. Charles Hotel on the court square in downtown Pocahontas.  Our City became headquarters for all Confederate forces west of the Mississippi.

General Earl Van Dorn

General Earl Van Dorn

All together, between 30,000 and 35,000 Confederate forces were stationed here at various times.  All these forces were moved east of the Mississippi in 1862 to face Grant at the Battle of Shiloh.

Later in the war, thousands of Union troops were stationed here, at various times.

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  1. James DamonJames Damon08-09-2015

    I am a resident of Randolph County and a student of history. I am familiar with most of the research that puts Camp Shaver South and West of town near Mill Creek. I was just wondering about your source of information placing a second Camp Shaver North of town near KPOC. I am currently working on a project involving Camp Shaver and I have never in my research came across any evidence supporting a second Camp Shaver, however I have heard there was some activity in that vicinity. I would be interested in reviewing these sources to substantiate such claims.

    • Mark LockeMark Locke10-18-2016

      There was a camp, one mile north of the downtown court square. From what i have read over the years.

  2. Ginger SandyGinger Sandy05-05-2016

    there was a Camp Borland and I’m wondering if that is the camp. It was named after Col. Borland who mustered a Confederate army in Nov., 1861 that included 1st Arkansas 30 day Volunteer Regiment

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