History of the Civil War in Berryville

Berryville’s Darkest Hour: When This Northwest Arkansas Village Was Attacked During Civil War Skirmish

It as 154 years ago last month when one of the deadliest days occurred in Berryville history.

It happened toward the final year of the Civil War.

During the War of the States, both U.S. and Confederate troops had marched into Berryville.

U.S. units were stationed in the town from 1863 through 1864, including the 1st and 2nd Arkansas Cavalry, the 6th and 8th Missouri State Militia, and Gaddys Home Guards.

But the deadliest day happened on April 16, 1864, when Confederate guerrillas attacked a detachment of the 2nd Arkansas while they were foraging on the Osage branch of Kings River.

Six Union soldiers and six black teamsters died during the fight. The Union casualties, and others who died at the post, are buried in the Berryville city cemetery.

The Civil War was brutal to the town of Berryville. By 1865, most of the town lay in ruins.

Today a marker on the town’s historic public square stands as a memorial to Berryville’s place in history during the Civil War.

The marker was part of the Arkansas Civil War Sites project funded by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, which commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Arkansas.

The commission sanctioned events, encouraged research and education programs related to Civil War Arkansas, and sought to preserve the sites that witnessed the Civil War in Arkansas.

The Civil War Sesquicentennial was celebrated between 2011 and 2015. While the Commission ceased to exist on December 31, 2015, history is still alive at two local museums in Berryville, Arkansas.

The Carroll County Heritage Museum on the historic public square in Berryville is home to local history exhibits as well as the genealogical society. It is located in the towering 3-story building on the south side of the square.

The Saunders Museum is a city-run museum jam-packed with more than 600 firearms collected by Berryville’s native son, Colonel C. Burton “Buck” Saunders, who also donated the very building that originally was his home in the early 1900s to the town of Berryville, so the city could display the vast collections he had amassed during his lifetime.

These valuable guns and the wide range of historical items from America’s Wild West era are on display at this unique museum in Berryville today. Experts noted that this little museum features some big-time displays of the world’s most valuable guns used by famous gunslingers, as well as items memorializing America’s rich, rugged past.

For more information on these two renowned local museums celebrating Berryville’s and Carroll County’s past, visit the official website of the City of Berryville:

Click here for ‘Things To Do in Berryville, Arkansas’

Click here to return to the Berryville.com Homepage