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> THE ARKANSAS PEACE SOCIETY OF 1861
Cindy
post Jun 22 2007, 04:53 PM
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In November 1861, Confederate authorities in Arkansas learned About an anti-war, perhaps pro-Union, secret organization, located primarily in the north central counties of the state.
THE ARKANSAS PEACE SOCIETY OF 1861

From Russell P. Baker, Archivist


In the mountain counties of North Arkansas in the fall of 1861 secret organizations were formed for self protection and apparently to resist Confederate authority. Total membership in the organizations was estimated at 1700 and was concentrated in Searcy, Marion, Carroll, Izard, Fulton, and Van Buren counties. In these counties and perhaps in several others, the local units of the Arkansas Peace Society were quickly suppressed by extra-legal citizens' committees acting with the county militia units and with justice of the peace courts. Many of the arrested members were forced into Confederate service either by local citizens' committees or by the state military board at Little Rock. Some were tried for treason in Confederate circuit and acquitted. Many of those forced into Confederate service deserted and joined the Federal army.

Only a part of the records relating to the Peace Society survived, but they are sufficient to show the scope and nature of the organization. Surviving documents contain the names of 240 members and suspected members. Of these 181 were located in the United States census manuscript schedules, 1860. An analysis of that record revealed that of the 181, 115 were born in Tennessee, 13 in North Carolina, and 11 in Arkansas. The leadership of the movement was also predominantly Southern-born. Six preachers among the leaders seem to have been especially influential. The brotherhood was indigenous, composed of mountaineers who had no intention of going to war on either side and who wanted to be left alone. There could of course be no neutrality, and the members were forced to take sides.

From: Arkansas Historical Quarterly (Spring, 1958) page 83



MEMBERS OF THE PEACE SOCIETY 1861

Adams, Green Berry - Adams, Joseph - Adams, Spencer - Addison, Mayfield - Arter, Carroll -
Arter, Joseph L. - Bailey, J. F. - Baker, B. A. - Baker, David C. - Baker, James A. - Ball, Gehuger
Ball, James W. - Barnes, James Jackson - Barnes, W. F. - Barnett, David - Bartlet, William
Bishop, Lindsay - Black, Simeon B. - Blasingame, Anderson - Bradshaw, Henry - Bradshaw, John H.
Bradshaw, William - Brantley, B. F. - Branum, Solomon - Bratton, William Milican - Brewer, Aaron V. B.
Brewer, Jonas - Brewer, Lewis S. - Brown, John - Brown, George - Brown, John - Brown, Solomon I.
Brown, William - Broyles, James F. - Carithers, John M. - Cash, Levi C. - Castleberry, John R.
Castleberry, Washington Cahal - Cates, William A. J. - Chambers, Jeff - Chambers, W. R. -
Christy, James F. Homer - Christy, John - Christy, Joseph C. - Clark, Lewis - Conley, Beverly L.
Cook, Henry - Copeland, Alexander N. - Copeland, James B. - Copeland, William - Cummins, Joseph
Curl, John W. - Curl, Samuel M. - Curry, Anderson - Curry, David - Curry, James E. - Davis, H. M.
Davis, William - Denton, Chris - Dickerson, E. - Downey, Patrick L. - Duck, Timothy Arthur -
Dugger, Jasper- Dugger, Thomas M. - Dugger, William M. - Ezell, Isiah - Ezell, John - Faught, Thomas J.
Faught, William C. - Fisher, William Thomas - Forehand, Jonathan - Forehand, Thomas - Foster, James B.
Gadberry, Wm. - Garner, Sr. Parrish - Garrison, _____ - Gary, B. H. - Gerner, Parish - Gilbreth, John
Grinder, Robert - Grinder, Samuel - Guthrey, Thomas - Harley, John - Harness, John W. - Harness, John
Harness, W. H. - Harris, John - Harris, Thomas - Harris, Wm. - Hatley, J. R. - Hatley, J. W. - Haynes, Wm.
Hays, George M. - Hays, Wm. - Hensley, F. H. - Hensley, P.M. - Henson, F. H. - Hoffs, John
Holly, Absolem - Holley, Alex - Holley, Reuben C. - Hollis, James M. - Holmes, John - Hooten, Geroge
Jamison, D. - Jeffery, Wm. - Jenkins, John H. - Johnson,Robert - Jones, Stephen - Kamey, Thomas
Kesner, W. A. - Kilburn Carroll - Kirkham, John W. - Kuykendall, Francis - Ladamon, R. C. - Laive, Jo
Lee, Robert - Long, George - Love, A. J. - Luttrell, James - Lynn, W. G. - Maness, Claiborine
Marshall, William H. - McBee, Alexander - McBee, James H. - McDaniel, John W. - McDaniel, William F.
McEntire, John A. - McInturn, Thomas W. - McLane, S. Allan - McMillan, E. L. - McNair, James Claiborn
Melton, Thomas - Moody, Jonathan - Morris, John Wortman - Morris, John, Jr. - Morris, John, Sr.
Morris, William - Null, John R. - Osborn, Eli L. - Packet, W. J. - Palmer, Benjamin F. - Parks, Daniel J.
Parks, Theophilus (Dink) - Parsley, A. A.- Parsley, Abraham J. - Parsley, J. B. - Passmore, Benjamin J.
Passmore, Joel Henry - Pearce, William - Phillips, Luther P. - Pierce, Austin - Potter, William F.
Price, Charles William - Price, Lindsay - Price, William - Ramsey, Smith - Reeves, Asa - Reeves, Jarrett
Reeves, Joshua - Reeves, Peter - Richardson, James C. - Richardson, Joshua - Ridings, James C.
Rose, M. - Ruff, David Crocket - Sanders, John L. - Satterfield, A. J. - Satterfield, John R.
Satterfield, Nathaniel - Satterfield, P. M. - Scott, William Franklin - Seaton, Nicholas - Shipman, Matthew
Shirley, Wm. - Singleferry, Wm. C. - Slay, Benjamin F. - Slay, Thomas J. - Smith, Abner H. - Smith, Claiborn
Smith, G. W. - Smith, Gilmore - Smith, John - Snellgrove, Gasaway - Stobaugh, Ananias - Stobaugh, Edmond
Strickland, John Anderson - Strickland, Paris - Strickland, Samuel Smith - Strother, Wm.
Sutterfield, Ananias J. - Sutterfield, Nathanial - Sutterfield, Peter Moore - Sutton, Logan - Tackett, W. J.
Taylor, Benjamin Franklin - Taylor, Hezikiah - Terry, Morgan M. - Thompson, James Patrick
Thompson, Samuel - Thompson, Thomas - Thompson, William J. - Tilley, James - Tinkle, Mike
Tinkle, Robert - Treadwell, John S. - Treat, James William - Treat, John B. - Treep, James
Treese, Benjamin - Treese, Daniel - Treese, William - Tucker, John Allen - Tucker, John Middleton
Turney, Bowman - Turney, Pleasant B. R. - Turney, Presley - Turney, Si (Josiah S.) - Tyler, Peter A.
Wallace, J. W. - Wallis, James - Ware, J. J. - Watts, Asa - Watts, Benjamin G. - Watts, Samuel
Webb, John - Wells, Wm. C. - Whitmire, Henry J. - Whitmire, J. J. - Wiley, Wallis - William Jasper
Wilson, John - Winn, Wm. M. - Woodrum, Vinsom M. - Woodworth, Nathan F. - Wortman, Christopher M.
Wortman, Franklin - Wortman, John - Wren, Shadrich J. - Yeary, Wm. H. - Younger, Alexander
Younger, Thomas


There were members from other counties as well. These included: Marion, Newton, Carroll, Polk, Prairie, Pulaski, Izard, Fulton and Van Buren. A special thanks to Barbara Couser for contributing the information from the Arkansas Family Historian, Volume 21, Number 1, March 1983 - Publ. by Arkansas Genealogical Society.







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Marcia
post Jun 29 2008, 08:18 PM
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My great great grandfather’s name – William “Billy” Pearce / Pierce – appears on the list of members of this society. He was born in Anson Co, NC and raised in Henderson Co, TN. Billy was murdered on his farm during the War and I suspect that it was in part because of his membership in the Peace Society. To my knowledge he never served for the Confederacy or for the Union.

Billy’s wife was Laura Hurt Pierce Jones. It has been passed down in family stories that Laura knew or was related to one of the bushwhackers. Apparently after killing Billy, the men came into the house. Laura was sitting on a trunk and one of the men demanded that she move, I suppose to see what was inside and what they could take. Laura refused. She told her granddaughters that it was the only time that she ever “talked ugly” to anyone. One of the men took aim at her and proceeded to fire. The gun was knocked away by the man who knew Laura and she was spared. Apparently they had had enough and took off.

Marcia McClure
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Steph
post Jun 30 2008, 06:48 AM
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What a fascinating family story..any idea what was in the trunk? How nice that Cindy was able to get permission to print the names of the men.! Thanks to you both
It never fails to amaze me how much I DON'T know.

Steph
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