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Yell Rifles-15th Arkansas Company C Civil War Reenactment Group

History of the 15th Arkansas Company C

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3rd Arkansas Company A

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The Yell Rifles, named in honor of Colonel and Governor Archibald Yell, who was killed in action at the battle of Buena Vista in the Mexican War, was organized at Helena, Phillips county, Arkansas, on April 8, 1861. The company joined with other independent volunteer companies to force the surrender of the U.S. Arsenal at Little Rock, before being assigned to a regiment. On May 14, 1861, the First Regiment, Arkansas State Troops, was organized at Mound City, six miles above Memphis on the Mississippi River. Captain Patrick R. Cleburne, of the Yell Rifles, was appointed colonel of the regiment, First Lieutenant Edward H. Cowley succeeding him as captain. The Yell Rifles became Company F of the First Regiment, Arkansas State Troops.

On July 23, 1861, the regiment was enrolled in Confederate service at Pittman’s Ferry, Arkansas, and re-designated as the First Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers, with the Yell Rifles becoming Company B. When it was learned that Colonel James Fleming Fagan’s regiment had also been designated as the First Regiment, Cleburne’s regiment was re-designated as the Fifteenth Regiment, Arkansas Volunteers, on December 31, 1861, and the Yell Rifles once again had its company designation changed, this time to Company C. It would retain this designation to the end of the war.

Two members of the original Yell Rifles became general officers in the Confederate Army. Captain Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was promoted successively to Colonel, Brigadier General and Major General, and was killed in action at the battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864. Some historians as one of the Confederacy’s most capable general officers consider him. Third Lieutenant Lucius Eugene Polk, who became colonel of the Fifteenth Arkansas after the battle of Shiloh, was promoted to brigadier-general on December 13, 1862. He was severely wounded at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, June 10, 1864, and was forced to retire because of his wounds.

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15th Arkansas at the dead angle at Kennesaw Mountain

                       Battle Honors

Pittsburg Landing, Shiloh Tennessee April 6-7 1862

Richmond (Mount Zion Church) Kentucky Aug. 30 1862

White’s Farm and Richmond, Kentucky Aug 30 1862

Battle Perryville, Kentucky Oct. 8 1862
Murfreesborough Tennessee Dec. 30 – Jan 3 1863

Tullahoma Campaign Tennessee June 23 – July 7 1863

Pea Vine Ridge Georgia Sept. 16 1863
Alexander’s Bridge Georgia Sept. 18 1863

Chickamauga Georgia Sept. 19 – 21 1863

Siege of  Chattanooga Tennessee Sept. 24 – Nov. 23 1863

Chattanooga/Ringgold Campaign Tenn/Georgia Nov. 23 – 27 1863

Tunnell Hill/Missionary Ridge Tennessee Nov 24 – 25 1863

Missionary Ridge Tennessee Nov 24 – 25 1863

Ringgold Gap, Taylor’s Ridge Georgia Nov. 27 1863

Dalton Georgia Feb 22 – 27 1864

Tunnell Hill, Buzard’s Roost Gap and Rocky Faced Ridge Georgia Feb 23 – 25 1864

Rocky Faced Ridge Georgia May 8 – 11 1864

Buzzard’s Roost Gap/Mill Creek Georgia May 8 – 9 1864

Resaca Georgia May 14 – 15 1864

Operations: On the line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about

New Hope Church and Allatoona May 25 – June 5 1864

Operations: About Marietta and against Georgia June 10 – July 2 1864

Kenesaw Mountain Georgia June 27 1864

Operations On the line of Nickajack Creek Georgia July 2 – 5 1864

Operations: On the line of Chattahoochee Georgia July 6 – 10 1864

Battle: Peach Tree Creek Georgia July 19 – 20 1864

Engagement: Bald Hill (Leggett’s Hill) Georgia July 20 – 21 1864

Battle Atlanta Georgia` July 22 1864
Siege of Atlanta Georgia July 23 – Aug 25 1864Battle

Jonesborough Georgia Aug 31 – Sept 1 1864

Operations: Northern Georgia and Northern Alabama Sept 29 – Nov 30 1864

Engagement: Spring Hill Tennessee Nov 29 1864
Franklin Tennessee Nov 30 1864
Nashville Tennessee Dec 15 – 16 1864

Averysborough North Carolina March 16 1865
Bentonville North Carolina March 19 – 21 1865

Surrender: Bennett’s House, Durham Station, North Carolina April 26 1865