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Date Original

1861 September 02


Flanagin writes that all but one of the churches in Springfield are being used as hospitals for the wounded soldiers, and ten or twelve wagons full of wounded Union soldiers had recently left town. The future Arkansas governor also discusses how the mailing system works between him and his wife. He ends by stating that he believes the majority of the women in Springfield are Union supporters.

Biographical/Historical Note

Harris Flanagin was born in Roadstown, New Jersey, on November 3, 1817. After attaining his law degree in Illinois, he moved to Greenville, Clark County, Arkansas, and began practicing law. He served as deputy sheriff of Clark County in 1841, and was elected state representative the following year. He was again elected to public office in 1848, serving in the state senate for two years. In 1851, Flanagin married Martha E. Nash of Washington, Arkansas. They had three children: Duncan, Nash, and Laura. Following Arkansas's secession from the Union in 1861, Flanagin served as representative from Clark County to the Constitutional Convention in Little Rock. Flanagin fought in the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles during the Civil War. In camp near Knoxville, Tennessee, the news of Flanagin's nomination did not reach him until after the election. By the time he was able to arrange for a leave of absence, a telegram arrived announcing that he had been elected governor. Therefore in 1862, Flanagin left active duty to take office. His administration dealt primarily with war-related measures, maintaining order, and continuing government while enduring an invasion. The capitol at Little Rock fell to Union troops on September 10, 1863, at which time Flanagin moved the state government to Washington, Arkansas. At the end of the war, he received a presidential pardon, but remained disfranchised until 1873. In 1874, Flanagin became a member of the Constitutional Convention and was selected to be chairman of the Judicial Committee. While in Little Rock working to form the new constitution, he fell ill, returned to Arkadelphia, and died October 23, 1874.


[Page 1] Camp at Springfield
Sept 2nd 1861
Mrs. M. E. Flanagin
Dear Wife.
We are yet here.
we sent off on Saturday 120 wounded
nurses and surgeons. There is
yet 175 here. It is expected that
they will get off on Saturday
next but that is uncertain.
Bynd has been quite sick. So much
so as to keep his bed for a week,
I think him better but he
improves very slowly.
We have one very
sick man in camp (Mr White)
but he is thought to be improving.
I was at church
yesterday and heard a Mr
Roberts preach a very good [Page 2] Sermon. He is a [Sophist]. I do not
think there was twenty citizens
present. The population of the
town is about 2000
We have a pleasant camp and
our sick are improving.
All the churches in town but
one are filled with wounded.
The northern men sent off
10 or 12 waggons loaded with
wounded. They have buried
the most of those killed. I
suppose there are some 30
which remain unburied.
As soon as we can come here
we are ordered to go to the
southwest corner of Missouri.
It is possible though that we
may not go or receive a short
stay if we do go.
I suppose you will hear
a great many things about the [Page 3] battle which did not take place.
I suppose you get our
letters more regularly than we
get ours. We send the letters
to where they aut [sic] to go
promptly but yours are often
delayed in our part of camp.
a day or two ago letters [ ]
here which had been 35 days
on the road.
Morgan making arrangments
to establish a mail to [ ]
but that will [ ] move
Slow there the present [ ]
I have seen but very little
of the Springfield ladies but
what I have seen has induced
me to believe that there is
a majority of them for the union.
H Flanagin

Physical Description

Document, 6.75" x 5.25"


Confederate States of America; Civil War; Arkansas


Flanagin, Harris, 1817 - 1874

Geographical Area

Springfield, Greene County (Mo.)






Flanagin papers, MS.000061


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Harris Flanagin, "Camp at Springfield," to Martha E. Flanagin, Flanagin papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Harris Flanagin,