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Date Original

1865 February 15


Letter from Governor Isaac Murphy to Colonel A.W. Bishop requesting intervention by Federal forces in the Fort Smith area.


[Page 1] Executive Office
Feb 15th 1865
Col. A W Bishop
Enclosed I send to
your care a petition from the citizens of
Fort Smith and vicinity
We look to you and our delegation
at Congress to enforce with all your
influence the [illegible] of the Rebelion[sic] -
the condition of the union people of
Ark is well known to you and the
destructive effects of the action of the
military powers on them. If something
is not soon done, for them, those that can
will leave the state and the rest be crushed
out by Rebel influence and cruelty -
Every boat that come down now brings
crowds of starving women[,] children and
helpless old men robbed of every comfort
Many of them almost naked - all ragged etc.
these people before the war were independent
and well to do[;] some of them [illegible] for our
state - The State House is crowded with
them - as well as every shelter that they can
crawl into[.] what will become of them [Page 2] God only knows
unless the government acts promptly -
we are doing all we can but that is very
little[.] you know that there are very few
Loyal people but what now been reduced
to poverty - and the rebel sympathizer is
gratified - hoping that the policy of the
government will result in giving them
the control of the State
I do hope that wisdom may yet
prevail - and that government will
protect its friends and [illegible] its
enemies - The army at Fort Smith
has become a lawless mob - judging
from reports - entirely demoralized - a terror
to the peaceable citizen - The most horrible
crimes are committed against unprotected
women - yet the government fails to protest
or to authorize and empower the people to
arm and protect themselves -
May God give wisdom and patriotism
to our national councils and patience
to our crushed people, to endeavor with fortitude
their sufferings and the neglect of the national
government - I trust you, our delegation
will spare no effort to make our condition
understood[.] with high respect[,] your friend
Isaac Murphy Gov Ark

Physical Description

Letter, 2 pages, 8" x 12.5"


Civil War; Governors; Correspondence; Refugees


Governor Isaac Murphy

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.); Fort Smith, Sebastian County (Ark.)




MS.000237, Box 1, Series II, Folder 2

Resource Type



Murphy-Berry family collection, MS.000237


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, Governor Isaac Murphy to Colonel A.W. Bishop, Murphy-Berry family collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter, Governor Isaac Murphy to Colonel A.W. Bishop