Make your own free website on





Clarkson’s Battalion (CSA):

A Brief History and Roster


By David L. Haimerl & published by Two Trails Publishing


From the introduction:Colonel James J. Clarkson was authorized to raise a cavalry battalion of six companies in the dark days following the Confederate defeat at the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, March 7 & 8, 1862. As the research progressed, I realized too many factors influenced the battalion’s history to merely drop the reader into Act III of a six act Shakespearean tragedy. Too many questions would arise in the reader’s consciousness without pertinent answers: what factors inspired the Federals to invade the Indian Territory; why were there conflicts between Colonels Drew’s and Watie’s regiments; what led to the shortage of Confederate formations in northwest Arkansas and the adjacent areas; and what were the underpinnings of the chaotic Confederate command structure? Of necessity, a lengthy ‘setting the stage’ is required to provide a firm foundation for understanding the circumstances and situations in which the battalion operated.

            "Thus, the primary audience for this work is the typical family historian whose ancestor served in Clarkson’s Battalion, yet has limited knowledge of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi theater. A secondary audience is the military scholar and, with luck, I’ve inserted enough rough diamonds to quench their thirst for new knowledge and further avenues of investigation.

                “This work could vaguely be termed a primer for the Civil War in the Indian Territory in 1862. It is my deep hope, through this work, to not only increase the knowledge of this little-known unit and its service to the Confederacy, but to bring the fascinating Civil War fought west of the Mississippi River to light. Admittedly, it lacks the ‘grandeur’ of the larger battles and campaigns fought in the primary Eastern theater and secondary Western theater. The Trans-Mississippi theater was an ugly war more reminiscent of the anti-partisan campaign fought throughout the Balkans from 1941 through 1945 in World War Two. It was truly brother against brother in many instances, with suppressed, seething animosities stretching back to the removal of the Five Civilized Tribes from their eastern homelands, and the ‘Bleeding Kansas’ period awaking with the advent of open hostilities after Fort Sumter. Add to this volatile mix individuals and small groups whose sole motive was personal profit at the expense of the unfortunate.”


Clarkson’s Battalion (225 pages) is the first work to examine the history of this obscure unit in detail and provide a comprehensive roster. Furthermore it offers:





    Colonel James J. Clarkson was authorized in late March 1862 to raise a battalion of cavalry, consisting of six companies, for special service. A few days later, Clarkson received instructions that his battalion would be tasked with interdicting the Federal line of communications traversing the Santa Fe Trail. His unit would never accomplish this assignment. A Federal invasion of the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, loomed on the horizon. By June 16, 1862, Clarkson had raised five companies which were encamped along the Grand River in Indian Territory. Two weeks later, Colonel Clarkson and half his battalion, along with elements of Colonel Stand Watie's Cherokee Regiment would be surprised at their encampment near Locust Grove. Clarkson and slightly over 100 of his men would be captured.

    The Confederate higher command desired the remnants of Clarkson's Battalion to be divvied up among Colonel Carroll's Arkansas Brigade and Brigadier General Rains' Missouri command. Instead the battalion was reorganized under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Michael Woods Buster, Jr., formerly the battalion's adjutant. The unit now consisted of eight companies.

    The unit would participate in only a few other engagements: the tail end of the Battle of Newtonia (30 Sep 62), actions at Granby & Newtonia (night 3/4 Oct 62) and the fight at Old Fort Wayne (22 Oct 62). By mid-November 1862, the remnants of Clarkson's Battalion were consolidated into four companies and used to form Colonel John Clark, Jr.'s regiment of Missouri Infantry. In some respects, though not designated Clarkson's Battalion, the former unit loosely retained its former identity by its soldiers being grouped together into companies under four of their former captains. In September 1863, these four companies would be detached from Clark's regiment to form a new cavalry battalion under Lieutenant Colonel M.W. Buster. This later unit would exist until at least the summer of 1864.


 The following two rosters are name only, per company assigned to. The heading for each company identifies the location from which the majority of soldiers were enlisted from.


Roster, 1st Organization


Roster, 2nd Organization





This exciting new book can either be ordered directly from the publisher, Two Trails Publishing, at or from the author at $16.95 each, plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Contact the author for wholesale price at email: (put subject as Clarkson Book). Please send orders and payment (check or money order) to:


David L. Haimerl

19339 Mulberry Lane

Stover, MO 65078


Savings: If payment is by money order, deduct $2.50 from the cover price ($14.45 + $3.00 S&H =$17.45).


            The author is currently compiling information for rosters of the 6th Kansas Cavalry and the Confederate Cherokee units (serving in Indian Territory). If your ancestor served in these units, and you wish to contribute information to these projects, please contact (please put in subject 6th KS CAV or Reb Cherokees). All contributions will be properly cited and credited to you, the contributor. I humbly thank you for your generous assistance.


            Continued assistance and support for the author's research and writing endeavors are provided unselfishly by HS Search: genealogy research in southeast Kansas and Kansas newspapers.


Designed by David L. Haimerl using Frontpage.