Union Gen. Sam Curtis Army of the Southwest, after winning the Battle of Pea Ridge (Mar 7-8 1862) moved to Batesville to counter an eastward move by his opponent, Gen. Earl Van Dorn. He was obeying an order to join forces at Corinth, Miss. in preparation for an advance with others in a move that resulted in the Battle of Shiloh, of which Van Dorn was too late.
At Batesville, Gen. Curtis aimed to take Little Rock, but was discouraged by dry weather and having no protected supply line from Missouri. Supply boats could ascend no farther than Clarendon. Gen. Curtis marched to that point only to find the boats left the day before.
He couldn’t advance on Little Rock and his army was starving and sick. After three days he began the march to Helena and received relief from the Federally controlled Mississippi River. This is where Texas Col William H. Parsons came in, to keep Gen. Curtis contained in that area and out of harms way.
By mid 1862 Parsons received intelligence from scouts and civilian spies that an advance on Little Rock was eminent. Details from the 12 Texas Calvary were placed west of the White River defense line to guard the crossings at Clarendon, Aberdeen, Peppers Ferry (Casscoe), Crocketts Bluff and St Charles.
Capt. Johson’s Spy Company was an Independent unit answering only to the Major-Gen. comdg at Little Rock, who were assigned him to Col. Parsons temporarly. Unlike the others, he made foray’s to Helena from St Charles.
The ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, prior to the meeting at the St. Charles Museum. The ceremony of the historical marker will be held on Highway 153, which is 3/4s mile as you turn off on Highway 1 from DeWitt. The scheduled speaker will be Mike Thompson of Red Oak, Texas, a direct descendant from a member of Johnson's Company.