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The Brooks-Baxter War: The Pope County Civil War

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The Pope County Militia War conflict between the Reconstruction government of the state and country partisans, some of them former confederates, who opposed reconstruction. It entailed the assassination of many local officials and is often seen as a prelude to the Brooks-Baxter War of 1874. Pope County, lacking a large slave economy, had been divided in terms of loyalty during the civil war, and those divisions ran high even after the formal end of hostilities. In 1865, Governor Isaac Murphy appointed Archibald Dodson Napier, a former Federal officer, as sheriff of Pope County. On October 25, 1865, he and his deputy, Albert M. Parks, were both shot from ambush as they rode horseback along the old Springfield road east of Dover, then the county…show more content…
Elisha W. Dodson was appointed sheriff, with John H. Williams, younger brother of Morris Williams, as deputy. Wallace Hakes Hickox was appointed by the governor to be county clerk after stout. In spring of 1867, two federal companies under a Major Mulligan were stationed in dover to help the civil authorities bring order to the area. The troops remained until 1869, when Governor Powell Clayton removed them. However, violence flared up again with the July 5, 1872, assassination attempt upon Deputy Williams. In response, Dodson received permission from Ozro A. Hadley, who was serving as governor following Claytons 1871 resignation, to organize a company of militia to clamp down on the violence. On July 8, County Clerk Wallace H. Hickox, Sheriff Dodson, and William A. Stewart, the county superintendent of public instruction, arrested Nicholas J. Hale as well as his son William, Joseph Tucker, and Isham Liberty West. the posse, taking their prisoners to Dardanelle, crossed Shiloh Creek in the dark when shots were fired into the group of prisoners. Tucker and William Hale were shot from their horses; both were
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