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From: "Bob and Sheila Cooper" <>
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] ARIZARD Digest, Vol 5, Issue 403
Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 13:45:17 -0500
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Thanks,most of what I have on Georges' came from you
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dortha Gamel" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:24 PM
Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] ARIZARD Digest, Vol 5, Issue 403

> Hello Bob, How are you doing? I have not been working on the George line
> latley but Elvita and I have been in touch with each other for years. I
> got an email the other day from a man in OK {Do not have his name at the
> moment) and he also had some new things on Bill Dark that I had not seen
> before. Did you know there was a song for him?? I will look up his name
> and email if you would like to make contact.
> Again, I am very interested,.Rachel Adeline George is my great grandmother
> ,Sarah George Cooper's sister.James Sever George is my gg grandfather.
> Thanks Bob Cooper
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Elveta" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 8:19 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARIZARD] ARIZARD Digest, Vol 5, Issue 403
>> This Information may be of no interest to anyone but me.
>> It is interesting:
>> In 1850 Pulaski Census, age 15, born Arkansas, with mother[?] Dilly
>> Dark, age 35, born "Unknown", living in Hotel in Little Rock, dwelling
>> 563, John Brown, age 35, born Ireland, landlord. Wm. Dark Jr may be
>> the son of William Dark, Pvt., Co. A, Arkansas Battalion Infantry and
>> Mounted Rifles, age 29 who enrolled 10 June 1846 in Clarksville,
>> Arkansas, for the Mexican War.
>> Bill Dark Sr married Rachel Adeline George, daughter of James S.
>> & Margaret George, and had a son, William Dark. Rachel and William, Jr.
>> are in the 1880 Stone County, Arkansas census, living with her parents.
>> In 1860 he is again in the Pulaski County Census, in the State
>> Penitentiary, as J. W. Dark, age 23, male, born Arkansas. [I do not
>> know what he was in for.] On June 14, 1861, at Fort Smith, Arkansas, he
>> enrolled as a private in Captain Galloway's Company, Churchill's
>> Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Riflemen. [This company subsequently became
>> Company F, 1st Regiment Arkansas Mounted Rifles.] His service record
>> states that he traveled 177 miles to the place of rendezvous, and that
>> his horse was valued at $125 and his horse equipment at $25. He
>> enlisted for 12 months. He subsequently appears as "present" on muster
>> rolls for July & August, 1861; January 31 to April 20, 1862; and May &
>> June, 1862. There is another piece of paper which states that he
>> appears on an undated Receipt Roll for receiving $54.80 for use of
>> horse, arms, etc., at 40 a day, beginning June 14, 1861 and expiring
>> October 31, 1861.
>> Further mention of his name during the Civil War is:
>> "A dispatch came from Russellville that De Rosey Carroll had
>> been murdered in Franklin county by the jayhawkers, under the command of
>> Bill Dark, a former inmate of our penitentiary."
>> True Democrat , [Little Rock, Arkansas], January 21, 1863, page 1,
>> column 1.
>> "It was reported that Parks, the renegade Texan, who, at the head of
>> a band of jayhawkers had murdered De Rosey Carroll, had been caught and
>> was to be sent here [Little Rock]; also, that Bill Dark had been
>> wounded and taken prisoner."
>> True Democrat , January 28, 1863, page 1, column 1.
>> "Dark, who was said to be taken in Izard county, was badly
>> wounded, and it is not probable he will live to reach here. It was said
>> here, and is vouched for by respectable men, that Jerome B. Lewis, of
>> Van Buren county, is associated with the jayhawkers in the northern
>> portion of the State."
>> Democrat , February 4, 1863, page 21, column 2.
>> Camp near Clipper's [Clapper's], Mill, }
>> Carroll Co.,
>> Ark., April 27th, 1863.}
>> Editor True
>> Democrat--We, the undersigned officers in the Confederate service in
>> Northern Arkansas, learning that reports have been circulated and matter
>> published prejudicial to the loyalty and bearing of John W. Dark, a
>> citizen of this State, and a brave and daring soldier, as an act of
>> justice to the said Dark, we would state, that he has been in Col.
>> Schnable's cavalry recruits for several months, on the borders of this
>> State, and has been in nearly every border fray that has recently
>> occurred. No one has acquitted himself more gallantly and displayed
>> more deeds of daring than John W. Dark. Under the most discouraging
>> circumstances, when others were desponding, he has been ever active,
>> bold and determined in arresting the progress of vandals, who have been
>> desolating this portion of the State. We have never entertained a
>> suspicion of his loyalty, but on the contrary, have recognized in him, a
>> bold, driving and determined soldier, and one who has risked his life
>> under the most severe trials for his country.
>> S. C. SCHNABEL, Col. Com'dg.
>> E. G. MITCHELL, Capt.
>> J. J. EOFF, Lieut.
>> S. W. STIGLEMAN, Lt. & Adgt.
>> JOHN P. NORVELL, A. Com'sy.
>> G. J. OVERRALL, O. S.
>> W. W. HUDSON, Lieut.
>> D. A. WINTER, Lieut.
>> True Democrat , May 6, 1863, page 2,
>> column 1.
>> At the commencement of the war William Dark, of Searcy county,
>> Arkansas, was a felon undergoing servitude in the penitentiary of the
>> state, and was released on condition that he join the Confederate army,
>> which he did; but after a short service in that army he deserted, went
>> back to his home and congregated a gang of thieves and outlaws to prey
>> on the non-combatant, defenseless people. This gang claimed and
>> exercised absolute jurisdiction over every species of property they
>> desired--horses, cows, sheep, mules, fowls, provisions--and in a great
>> number of instances appropriated the last article of clothing belonging
>> to helpless women and children. Many wagons were loaded with plunder.
>> The gang, headed and ruled by Dark, became the synonym of all that is
>> degraded and abandoned in mankind, and abject submission to his demands
>> was the only security to life. His very name struck terror to the
>> hearts of women and children and old defenseless men who were unable to
>> pass beyond the sphere of his operations.
>> At that period the feelings of neighboring Unionists and
>> Confederates were crystallized in intensity against each other--all the
>> harder to soothe and remove for want of that liberal foundation in deep
>> and broad education enjoyed by more favored communities. But there was
>> a community of interest; both sides to the war were equal sufferers. A
>> few old conservative men representing both elements got together, and
>> each side agreed to raise a company to exterminate the marauders, if
>> possible, in the joint interest of both elements. And they did; each
>> keeping their covenant by raising a company of home guards, or
>> regulators.
>> At that time the three leaders of separate bands were operating
>> in Searcy, Baxter, Marion and adjacent counties. For some weeks after
>> the regulators organized, Dark foiled their efforts to capture and
>> dispose of him, and continued his depredations in defiance of the
>> organization. He discredited their ability and courage. Whilst matters
>> thus stood, two Confederate soldiers, on furlough from the regular
>> Confederate army, visited their families in Searcy county, and on the
>> day of the tragedy following were together with their wives and children
>> at one of their residences. On this day little Master Berry, whose full
>> name has escaped memory, who was ten or eleven years old, came to see
>> his friends from the army and to learn of other Confederate soldiers
>> from the vacinity, some of whom were related to him.
>> But first let it be remembered that the world now and then
>> presents mankind with a hero boy from the lap of obscurity worthy of
>> royal lineage and a niche in the pantheon of fame. Whilst the two
>> Confederate soldiers were conversing with their wives and Master Berry,
>> one of the matrons stepped to the door to watch like a vidette or picket
>> on duty guarding an army. In terror and dismay she discovered Dark with
>> five of his gang on horseback approaching the house, with Dark fifty
>> yards in advance of his associates in crime. Terror stricken, she
>> turned pale as death as she announced their rapid approach on evil
>> bent. The two Confederate soldiers made their exit at the back door and
>> ran like quarter horses through a cornfield to the timber. One of them
>> in his paralysis of fear forgot his army pistol. The .little boy Berry
>> seized the pistol and said, "Ladies, I will defend you," and quicker
>> than this sentence can be read rushed out in the yard and took position
>> at the corner of the smokehouse, next the road, and rested the pistol on
>> one of the projecting logs.
>> By this time Dark was within twenty feet of the lad, staring him
>> in the face, with the ejaculation, "What are you doing there, you little
>> puppy?" The boy was drawing a bead on him as coolly as if aiming at a
>> mark; scarcely was the sentence out before he fired. The ball struck
>> its object in the center between the eyes and made exit at the rear of
>> the cranium. He fell forward dead. The boy said, "A center shot,
>> ladies; bless the Lord," and in an instant was emptying the remaining
>> five shots at the other thieving marauders, who put spurs to their
>> horses and disappeared rapidly.
>> After a while the flying husbands came back and found young
>> Berry master of the situation. What shame must have mantled their
>> cheeks! With the heart of a lion and the courage of Ajax, that boy
>> "Would not bow to Jove for his thunder, nor kneel to Neptune for
>> his trident."
>> His deed of cool and unsurpassed heroism ought to be preserved
>> fresh and green in the memory of a grateful people as long as our
>> literature adorns our civilization.
>> The citizens of the vicinity raised $500 and presented it to the
>> noble boy. He grew to honored manhood and became a noble citizen.
>> The old Confederate veterans, Hoffman and Robinson, were
>> citizens, the one of Baxter, the other of Searcy county at the time, and
>> this story is based on their verification of the facts related by them.
>> There is yet another exciting scene to relate before the curtain
>> closes over this tragedy, presenting woman of exalted courage and iron
>> nerve, successfully riding the storm of misfortune like an eagle
>> cleaving the clouds.
>> It is the misfortune of many noble women to become the wives of
>> degraded men. It was supposed that Dark had confided the custody of the
>> money he had taken from the citizens to his wife, and that by searching
>> his house it might be found and recovered, but they did not immediately
>> after his death carry their intentions into execution.
>> Dark's wife got wind of their intentions before they came. She
>> immediately saddled and mounted a swift mule, took her child in her lap
>> and rode night and day as fast as the animal could travel, more than one
>> hundred miles, striking the Arkansas river at a point near Van Buren,
>> where there was no ferry. Undaunted, the heroine plunged into the
>> flood, and the faithful mule with her and child stemmed the roaring tide
>> and landed them safely on the opposite shore, where she experienced the
>> first feeling of relief and safety.
>> John Hallum, cgrid Reminiscences of the Civil War . Little
>> Rock: Tunnard & Pittard, 1903, 96-99.
>> "That he [Lemuel Holsted] was a Confederate soldier. Belonging to
>> (William Dark's) Company, [T. H.] McCray's [D. McRea's?] Regiment of
>> Cavalry. That as such soldier he served from 1863 to 1865."
>> From E. DePriest's statement, dated 8 June 1901, in Miranda
>> Holsted's Confederate widow's pension papers, Arkansas History
>> Commission, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.
>> When Dark's men were raiding a house, Wesley Branscomb was outside
>> receiving things passed through the window. When he would get
>> something, he would give it to the little girl of the house, and she
>> would go hide it, thus keeping it from being stolen.
>> From Iola Fendley Halsted Beavers Interview.
>> Dee Strickland Johnson
>> Over north of Timbo and running north-east toward Big Springs there
>> is a valley known as Dark Holler. A lady who spent some time around
>> that area as a child said she always supposed it was so called because
>> of the deep shadows which seem to linger there, but most residents agree
>> that it was named for a man who once lived in this and many are the
>> dark tales told of the man himself.
>> Sometimes called King of the Jayhawkers , Bill Dark is credited
>> with every sort of the atrocity from robbery to murder in the days of
>> the Civil War, and many stories persist of his terrorization of widows
>> and children in this area. Of course we must realize that after a
>> hundred years some crimes attributed to Dark gang of jayhawker , or
>> bushwhacker as they were sometimes called, may have been committed by
>> other renegades, but it is to be remembered that Bill Dark lived in this
>> area and was doubtless recognized along with some of his men whose
>> family names still ring familiar, and that there were also many
>> unwitnessed murders with which Dark might well have been connected, so
>> perhaps the score is fairly even after all.
>> The name Bill Dark is almost certain to bring a tale of
>> violence from nearly any long-time Stone County resident over the age of
>> 50 and from many much younger, for such stories have a way of being
>> passed from generation to generation, particularly within the family of
>> the victim. What many people do not know is that Bill Dark led an
>> interesting if macabre double life. He had a wife named Angeline and a
>> son called Little Will. He was good looking, red-headed and, during the
>> time of the Civil War at least, wore his hair long, perhaps in imitation
>> of Confederate officer Marmaduke who, along with Joseph O., Shelby
>> commanded troops in this area, and whose long blond hair was much
>> heralded. Most surprising of all, Bill Dark was an officer in the
>> Confederate army, a Captain serving under Colonel J. T. Coffee and
>> commander of Company A of cgrid Acgrid the Coffee Recruits . A letter
>> written in pencil by Capt. Dark evidences fine penmanship and an unusual
>> command of the written word. Were the first sentence complete, we might
>> be able to determine whether or not the letter was directed to Col.
>> Coffee himself. The name on the reverse side of the paper in the same
>> handwriting is E. M. Flinn, Batesville Arkansas and no title precedes
>> the name. The existence of such a letter causes one to speculate on
>> what kind of individual could wear the gray officer s coat, yet prey
>> upon the families of Confederate soldiers away at war. When were Dark
>> s raids carried out? Were the members of his gang soldiers in his
>> command? Could it be that the Business of importance which called him
>> away from his company was in fact a Jayhawk foray? Here, then is what
>> remains of the letter reproduced without editing just as it appears
>> today:
>> furloughed all my men (paper torn) first of July, By order as I
>> supposed of Col. J. T. Coffee.
>> After you left here I organized an other company I. W. Cypert Capt.
>> I got my men together at the earliest opportunity to preceed to
>> our camp got as far as the mouth of Syllamore when I was called away
>> on Business of importance: left Capt. Cypert in command with orders to
>> march to Mt. Olive & thence in the direction of Salem in Fulton County.
>> After I had attended to the Business Referred to and was returning to
>> the command I met all the men of Both companies returning home with
>> furloughs Stating that Capt. Cypert had received orders from you to
>> furlough them: Capt. Cypert was not to be found was gone in the
>> vicinity of Calico Rock: He should have got orders through Judge
>> Edwards of Mt. Olive.
>> Col. I knew if you had ordered furloughs in you absence without
>> some one to approve them that it was an illegal procedence. But what
>> could I do the men all scattered hell west & crooked Cypert gone to hell
>> or some where else I couldnt tell for I never was at Calico Rock in my
>> life I did not know what to do neither do I till yet let me know by the
>> earliest convenience what I shall do & By God I will do it.
>> Your Col
>> Most Respectfully
>> I W. Dark
>> Capt Comdg Co A
>> Coffee Recruits
>> ..................
>> (anyone having information on Bill Dark or his family in invited to call
>> 269-3023)
>> The Mountain View , [Mountain View, Arkansas], The Holler Sept 4, 1973.
>> Bill Dark was the leader of a ruthless Jayhawk gang which ranged these
>> hills in the days of the Civil Wars.
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