Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861. Over the next four years more than 60,000 Arkansans fought in the Confederate service while 15,000 others fought for the Union cause. More than 770 military actions occurred in Arkansas during the Civil War.
Little Rock became a city of hospitals in the Spring of 1862 after the battles at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and Shiloh, Tennessee flooded Arkansas's capitol with wounded Confederate soldiers.
The state became increasingly isolated from the rest of the Confederacy after the December 1862 battle of Prairie Grove, which helped keep Missouri in the Union, and a January 1863 battle at Arkansas Post, which ended Southern control of the lower Arkansas River. Arkansas's final link to the eastern Confederacy was severed with' the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1863.
A Union army captured Little Rock in September 1863, and Confederate forces were largely confined to the southwest part of the state for the duration of the war. Even a disastrous Federal expedition from Little Rock into that region during the Spring of 1864 failed to loosen Union control of most of Arkansas.
When the war ended in 1865, the state was left devastated by four years of warfare and the guerilla activity that had ravaged much of Arkansas. A grim period of political unrest and violence followed during Reconstruction, ending in 1874.