Posted 08-04-01
Raid On Fayetteville, Arkansas

While the joint armies of Sterling Price and Ben McCulloch had retreated up into the Boston Mountains of Arkansas, Major General Samuel Curtis made the decision to hold his ground in Northwest Arkansas while stepping up his demonstrations in and about the region.

On February 22nd 1862, Curtis ordered Brigadier General Alexander Asboth, a Hungarian, on a cavalry raid of Fayetteville, Arkansas. He rode at the head of the column of the 3rd Illinois, 3rd Iowa Cavalry, the 1st, 4th and 5th Missouri Cavalry as well as the 1st Missouri Flying Battery.

Personally leading a charge of 1200 horse soldiers, Asboth charged into town capturing approximately thirty Confederate Stragglers, however, in the process, the gallop through the town had ruined the yard of Mr. Jonas M. Tebbetts, an outspoken Arkansan Unionist. General Asboth wheeled his horse around and returned to the Tebbetts residence making a personal apology for the way his horses had torn up the man's property. Tebbetts was thrilled to have the general in town and requested that he make his headquarters in his house and if he'd stay for dinner and honor the family. He agreed to this on the condition that "York" his St. Bernard be entitled to share the headquarters and dine with him at the man's dinner table that night. This was most certainly agreeable.

The youngest child, Marion Tebbetts was fascinated by the general with the big bushy mustache and spoke broken English. She still recalled fifty years after the war had ended how her mother was incredibly upset with the cavalry commander for eating the Tebbetts last jar of jelly all by himself.

© Dan Moran - 2001