Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Boston Mountains, Part Three
This post concludes a quick three part look at the Boston Mountains of western Arkansas.
A region of the Ozarks, the mountains were an imposing barrier between Washington and Benton Counties in Northwest Arkansas and Fort Smith, Van Buren and other communities in the Arkansas River Valley.
The mountains were also the home of the "Mountain Feds" of Arkansas. These individuals lived deep in the valleys and hollows of the mountains, but came out to fight on the side of the Union at various points of the war. Fiercely independent, they were tough soldiers.
In addition, the region was also haunted by outlaw gangs of guerilla raiders from both sides. These bands roamed the countryside, striking out at farms, homes and small communities, as well as isolated detachments of troops and supply trains. Due to the rugged nature of the mountains, these bands were almost impossible to surpress and remained active not just during the war, but for years after it had ended.