Russell and Gray, uncle-nephew with the 6th Arkansas buried side by side

John L. Russell fought with the 6th Arkansas Company C., at Franklin. He was part of Cleburne’s Division, Govan’s Brigade. Company C was known as the Dallas Rifles.

The 6th Arkansas also fought with the 2nd-15th, 5th-13th, 7th, 8th, and 19th-24th Arkansas regiments. This regiment saw heavy action around the Cotton Gin at Franklin.

The 6th Arkansas regimental flag looked like this is in the Autumn of 1862.

Picture Credit: Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy (p. 259).

Forty-three of Govan’s Brigade are buried at McGavock, fifteen of those are from the 6th Arkansas; the most of all the Arkansas regiments.

Speaking of the action the Arkansas regiments saw at Franklin, including Russell’s 6th, Jacobson writes:

“Rebel troops, likely from Cleburne’s Division, pounced on the battery’s four guns [i.e., the guns of the 1st Battery, Kentucky Light Artillery] and hurriedly began turning them around to fire on the Federals. But the Confederates had a serious problem on their hands. When the Yankee artillerists had bounded away, they took with them the friction primers needed to fire the rifled guns. The crafty Southern infantrymen looked to improvise. A Federal officer nearby saw them pouring gunpowder ‘from their musket cartridges’ into the vent holes.”

A friction primer (above) was a small brass tube filled with powder, inserted in the vent and used to ignite the main charge.

John Russell, 6th Arkansas

Frank Gray and John Russell of Co. C. 6th Arkansas Infantry. Twenty Nine year old John Russell was the Uncle of 21 year old Frank Gray. They are buried side by side in the Arkansas Section, Grave 12 & 11 respectfully. Source attribute for this info: T. Burgess.

Extra notes:

According to this web site: John L. Russell was a private when he enlisted on 3 June 1861 at Little Rock, Arkansas; in the Dallas Rifles. He was transferred from Co I, 30 June 1862. Russell was captured 10 October 1862 at Harrodsburg, KY. Then sent to Vicksburg, MS for exchange 5 Dec 1862. He was 26 years old when he was exchanged 22 Dec 1862.

Additional reading:

Calvin L. Collier, First In – Last Out: The Capitol Guards, Arkansas Brigade (Unit history and muster rolls for Company A.)

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