The Richmond Register

Local News

January 1, 2013

Three Confederate officers at Battle of Richmond became governors of Arkansas

One officer meets future wife at Madison County Fair

RICHMOND — Three Confederate officers at the 1862 Battle of Richmond may have been on the Civil War’s losing side, but they achieved political success in Arkansas, where each became governors.

One was running for office even as he chased Union soldiers through the Richmond Cemetery at the battle’s conclusion. Another returned to Richmond for a post-war visit and married a woman from a prominent Richmond family.

These are brief accounts of their lives.

Harris Flanagin

Harris Flanagin, a native of New Jersey, was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 1842. He later was a delegate to the Arkansas Secession Convention.

Although educated in New Jersey Quaker schools, he would become a soldier as a middle-aged lawyer in Arkansas. He began his career by teaching school in Pennsylvania and then Illinois, where he studied law. Flanagin moved to Arkansas in 1839 at age 22 and settled in Arkadelphia. By 1850, he owned 2,500, 13 town lots, six slaves and furniture worth $1,000, a valuable amount for that time and place.

He entered the war as a captain, fought two battles and was promoted to colonel before taking part in Kirby Smith’s Kentucky campaign.

Although relatively unknown in the fall of 1862, Flanagin defeated an unpopular incumbent to become Arkansas’ seventh governor.

His role as the state’s chief political leader became irrelevant after Confederate forces abandon the state capital Little Rock in 1863. The federal government appointed a new governor the following year.

After the war, Flanagin revived his law practice, served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1872 and to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention of 1874. He died that year at age 56.

James P. Eagle

Born in Tennessee, James P. Eagle’s family moved to Arkansas when he was a teenager. He was a sheriff’s deputy when he enlisted in a Confederated mounted rifle unit.

He served in Gen. Thomas Churchill’s division at the Battle of Richmond, seeing most of his action in the battle’s final stages around the Richmond Cemetery.

Eagle finished the war as a lieutenant colonel, participating in campaigns throughout the western theater

Returning to Arkansas, he became a wealthy farmer and was elected a legislator in 1872 and a delegate to the state’s 1874 constitutional convention.

After serving as speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Eagle was elected governor in 1888 and 1890. His terms saw improvements in prison reform and support for education. He was instrumental in the drive for woman suffrage and opposed many of the racially discriminatory laws enacted by the legislature.

While governor, Eagle welcomed U.S. President Benjamin Harrison, the first time a sitting president had visited the state. A very religious man, Eagle also was a Baptist minister and served 24 years as president of the Arkansas Baptist Convention.

As did other soldiers who fought in Battle of Richmond, Eagle attended the 1870 Madison County Fair. During his visit, he met Mary Kavanaugh Oldham and married her 12 years later.

Mary’s brother, William K. Oldham, also was governor of Arkansas, serving for a short time in 1913.

Eagle died in 1904.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-29 Construction 1.jpg Water Street storm-water digging begins

    Caisson holes were drilled and then filled with concrete and steel poles Monday to create a retaining structure to shore up the Allstate Insurance building foundations' firm when excavation for the Water Street Stormwater Improvement Project begins.
    Digging for 20 ton, 6 by 7 foot concrete box culverts will begin today, if weather permits, said Jason Hart, Richmond’s director of Planning and Zoning. The culverts will help reduce the likelihood of flooding on Water Street by carrying storm water under Main Street, the CVS parking lot and Irvine Street to a stream, he said.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • 7-29 Steven Coffey.jpg Two led police on I-75 chase from Berea

    Berea Police found a man passed out and intoxicated inside his crashed vehicle on Interstate 75 Wednesday, according to a police report.
    Steven Coffey, 34, of Berea, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet when officers arrived at the vehicle, the police report stated. They determined he was under the influence of drugs, the report stated.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

Yes
No
     View Results