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
  • 4-17 4Hfieldday1.jpg 4-H Environmental Field Day

    Madison County fourth-graders participated in several hands-on activities Tuesday and Wednesday during the annual 4-H Environmental Field Day at the county fairgrounds.

    April 16, 2014 8 Photos

  • Hearing delayed on West Main zone change

    Signs giving notice of a public hearing on a proposed zone change at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue were not posted in time for the Richmond Planning Commission to scheduled a public hearing for its April 24 business session.

    April 16, 2014

  • Berea mulls break with Kentucky Utilities

    The city of Berea is considering whether to extend its contract with Kentucky Utilities or to shop around for another electricity provider.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-17 Melissa Lear.jpg BPD charge two in Richmond heroin-trafficking case

    Berea police arrested two women April 10 in a Richmond home in connection with heroin possession and trafficking.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 MuseVisit4.jpg Theater students hear actor, Berea alum Muse Watson

    “I killed about eight or nine kids, about your age,” actor Muse Watson joked as a room full of high schoolers erupted in laughter Wednesday at Madison Southern High School.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

     View Results