Conway County in the Civil War
Conway County men served in both the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War. Co. I, 1st Arkansas Mounted Rifles, Co. B, Carroll's Cavalry, Co. I, 36th Arkansas Infantry, and several companies of the 10th Arkansas Infantry fought for the Confederacy. Two companies of local men served in the 3rd Arkansas Cavalry (U.S.) and were based in Lewisburg (modern-day Morrilton). While no major battles were fought in Conway County, several skirmishes occurred there and the 3rd Arkansas spent much of its time fighting with guerrillas and Witt's Cavalry.
Murder of John Clayton
John Clayton, the brother of Arkansas's Reconstruction Governor Powell Clayton, came to Arkansas in 1867 and became active in Republican politics. He served as both representative and senator in the state legislature and was a five-term sheriff of Jefferson County. In 1888, Clayton ran for U.S. Congress, losing by 746 votes out of 34,000 cast. In January 1889, he came to Plumerville to investigate the theft of a ballot box from an African American precinct that supported him. On Jan. 29, he was fatally shot. His murderer was never identified.