46th US Colored Infantry

The 46th USCI was originally designated as the 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment (African Descent).

OVERVIEW: Organized from 1st Arkansas Infantry, African Descent, May 11, 1864. Attached to Post of Milliken's Bend, La., District of Vicksburg, Miss., to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, U. S. Colored Troops, District of Vicksburg, Miss., till January, 1865. 2nd Brigade, Post and Defences of Memphis, Tenn., District West Tennessee, to February, 1865. New Orleans, La., Dept. of the Gulf, to May, 1865. Dept. of Texas, to January, 1866.

SERVICE: Post and garrison duty at Milliken's Bend, La., and at Haines' Bluff, Miss., till January, 1865. Actions at Mound Plantation. Miss., June 24 and 29, 1864. Ordered to Memphis, Tenn., January, 1865, and garrison duty there till February, 1865. Ordered to New Orleans, La., February 23, and duty there till May 4. Ordered to Brazos Santiago, Texas, May 4. Duty at Clarksville and Brownsville on the Rio Grande, Texas, till January, 1866. Mustered out January 30, 1866.

Predecessor unit: ARKANSAS VOLUNTEERS 1st REGIMENT INFANTRY (AFRICAN DESCENT). Organized in Arkansas at large May 1, 1863. Attached to Post of Goodrich Landing, District of Northeast Louisiana, Dept. Tennessee, to January, 1864. 1st Colored Brigade, District of Vicksburg, Miss., to May, 1864.

SERVICE: Moved to Lake Providence, La., May 8-10, 1863, thence to Goodrich Landing and Post duty there till January, 1864. Skirmish at Mound Plantation June 24, 1863. Lake Providence and Mound Plantation June 28. Action at Goodrich Landing June 29. Duty at Haines Bluff, District of Vicksburg, till May, 1864.

Designation of Regiment changed to 46th U. S. Colored Troops May 11, 1864.

Two Williamson County men are known to have served in the 46th USCI. Both men enlisted in Helena, Arkansas on May 1, 1863:

  • Pvt. Wiley Harris aka Wiley Govan, was born in Williamson County around 1839. He enlisted in Company F. He survived to muster out Jan. 30, 1866 at Boca Chica, Texas. He settled in Arkansas after the War and received a pension for his service. His memorial paver has been sponsored by Elizabeth Wanczak.

  • Pvt. Isom Anderson was born in Williamson County around 1841. He enlisted in Company H. He died of dysentery in a hospital in Brownsville, Texas on Sept 16, 1865. The graves at Brownsville were moved to Alexandria, Louisiana in 1909. He was buried in the Alexandria National Cemetery with a USCT headstone. His paver has been sponsored by Libby Sullivan.

The 1st Arkansas (African Descent) [the predecessor to the 46th USCI] had its own marching song written by Captain Lindley Miller. The song was sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body" and was published in 1864.

Click here to listen to a version of the song recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford.