The Second Regiment, Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, United States Army, was organized at Helena, Arkansas, and Pilot Knob, Missouri in July of 1862. The unit was assigned to duty at Helena, Arkansas until April 1863, whereupon it relocated to Fayetteville, Arkansas until July 1863, when it again relocated to Cassville, Missouri.
It was on 12 July 1863 there at Cassville when a young farmer from “Cercey Co”, Arkansas, eighteen-years-old William Alexander Watts, Junior, volunteered “to serve as a Soldier in the Army of the United States of America” for the next three years. The examining surgeon recorded that William had “hasel” eyes, “fare” hair, a “fare” complexion, and was five feet five inches tall. William was granted the rank of Private and assigned to Company E.
Company E’s available muster rolls recorded Private Watts as present for duty on the following dates:
- 29 October 1863, Springfield, MO
- 31 December 1863. Remarks: “Bounty unpaid”
- January and February 1864. Remarks: “Bounty unpaid”
- 30 April 1864
- May and June 1864
- July and August 1864. Remarks: “Stop for 1 halter, 1 curry comb, 1 wiper, 1 s. blanket. Bounty unpaid”
- September and October 1864. Stoppage, $4.95 for “ordnance”
- November and December 1864
- January and February 1865
- March and April 1865
- May and June 1865
Private Watts appeared on company Returns as absent on detached service for August 1864 and as assigned the extra duty of cook in October 1864.
Private Watts was mustered-out of service on 20 August 1865 in Memphis, Tennessee, having only served two years of his three-year enlistment. The Company Muster-out Roll recorded that he was last paid up to 28 February 1865.
The Company Descriptive Book provided this slightly different physical description of William:
- Age: 20
- Height: 5’6″
- Complexion: Light
- Eyes: Dark
- Hair: Dark
- Where born: “Sercy Co”, Arkansas
- Occupation: Farmer
On 3 February 1891, forty-four years old William filed for an Invalid class Veterans Pension.
William Alexander Watts, Junior died on 9 May 1930 at the age of 83. He was interred at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas and his grave marked with a Civil War Service Marker.
“Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers, Second Regiment”, compiled by Edward G. Gerdes from microfilm records at the National Archives. Viewed 28 September 2011.
“Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Arkansas”, “Watts, William A.”, from the National Archives, available online at Fold3.com. Viewed 28 September 2011.
“Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900”, from the National Archives, available online at Fold3.com. Viewed 28 September 2011.
Find A Grave: Memorial for William A. Watts, Jr.
Grave marker photographed by Ashli B. Graham on 4 June 2011 at Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas.