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Brigadier General Dandridge McRae

Dandridge McRae (October 10, 1829 – April 23, 1899) was a lawyer, court official, and inspector general of Arkansas, as well as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He served in several key battles that helped secure Arkansas for the Confederacy, prolonging the war in the Western Theater.


Dandridge McRae was born in Baldwin County, Alabama. He graduated in 1849 from South Carolina College, where he was a member of the Euphradian Society. McRae moved to Searcy in White County, Arkansas. He was admitted to the bar and served as clerk of the county and circuit courts for six years. He was serving as Inspector General for the state of Arkansas when the state seceded from the Union in 1861.

McRae entered the Confederate Army as a major in command of the 3rd Arkansas Infantry Battalion. He recruited, trained, and organized soldiers for the Confederacy and raised the 21st Arkansas Infantry, being soon elected colonel of that regiment. McRae and his regiment participated in the Battle of Wilson's Creek under General Ben McCulloch.

McRae took part in the Battle of Pea Ridge in March 1862 and received commendations from his commander, Earl Van Dorn. McRae remained in Arkansas while most troops were moved eastward across the Mississippi River and participated in operations there. On November 5, 1862, he was commissioned as a brigadier general.

In 1863, McRae and his command took part in the Battle of Helena in a failed effort to secure that river port for the Confederacy.

During the Camden Expedition of the 1864 Red River Campaign, McRae's brigade formed part of the force under General Sterling Price. They participated in the Battle of Marks' Mills and the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, forcing the Union forces out of southern Arkansas and back to Little Rock. McRae then led his brigade in battles in northern Arkansas and in Missouri later that year until he resigned his commission.

After leaving the service, McRae returned to Searcy and took up the practice of law. In 1881, he was elected as the deputy secretary of state. McRae focused his post-war activities on promoting the commercial interests of the State of Arkansas. He was a delegate to various commercial expositions and served as president of the bureau of information for Arkansas.

McRae died at Searcy, Arkansas, where he is buried.

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