Brooks-Baxter War

April 20, 1874

In the beginnings of what became known as the Brooks-Baxter War, more than 1,000 supporters of Elisha Baxter, who occupied the governor’s office following a hotly contested race, appeared ready to do battle to protect Baxter’s position, in spite of Pulaski County circuit judge John Whytock’s writ issued in support of Joseph Brooks’s governorship. Faced by an equal number of armed citizens in support of Brooks, Colonel Thomas E. Rose deployed members of the 16th Infantry Division to quiet the confrontation. The following day, shots were fired and several people were killed. The result of the "war" (in which more than 200 people died)—recognition of Baxter as governor—brought a practical end to Republican rule in Arkansas and thus ended the era of Reconstruction. (more)