A Warning Against Distracted Driving For American Teens

On an unseasonably warm afternoon in April 2009, Julie Davis, a resident of Rudolph, Wisconsin, joined a friend on a hiking excursion near her house. As they walked alongside the road, Davis was struck from behind by a teen traveling 70 mph. Witnesses had noticed the 19-year-old veering back and forth on the road not long before she hit Davis. The lack of skid marks near the scene of the crash revealed that the driver had not even tried to decrease her speed. Perhaps in the nine seconds that her eyes were focused on her mobile phone, she did not see the pedestrians, which would explain why she neglected to stop. Authorities pronounced Davis dead at the scene of the accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teenagers are involved in more fatal distracted driving accidents than any other age group, explains a California injury lawyer.

In 2008, 5,870 people died and another 515,000 were injured in traffic accidents involving distracted driving. That same year, 16% of all drivers younger than 20 years old involved in fatal collisions were reportedly distracted at the time. The age group with the second highest percentage of distracted driving crashes was 20- to 29-year-olds.

Research has repeatedly found that immaturity and a lack of experience with driving increases this age group’s risk of being distracted on the road. Additionally, many teens do not know how distractions can present safety hazards, according to a recent survey by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a major insurance company.

For unsupervised 16- to 19-year-old drivers, the likelihood of an accident occurring increases with the number of passengers in the vehicle, explains a California injury lawyer. Unfortunately, only 10% of young drivers know this. 64% even said that they have seen friends driving with teen passengers frequently or all of the time.

While it is a well-established fact that cell phone use while driving is highly distracting and dangerous-insofar as many states have banned the activity-only 28% of teens claimed to be aware of this. Moreover, 57% of teenagers reported that their friends talk on their mobile phones while driving frequently or all of the time.

79% believed that texting or using other hand-held devices while operating a motor vehicle is dangerously distracting. 19% said that they had seen friends engaging in these activities while on the road.

In response to the high incidence of distracted driving and related accidents among teenagers, 23 states have created educational materials and implemented driver safety programs for teens and parents: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia

Research has indicated that parents play a vital role in the behavior of their children, including whether or not they drive safely. Setting a good example is one of the best methods of raising cautious drivers. Parents should avoid dangerous or distracting activities while driving.

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Book Review – “A Painted House” by John Grisham

If you have read John Grisham’s books before, then you are undoubtedly familiar with the usual characteristics of his books. There is usually a murder, a good amount of legal issues which follow, and then some type of unpredicted resolution. Being a lawyer himself, John Grisham is an expert at plotting a legal thriller and masterfully writing it down on paper.

Grisham’s book A Painted House has a completely different feel to it than many of his legal thrillers. While many of his books take place in big cities with rich, big city lawyers, this book takes place in rural Arkansas with an extremely poor family. A Painted House revolves around a young boy named Luke who lives with his parents and grandparents on a large farm. They grow cotton every season and sell it to the local cotton gin/mill in order to make money to live off of for the entire year.

In order to pick the acres and acres of cotton on their farm, Luke’s family must rely on hiring Mexicans and “hill people” who show up every season to make money. In the book, the Spruill family comes down from the hills to help Luke’s family, and they are led by a loud-mouth, mountain-of-a-man named Hank. He has a bad attitude and will fight at any given time. The Mexicans in this story are mild mannered and work hard. However, they also have a questionable character in their group named Cowboy who ends up possibly having relations with Hank’s teenage sister.

Luke has a bad feeling about Hank and Cowboy. Hank loves to fight and Cowboy carries a switchblade at all times. When the two eventually fight, Cowboy brutally kills Hank and throws him in a river, never to be seen again. No one knows what happened to Hank except for young Luke, who Cowboy threatens to kill if Luke ever tells of the murder.

Before his meeting with Cowboy, Hank finds several people to beat up. He fights three local boys at the same time when Luke’s family goes to town one Saturday, and ends up hurting them all critically if not killing them. He also fights a traveling “world’s strongest man” type of wrestler at the local fair, and nearly kills him as well. Hank makes a name for himself in all the wrong ways, and the town’s sheriff is itching for evidence to arrest him. However, Hank makes an effort to leave town before the law catches up with him.

Luke is portrayed as innocent and inexperienced in this novel. He has dreams of playing Major League Baseball one day for the Cardinals, and develops a crush on Hank’s younger sister who he sneaks off with several times. Luke is punished often while he takes naps when he is supposed to be picking cotton, or when he asks too many questions about topics he is too young to know about. He is also extremely proud about his brother who is off fighting at war, and will defend at any cost. Especially when he finds out that his brother has an illegitimate child with the town’s most disgraceful family.

This book is definitely a page-turner. While a story about a country family whose job is to pick cotton may sound slightly boring, it is actually very entertaining. Grisham has intertwined numerous smaller stories together flawlessly in a book that is different than anything he has ever written. A Painted House has a calm flow while reading it, but every time Cowboy and Hank step into the picture, you can feel the tension and your heart starts to race. This book is rated 4.5 out of 5.

“Highway Interdiction” – Unfortunately, It’s More Exciting Than it Sounds

Is it the name of the next blockbuster movie of the Summer? Not quite. Actually, it sounds more like some sort of advanced military maneuver. The latter is much closer to the truth. The U.S. Military doesn’t have to worry about whether they have an ulterior motive when pulling over a vehicle in a war zone. Like it or not, neither does your local Arkansas police department. And it looks like the Benton County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Office is taking full advantage of the law (click here for article).

After reading the article and viewing the video, I actually find the statements of the deputy, a member of the “Crime Suppression Unit,” to be quite refreshing:

Benton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Corey Coggin drove an unmarked car past the Bentonville home of a suspected methamphetamine dealer.

He knows what car the man drives but it wasn’t there. Coggin drove on.

“I’ve been trying to get him on a traffic stop the last few nights,” Coggin said. “I’ve been out but I haven’t been able to find him.”

It is rare that a police officer has the courage to speak the truth, and it’s even rarer for such a statement to ever see the light of day.

But, fear not, deputy. Arkansas law IS on your side: a stop with an ulterior motive (aka a pretextual stop) is okay under the law. A cop still needs a technical reason to pull someone over. To assist cops with finding a reason, Arkansas has a wonderful new “public healthcare” law that allows cops to pull anyone over for not wearing a seatbelt. Luckily for the deputy, personal safety and seatbelts are not high priorities for most meth addicts.

However, as a bit of an aside, while it may be legal for a cop to have an ulterior motive when he stops an individual, it is NOT legal for a cop to have an ulterior motive when he makes the decision to arrest an individual. For example, a cop pulls over a suspected meth dealer for a seatbelt violation and then arrests him for that offense so that he can then legally conduct an inventory search of suspect’s car during which he finds a pound of meth. Result: pretextual arrest is illegal, meth suppressed.

Be afraid anytime the government applies euphemisms to the actions it takes against its citizens, especially when the euphemisms sound like terms you learn in boot camp…”highway interdiction,” “saturation,” “displacement,” and “crime suppression.” Bottom line…buckle up (and hope that you have a witness).

After a Yamaha Rhino Accident, A Yamaha Rhino Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Recovery

While millions of Americans have bemoaned the high price of gasoline for the vital purpose of traveling to work, school or home, thousands of Americans drive vehicles which have no purpose in terms of going from Point A to Point B. Rather, these are strictly recreational vehicles — and not only that, but recreation that can be perilous, especially given the nature of the vehicles.

These vehicles are known as ATVs, or all terrain vehicles. And they’re not as recreational as their makers would claim, since many such vehicles have clearly unsafe designs.

One of the most dangerous ATVs is the most popular brand: the Yamaha Rhino ATV manufactured by Yamaha Corporation.

The Yamaha Rhino has a narrow body and narrow tires and also is top-heavy. The narrowness enables the vehicle to be placed in the back of a pickup truck, rather than on a trailer, which is the usual means of transporting them. (ATVs are off-road vehicles which are illegal to drive on streets and highways in many states.) But this same narrowness, combined with being top-heavy, makes the Yamaha Rhino prone to rollovers, even when driven slowly and on a flat surface.

The problem is, ATVs are built and sold to be driven on what their name suggests: all terrain, including muddy slopes, bumpy surfaces and rocky ditches. An ATV, virtually by definition, will be driven on surfaces which invite rollovers and crashes. And the Yamaha Rhino ATV, by design, is more prone to such crashes.

Also, the Yamaha Rhino tends to lack side doors and handlebars for a driver or passenger’s safety. Because of these defects, Yamaha offered a “recall” of sorts, offering to add such doors and handlebars to the ATVs of dissatisfied owners. But many such vehicles remain available — and remain unsafe.

The no-doors design also leads to riders making the natural reaction of trying to brace themselves when the ATV rolls over. As a result, many riders’ arms and legs have been crushed, sometimes requiring amputation.

Indeed, just how bad is the carnage? According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, ATV accidents, including Rhino Yamaha accidents, cause 700 deaths and 135,000 injuries annually in America. (The first Yamaha Rhino vehicle was introduced in 2003.)

Also, in Arkansas alone, a decade-long study [http://www.medicinenet.com/script /main/art.asp?articlekey=85465] showed that children were particularly vulnerable to ATV accidents. The study showed that 455 children aged 6 months to 19 years old suffered ATV injuries for which they were treated at hospitals. These included 77 skull fractures, 11 amputations, 53 brain injuries, 12 spine fractures and six deaths.

Overall, ATV injuries and deaths have more than doubled in the past decade, while traffic accident deaths overall have declined. Yet Americans continue to buy costly ATVs, often sold for more than $10,000, whose very design may cause them injury or death, even when operated in what should be a safe manner.

Personal Injury Lawyer Will Steal Your Unprotected Personal Assets

While driving to an appointment, one of your employees remembers he needs to contact a co-worker regarding a meeting. He dials the number on his cell phone, and briefly takes his eyes off the road. In that instant, a vehicle in front of him shifts lanes, and he strikes it, seriously injuring a 78-year-old woman. Under exactly this scenario, a jury awarded a $21 million judgment against Dykes Industries of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Can you buy enough insurance to cover an unexpected business liability? NO. Insurance covers only a first legal defense and insurance only covers actual damages. Insurance does NOT cover punitive damages.


More than 42,000 deaths occurred in motor vehicle accidents in 2001. Could one of these have been committed by one of your employees while on company business?

There’s an army of personal injury lawyers on the Internet ready to be of service on a contingent fee basis, and more are getting educated in colleges and universities. Give it a shot, use Google and type in “injury lawyer” and here’s the “Results 1 – 10 of about 1,120,000 for “injury lawyer”.

Why is being a personal injury lawyer a successful business? Because, one personal injury lawyer teaches other personal injury lawyers valuable information – they hold classes on how to pressurize and optimize more out of a given opportunity. Yes, it sounds like lawsuit abuse, but don’t blame them – it is a business.

The courts make it easy to litigate. They have learned that if they can tie you up in court for a number of years, it’s easier to settle than to fight. And if they can get sympathy out of a jury it translates to bigger fees. Whether you win or lose – you lose; at $350 per hour – it is expensive to get involved in a court battle even if you are right.

If you are a small business owner, the negligent action of one employee can cause you to lose more than just your business. You could become personally liable for assets not related to your business. This is where the personal injury lawyer gets “personal” with your personal assets!


How do you prevent these injurious lawyers from “stealing” your personal assets and keep them at bay? The key is how you own your business. If you own corporate stock or sub “S” stock, chances are that most these lawyers have figured out how to pierce the corporate veil on their way to your personal assets.

If you get a high or if you’re an adrenaline junkie and like to take chances you would not appreciate asset protection. You would think that it’s for the wealthy who have something to hide. Or alternatively if you think that you’re covered by insurance, you have not been sued by a creditor and his very clever personal lawyer…yet. You are an easy target and if they deem it’s worth the small fee to file a suit and a bit of their time then trust me they’ll come after you – maybe not today but very soon.


What’s asset protection? In my definition asset protection is protecting everything you have or control against pickpocket experts (i.e. personal injury lawyers or any other contingent fee attorneys) who have perfected their profession on easy targets, like you.

Each of your assets should have a financial goal. What’s your financial goal for your personal residence, your vacation spot, your CD’s, your IRA, your investment accounts, and your other valuable assets?

With your personal residence, the bank is protected by virtue of a mortgage subject to the real estate. It’s your personal equity in your home that is wide open for a lawsuit. Do you have minor children learning to drive your car? Did you know that you assume full responsibility for their negligence? Do you own your home in your name jointly with your spouse? Did you know that if either one of you gets sued … you can lose more than just your house?

Another financial goal for your house is the tax deductions available for tax purposes on your form 1040. Tax law allows deduction for mortgage interest and real estate tax deduction. So there are two financial goals for your personal residence: protection from potential creditors and their counterpart injurious, villainous attorneys, and tax deductions for your interest on mortgage and real estate tax deductions.


Use “law” not secrecy. Under tax law, there’s an exception under Internal Revenue Code sections (IRC) §671-§678 that allows the original owners of the personal residence to deduct mortgage on interest and tax deductions of real estate taxes paid on your form 1040.

Under civil law if your house is owned by an independent trust with an independent trustee, you will have repositioned (transferred) you home from you and your spouse to an irrevocable trust whereby you no longer own the house.

Use “law” not secrecy to reposition your automobiles, your corporate stock, your sub “S” stock, your vacation spot, your business assets, your commercial real estate investments, your CD’s, your IRA’s, your financial investments, and so on. Each of your assets needs to have a financial asset and protection goal.

Five Crucial Mistakes Lawyers Make When Advertising on Television

Television advertising can be very complicated to say the least. If you’re not an experienced media buyer, it’s almost inevitable you’re going to be taken advantage of and more than likely, waste thousand of dollars in the process. As complicated as buying television airtime is, some lawyers insist on handling their own advertising, with that in mind, Legal Pro Media offers some advice that might just save you a few dollars. Click on the next button below to get started…

Crucial Mistake #1:
Not subscribing to Nielsen Media Research. although it will cost between $1000.00 – $2000.00 for a years subscription, not having Nielsen Research is like being an electrician and not having a voltage meter. Even though Nielsen rating research is controversial, at present it’s all we have to get a somewhat accurate view on which TV programs are being watched and how many people are watching. If you’re going to buy your own Broadcast Media, do yourself a favor and take an advertising course at your local university and learn the basic concept of ratings analysis. And of course, subscribe to Nielsen.

Crucial Mistake #2
Having a poorly produced, uninformative TV commercial is a killer. Far too often lawyers take the easy way out on having a TV commercial produced. A smart TV rep. convinces the lawyer to buy a schedule and in return, the nice TV rep. offers to produce the lawyer a nice flashy TV commercial. Keep in mind that TV reps work for the TV stations, they are sales people, not experienced legal advertising professionals. They have about as much experience with lawyer advertising as the butcher down the street. Your copy is being written by an overworked 22 years production assistant who has only written copy several times and probably has no idea how to make a results generating commercial for a lawyer. Starting to make sense? By all means make sure your commercial is professionally produced and accurately broadcasts a simple concise message. When your script is written, make sure it can be understood by a 6th Grader. Years ago when my daughter was in grade school, I would always let her read the scripts and if she understood, I knew it would be understood by the general public. Remember, your commercial is no different from one of those expensive store-front signs, except thousands more people will be seeing it. Your commercial reflects you and your firm.

Crucial Mistake #3
Spending too much money on cable TV. Cable TV can easily be very alluring, it’s cheap and you can target very specific demographics. Those are the better points of cable. Now, here are a few other things to consider; cable is fragmented and the reach is horrible. The penetration rate in most markets is around 62% including premium subscribers. Tier position is a crucial factor most lawyers have no idea about. If the networks you purchase are not on the first or second tier, you’ve basically given your money away. A good rule of thumb is, if you’re budget is 10K per month, only spend 10% of that budget on cable.

Crucial Mistake #4
To continuing doing the same thing over and over when it’s not working, and believing it when reps tell you, just give it a little more time. Keep in mind, if you’re a PI, Bankruptcy, or SSI Lawyer, more than likely you want direct response. Direct response means direct response. Chances are, if you haven’t received any positive response to your TV commercials within two weeks, you’re not going to. Don’t be afraid to stop and analyze the situation; figure out the problem and only then continue to advertise.

Crucial Mistake #5
Not having an adequate budget to compete with the competition. One of the first things you should do is get a full competitive report for legal spending in your market. Lets look at an example:

Suppose you’re in the Little Rock Arkansas market and your wanting to advertise several PI commercials. You’ve done your research and found that on average, 25 other firms are advertising on TV.

The top five are spending 25K per month, while another 15 are spending between 14K-18K and the remaining 5 are spending anywhere between 8K-14K. If you consistently see the same lawyers advertising on TV then it’s only common sense to assume it’s working.

As a rule of thumb, never spend less than the lowest spending lawyer and also keep in mind that the lawyers who are spending less, have more than likely been advertising the longest so in a sense, they have made somewhat of a TOPA, “top of mind awareness” in their market so they have the luxury of not having to spend as much as the younger lawyers who may have only started advertising within the past few years.

Trial Lawyers Strictly Disagree With the No Fault Insurance

It is just so sad that the well organized and well financed lawyer’s lobby does not consent the idea that no fault insurance plans are established in California to Rhode Island. According to the American Trial Lawyers Association, the ways of the lawyers are different from one another mainly because there is an argument as to whether or not allow people to recover from injuries without any certain amount to be given to them. The ones who are affected by these limitations are those victims who seriously try to settle claims without the help of the court and those who file a case to redeem damages. In fact, it was in Illinois wherein an amount of $100,000 was spent by the trial lawyers which resulted to an unsuccessful lobbying effort to kill the bill.

The no fault proposal was then proclaimed as a law wherein afterwards, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association filed a suit. The law has been recently declared unlawful by the State Supreme Court because it doesn’t include the welfare of some groups of accident victims. The pending no fault bills do a terrible thing, based on the argument of the group of lawyers in Arkansas and California because this refrain people from bringing their problems in the court. A pending bill was attacked by the state Trial Lawyers Association in New York wherein they said that this bill does not allow civil rights such as to sue and also it prevents lawsuits from recovering damages for injuries.

The individuals who do not share the same perspective as the trial lawyers do are beginning to come about. This opposition team is preparing to introduce in Congress a Federal Automobile Insurance Reform Act which would protect the tort damage lawsuit right, a more extreme ‘no fault’ that supporters want to remove. What the trial lawyers’ bill has is that it owns their customized no fault provision. What the new Federal government corporation will do is to provide auto accident victims with the rightful compensation taken from the national gasoline tax. All of them would receive something whether they were guilty or innocent or whether they were insured or not.

The court would deduct the amount collected from the government although the right to sue and collect from the guilty driver would be preserved. These guilty drivers are no longer threatened by the no fault idea, they just want to retain the wrong legal system and they see the no fault as a justifiable social welfare principle and not as an insurance gimmick said the general manager of the Trial Lawyers Association and professor of the Boston University Law School. He says the trial lawyers believe their proposed federal corporation would be able to pay 90 per cent of all personal injury auto claims in full out of gasoline tax revenues.

Definitely, rates would go down for injury liability insurance because it has been subsidized by the government. There is a possibility that with the given subsidy by the government, most states would then require this. If that happens, the government would then have to spend over $3,000 or more per person. The payments given to the victims will compose 90 percent of all personal injury claims that includes hospital expenses, medical care and income loss. Victims will receive immediate payments except those who have committed a crime against the law, those who drive drunk and are under the influence of drugs and those who drive without license.

The Trial Lawyer’s bill provides a competition for private insurance companies because what it basically does is to give the government a right to sell policies. With this, the Government Company would then be allowed to sell personal injury liability insurance. Yet, motorists are still responsible for paying such coverage just like what they do now.

If you are not interested in addiction , then you have already missed a lot.

Lemon Law in Arkansas

Each state has its own interpretation of the lemon law and vehicles can only be covered in the state of Arkansas if it was bought, leased and registered there.

The Arkansas lemon law is only valid up to two years after the original date of delivery of the vehicle or the first 24,000 mile whichever comes last. If you decide to sell the vehicle, the one who gets it will still be covered under the lemon law. Vehicles covered under the lemon law do not include the living quarters of mobile homes or trucks that exceed 10,000 pounds gross weight rating.

For you to claim under the lemon law, manufacturers should be given at least 1 repair attempt if the defect may cause death or serious injury or 3 attempts for the same defect or 5 attempts for separate problems or 30 days out of service.

If you did not give the manufacturer ample time to fix the problem, they can argue that the time given was unreasonable and you may not be able to get a refund or a replacement. The lemon law may also not apply if damage to the vehicle was caused by your personal negligence.

In order for you to prove that your car is a lemon, you should report any problems directly to the manufacturer. Naturally they will try to fix the problem so keep all the receipts and any correspondence with them. It should state here that nature of the problem, the time it was brought in and picked up, repair work performed, odometer reading and the charges for parts and labor.

Let’s say repairs were done but nothing changes. When this happens, you have to give the manufacturer one last attempt before you can file a claim under the lemon law. You first have to send the manufacturer a final notice stating that unless they fix the problem, you have no choice but to file a claim against them.

It may come to a point where they have tried their best and decide to settle by offering you a replacement vehicle. If you decide to do this, you should not accept a refinancing agreement because it will create a financial obligation that is way beyond the original agreement.

You should instead demand a refund. Here, you will receive the full purchase price of the vehicle minus a reasonable allowance for vehicle use. The same happens if the vehicle was leased thus this agreement ends so you should not be charged any penalties for ending it early.

Some manufacturers will not refund or replace your vehicle. When this happens, you have to file for a hearing through the manufacturer’s informal dispute settlement program before you can bring this matter to court.

No fees are paid during the settlement program. You simply have to submit your complaint together with a copy of your documents. A decision will be made after 40 days and you can accept or reject the decision. If you accept, the manufacturer has to comply within 30 days.

Arkansas DWI Laws Have Changed

[Note: An interlock is a breathalyzer installed on your car that you blow into before starting your car and periodically thereafter. It is supposed to ensure that your BAC is under .02 before allowing your car to start or continue to run.]

Getting a DWI in Arkansas just got a little bit costlier. Prior to July 31st, if you were charged with a first-offense DWI (under a .15 BAC), then you could have a “free” work permit that allowed the accused to travel to and from work without having an ignition interlock device (often referred to as an “interlock”) installed on their car. Under the old law, as long as there was not a Refusal also charged, then the suspension period was 120 days. If you blew over a .15 or were chargedwith a Refusal, then the suspension period was 6 months and you were required to install an interlock to be able to drive.

Beginning July 31st, the work permit no longer exists (except for a first-offense DUI). Also, there is no longer any legal distinction between a BAC lower than .15 and one that was .15 or higher. All first-offense DWI’s and/or Refusals include a 6 month suspension, and you must have an interlock installed to be able to drive during your 6 month suspension period (having an interlock license for 6 months is actually a MANDATORY requirement for you to be able to get your license back).

There IS one silver lining for accused drivers (actually, it’s more of a “gold lining” for interlock retailers). The old law prohibited 2nd and 3rd Offense DWI’s from obtaining any sort of relief (whether a work permit or an interlock license) for the entire 1st year of each’s suspension period. The new law allows 2nd and 3rd Offense DWI’s to obtain an interlock license after only 45 days, as opposed to 1 year. There is no change for 2nd and 3rd Offense Refusals; they are still prohibited from any sort of relief. Unlike first-offense DWI’s, repeat-offense DWI’s do not appear to have a mandatory interlock requirement.

It should be noted that there are many legitimate reasons why a person may not want to have an interlock installed, such as the cost (roughly $150 for installation and $60 per month), the embarrassment, the hassle of having to constantly blow into the interlock while driving, and the real possibility that a mechanical error or false positive could lock you out of your car and leave you or the driver stranded.

So you’re considering driving during your suspension period without having an interlock license? Bad idea. First, if you are caught driving, the crime of Driving on a Suspended License for DWI includes an automatic 10-day jail sentence. Second, as stated above, the interlock is mandatory, and you will not be able to get your license back until, in addition to other requirements, you have had an interlock installed on your car for 6 months. That is, unless you win your case in the meantime. In short, unless you win, there is no way around having an interlock in your car for 6 months if you ever plan on driving legally again.

Luckily, it’s not too late if you want to start up your own interlock retailer to try to recoup some of those interlock fees. There shouldn’t be any lack of business thanks to our local lobbyists and legislators.

Arkansas Troops Prepare To Defend State Via Missouri

The day after the July 5th victory near Carthage, MO the dusty ranks of the Missouri State Guards were drawn up outside the town to be reviewed by Generals Sterling Price, Ben McCulloch and State General N. B. Pearce. The Missourians cheered loudly; these grey uniformed and well equipped men from Arkansas were the first Confederate soldiers they’ve seen, and they inspired hope. They also marched under a flag never before seen in MO, the Stars and Bars of the new Southern Confederacy.

If the Missouri volunteers happened to give the appearance of a nondescript mob, they had reason to. Monetary support, meaning the State Treasury, was locked up in state banks in every town occupied by Federal troops who also had control of the railroads, telegraph and mail. The purchase of military stores and convenient transport was non- existent. A large number were unarmed because the huge U S Arsenal at St Louis had transferred all weapons to IL long ago.

McCulloch was appalled at the thought of facing the trained Springfield-based army of Lyon and Sigel with such a rabble and said as much to Price, who promised improvement. Knowing intuitively the best place to defend Arkansas was in MO, McCulloch loaned 615 fine rifles to the Mexican War Veteran and former Missouri Governor, before rejoining his Pelican State contingent near Maysville, AR. It will be recalled the 3rd LA Infantry was detached from the column at this encampment previous to McCulloch’s accelerated thrust to Neosho, MO on the night of July 4th.

General Price took his mostly mounted state guard farther into southwest MO to Cowskin Prairie, of which a portion was three miles from the Arkansas boundary and within close supporting distance of Maysville. This bivouac proved an excellent selection for its many clear water creeks and grazing surface. Abundant cornfields were at hand also. Nearby lead mines answered for much needed firearm ammunition and improvised artillery projectiles. Gen. Lyon was stalled at Springfield for want of a reliable supply system. So, with time on his side Price also assigned prior service officers the tasks of providing drill, instruction and discipline toward converting the raw material into an army. In his book, Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West, noted historian and writer Albert Castel in part presented this description of the rank and file; “All of his troops had taken up arms (at least figuratively) out of a strong and sincere conviction that the sovereignty of their state had been wantonly violated and that their own rights and liberties were in danger….By and large they were young, hardy men of middle class farming families, intelligent and in many instances well educated.”

About this time in July, Colonel Patrick R. Cleburne’s 1st AR Infantry Regiment, (later15th), reached Pittman’s Ferry 50 miles from the Mississippi and 400 yards south of the MO state line. This location was on the beautiful Current River, several miles north of Pocahontas, a town situated where that stream joined the Black River.

The 33 year old Irish immigrant and Helena lawyer had previously led a militia company to Little Rock during the arsenal crises back in January. The event occurred when a conniving government official deceived the Helena Militia into thinking they were summoned by the governor to resist Federal reinforcement.

Farther east the 3rd AR Inf. Regiment was mustered into Confederate service at Lynchburg VA. This regiment was raised by former U. S. Congressman Albert Rust of Union County. From the time of its induction until July 15, the unit was whipped into shape by the VMI graduates who had also performed the same unrelenting service for Fagan’s 1st AR the previous month. The 3rd was assigned to the command of General W. W. Loring and sent to Monterey in North central VA, amid the low rumble of cannonading many miles toward the east.