The Arkansas National Guards roots go back to 1804. At that time, the legislative body governing the Indiana Territory, of which Arkansas was a part, enacted a law making all free males liable for military service excepting superior court judges, supreme court judges, the attorney general, the supreme court clerk, all licensed ministers, jail keepers, and those exempted by the laws of the United States. This created the first real instance of a localized militia in the Arkansas region. However, Arkansas was still a very sparsely populated area, and though militia did exist, their function was more social in nature than anything else. It would be almost a half century before these forces would see combat.
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