It was in 1840 that my great grandfather, William Bideston Arnold, packed his belongings, including a Bible which I have in my possession, and emigrated to Arkansas from Autauga County, Alabama. He was a farmer and a Methodist minister, and he located his family near Prescott.
Only seven years after his emigration to Arkansas, the father of W. E. (Bill) Arnold died. The widow was left with ten small children. At the age of ten Bill went to make his home with his sister, Mrs. David Carroll Ross, in Union County, near Lisbon. For brief periods he went to school in Mt. Holly, living with Jim Fannan, Aunt Lucy Goodwin, Dr. Gordon, and Major Coulter. He went to school in Clarksville in I856-57 and studied medicine in 1859 under Dr. Turner in Union County. Then he entered Atlanta Medical College in Georgia. This college was later made a part of Emory University.
After finishing his course in the Atlanta Medical College he volunteered as a private and went to Virginia. He stayed in Evansport, on the Potomac River during the year 1861. From the Army of Virginia he transferred to the Army of Tennessee, and was stationed for a time in Memphis.
On April 7 th and 8 th, 1862, Dr. Bill Arnold fought in the Battle of Shiloh. Here bullets passed through his cartridge box. After this near tragedy he was ill for a week but participated in battles because he feared death on a sick bed . His health was greatly impaired during this time that he lived on the Potomac River where "surface waters and mosquito bites were bad."