John served in the 1st Arkansas Cavalry Battalion. The Battalion was present (dismounted) during the VIcksburg siege under the following officers: Capt. John J. Clark ,, Col. Robert W. Harper, Lt. Col. Daniel H. Reynolds [Link] The siege ended in July 1863. John died in a hospital at Columbus Mississippi on Oct 15, 1863. Note: Cause of death not known at this time.
Family Records and FOLD3 provide a death record for John W. Shoptow. The citation of this image is provided with the attached image. As of 6/26/2019, the following sites did not have a record of his service: 1) National Park Service 2) Edward Gerdes Civil War Page [Link] which is considered a quality source for Arkansas Civil War units 3) Family Search just forwards you to FOLD3
John's death record states he served in Co, F, 1st Battalion Arkansas Cavalry...... For category purposes he has been placed with Stirman's Battalion because: internet research says Stirman formed a Battalion on Feb 15, 1862, which included recruits from Russellville, Pope County (AR).... while John is currently not listed with this company (possibly to a name error), this company has a Cpl. John F. Shinn. (John Shoptaw's wife had a LNAB of Shinn.) and John Shoptaw was from Pope County.
Confusion caused by published errors: “History of Pope Co. Arkansas” has a biography on John’s father James Shoptaw, many family trees accepted erroneous information from this article. It said “John Wycliffe (Shoptaw) served in Co. F., 3rd Ark Batt, under Capt. James Russell. He died in the siege of Vicksburg.” The known errors are: 1) John died about 3 months after the siege of Vicksburg, in a Mississippi hospital 2) John served in Co. F, 1st Battallion Arkansas Cav.
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M67D-K9J : 12 April 2016), John Shoptaw in household of James Shoptaw, Pope county, Pope, Arkansas, United States; citing family 415, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
"Arkansas, County Marriages, 1837-1957," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N9M9-N6J : 18 March 2019), Malinda Shinn in entry for John Shoptaw, 21 Feb 1856; citing Marriage, Pope, Arkansas, United States, county offices, Arkansas; FHL microfilm 1,034,012.
"United States Civil War Unfiled Papers of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VQZ1-JLW : 4 December 2014), John W Shoptow, ; from "Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging to Confederate Compiled Service Records," database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : 2010); citing NARA microfilm publication M347 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Adminstration, 1962), roll 360.
Middle name Wycliffe from "History of Pope County, Arkansas Volume II: 1829 - 1980 Hardcover 585 pages; published Jan 1 , 1981 by Josten's Publishing Co. ASIN: B000KTHWIE Biography on James Shoptaw (father of John Wycliffe Shoptaw)