Civil War Buff

      The Civil War in Arkansas

   Home     What's New     Search     People     Places     Units     Groups     Forum     Books     Calendar     About Us

 

 

Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

Promote Your Page Too

 

Newsletter Archive - We have left these online because they contain valuable articles. For the most up-to-date Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas Newsletter please use the Newsletter button in the Menu. 

 

     
    VOL. XXXIX, No. 2, FEBRUARY 2003  FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25
    Our 39th Year Meets Fourth Tuesday, January-November/Founded March 1964 
    Fletcher Branch Library, H & Buchanan (East of University Ave.), 
    Little Rock Program at 7 p.m. 
    Charles Durnett, President  /  Jerry L. Russell, Editor,
    Dues $15 Per Year VISITORS WELCOME! 
    VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...WHILE YOU CAN 
    http://www.civilwarbuff.org/

    Meeting Cancelled Because of Snow

    General Pete Longstreet

    by Drew Hodges, North Pulaski CWRT


      James Longstreet was born January 8, 1821, in Edgefield District, S.C. and spent his early  years in Augusta, Ga.  His father died when James was 12 years old and he moved with his mother to Somerville, Ala.  He was admitted to West Point at the age of 17 and was a classmate of Grant, Halleck, McDowell, George H. Thomas and William T. Sherman.  He graduated 54th in a class of 62 in 1842.

      Longstreet served in the Mexican War and continued to serve in the U.S. Army until he resigned June 1, 1861, to join the Confederate Army.  On June 17 of that same year he was commissioned brigadier general in spite of his personal desire to assume an administrative rather than a military role during the War.

     Come hear Drew Hodges tell us about this rather polarizing Confederal General who was a superior corps leader but did not have prowess in strategy or independent command.  He was often slow or reluctant to take the offensive but nonetheless a fearless soldier when engaged in battle.  Longstreet was referred to by Robert E. Lee as "My Old War Horse" and by his men as "Old Pete."

     OUR THANKS TO Dr. Herbert L. Lunday and Larry Lunday for their presentation on The Battle of Fitzhugh Woods in the January meeting.  Unfortunately the editor was precluded from attending but understands that it was a fascinating program on this little-known Arkansas Civil War battlefield (near Augusta).

     THANKS, TOO, TO GAYLORD NORTHROP for agreeing to serve as our vp/program chairman.
     

 PROGRAMS TO COME:  Be sure to check the Events at www.civilwarbuff.org/dispatches.html

 March 25, 2003--George Davis, AThe 6th Arkansas Infantry.

 April 22, 2003--Supt. John Scott, Pea Ridge NMP, APea Ridge Today.

 May 27, 2003--Cal Collier (confirmed), Topic to be announced.

 June 24, 2003--Randy Philhours, Paragould, AThe Marmaduke-Walker Duel.

 July 22, 2003--Rob McGregor, Little Rock, AJefferson Davis, Before & After the Civil War.

 August 26, 2003--Dr. Brian Steel Wills, Topic to be announced.

 September 23, 2003--Dr. Dan Sutherland, The University of Arkansas, AGuerilla Warfare.

 October 28, 2003--Landon Smith, Jackson, Miss, APrairie d'Ane.

 Novenber 25, 2003--TBA

  DON'T YOU MISS Drew Hodges on Longstreet...BE THERE!
 And remember, if you have not yet paid your 2003 dues, bring your check ($15) to Tuesday's meeting 
 And try to recruit at least one new member during the year!
We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!


IT'S NOT TOO LATE to sign up to ride and walk with Ed Bearss on tours of these two battles.  Specific information is enclosed with this mailing.  Visit the battlefields while you can!  And if you've never done these battles with Ed Bearss, you should do so!

 "EVERY MAN SHOULD ENDEAVOR TO understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late . . .  It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision . . ."  Maj. Gen Patrick R. Cleburne, CSA; January, 1864.


 FROM ARKANSAS TIMES, December 20, 2002:
 Arkansas's own Forrest City is named for Nathan Bedford Forrest, the famous Confederate general who was later a founder of the Ku Klux Klan.  So we note with interest that there is controversy in Memphis over that city's Forrest Park, where the general is buried.  Some want to change the name of the park, believing it disrespectful of African-Americans.  Some visitors to Memphis for the Tyson-Lewis fight remarked unfavorably on the park's name.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans and other groups strongly oppose changing the name.  We're not taking sides, but we'll note that once they start changing the names of Nathan Bedford Forrest memorials in Tennessee, they'll have a big job on their hands.  According to James W. Loewen, author of "Lies Across America:  What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong," there are more parks, statues, buildings, plaques and other memorials to Nathan Bedford Forrest in Tennessee than to any other person in a single state -- more than Lincoln in Illinois, Lee or Washington in Virginia, or either Roosevelt in New York.


  CIVIL WAR INTERACTIVE conducted a nationwide survey of Civil War enthusiasts to determine the favorite Civil War books ever written.  878 responses yielded these as the top 25.
1.  The Civil War Trilogy, Shelby Foote
2.  Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
3.  Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson
4.  The Gettysburg Campaign, Edwin B. Coddington
5.  A Stillness at Appomattox, Bruce Catton
6.  Gettysburg - The Second Day, Harry W. Pfanz
7.  Civil War Memoirs, Ulysses S. Grant
8.  Stonewall Jackson:  The Man, The Soldier, The Legend, James Robertson
9.  Lee's Lieutenants, Douglas Southall Freeman
10. The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
11. Civil War Day by Day, E. B. Long
12. A Strange and Blighted Land, Gregory A. Coco
13. Battles and Leaders, Robert Underwood Johnson
14. James Longstreet: A Biography, Jeffrey Wert
15. Confederates in the Attic, Tony Horwitz
16. Embrace An Angry Wind (aka "The   Confederacy's Last Hurrah:), Wiley   Sword
17. John Brown's Body, Steven Vincent Benet
18. Return to Bull Run, John J. Hennessy
19. Battle of the Wilderness, Gordon C. Rhea
20. Longstreet:  Soldier, Statesman, D. B. Sanger &   Hay
21. Andersonville, MacKinlay Kantor
22. Ordeal of the Union, Alan Nevins
23. Shiloh: Bloody April (out of Print), Wiley Sword
24. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
25. Three Years in the Army of the Cumberland,   James A. Connelly

Many of which have been recommended by the CWRT of Arkansas. 
Read the full list at www.civilwarbuff.org/resources.html

From Epic Battles of the American Civil War:
"Mill Springs"
(Other Names: Logan's Cross?Roads, Fishing Creek)
Fought In: KENTUCKY in Pulaski County and Wayne County
Campaign: Offensive in Eastern Kentucky (1862)
Start Date: Sunday, 19 January 1862
End Date: Sunday, 19 January 1862
Commanders: Brig. Gen. George H. Thomas [US]; Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden [CS] Forces: 1st Division, Army of the Ohio, and Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf's Brigade (total of four brigades)
[US]; division of two brigades [CS]

Description: Although Brig. Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer's main responsibility was to guard Cumberland Gap, in November 1861 he advanced west into Kentucky to strengthen control in the area around Somerset. He found a strong defensive position at Mill Springs and decided to make it his winter quarters. He fortified the area, especially both sides of the Cumberland River. Union Brig. Gen.George Thomas received orders to drive the Rebels across the Cumberland River and break up Maj. Gen. George B. Crittenden's army. He left Lebanon and slowly marched through rain?soaked country, arriving at Logan's Crossroads on January 17, where he waited for Brig. Gen. A. Schoepf's troops from Somerset to join him. Maj. Gen. George Crittenden, Zollicoffer's superior, had arrived at Mill Springs and taken command of the Confederate troops. He knew that Thomas was in the vicinity and decided that his best defense was to attack the Yankees. The Rebels attacked Thomas at Logan's Crossroads at dawn on January 19. Unbeknownst to the Confederates, some of Schoepf's troops had arrived and reinforced the Union force. 

Initially, the Rebel attack forced the first unit it hit to retire, but stiff resistance followed and Zollicoffer was killed. The Rebels made another attack but were repulsed. Union counterattacks on the Confederate right and left were successful, forcing them from the field in a retreat that ended in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Mill Springs, along with Middle Creek, broke whatever Confederate strength there was in eastern Kentucky. Confederate fortunes did not rise again until summer when Gen. Braxton Bragg launched his offensive into Kentucky. Mill Springs was the larger of the two Union Kentucky victories in January 1862. With these victories, the Federals carried the war into Middle Tennessee in February. Casualties: 671 total (US 232; CS 439) 

"Perryville"
(Other Names: None)
Fought In: KENTUCKY in Boyle County
Campaign: Confederate Heartland Offensive (1862)
Start Date: Wednesday, 8 October 1862
End Date: Wednesday, 8 October 1862
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell [US]; Gen. Braxton  Bragg ICS] Forces: Army of the Ohio [US]; Army of the Mississippi [CS]

Description: Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg's autumn 1862 invasion of Kentucky had reached the outskirts of Louisville and Cincinnati, but he was forced to retreat and regroup. On October 7, the Federal army of Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell, numbering nearly 55,000, converged on the small crossroads town of Perryville, Kentucky, in three columns. Union forces first skirmished with Rebel cavalry on the Springfield Pike before the fighting became more general, on Peters Hill, as the grayclad infantry arrived. The next day, at dawn, fighting began again around Peters Hill as a Union division advanced up the pike, halting just before the Rebel line. The fighting then stopped for a time. After noon, a Rebel division struck the Union left flank and forced it to fall back. When more Confederate divisions joined the fray, the Union line made a stubborn stand, counterattacked, but finally fell back with some troops routed. Buell did not know of the happenings on the field, or he would have sent forward some reserves. Even so, the Union troops on the left flank, reinforced by two brigades, stabilized their line, and the Rebel attack sputtered to a halt. Later, a Rebel brigade assaulted the Union division on the Springfield Pike but was repulsed and fell back into Perryville. The Yankees pursued, and skirmishing occurred in the streets in the evening before dark. Union reinforcements were threatening the Rebel left flank by now. Bragg, short of men and supplies, withdrew during the night, and, after pausing at Harrodsburg, continued the Confederate retrograde by way of Cumberland Gap into East Tennessee. The Confederate offensive was over, and the Union controlled Kentucky. Casualties: 7,407 total (US 4,211; CS 3,196)

And from Civil War Regimental Information System the Order of Battle at Perryville:
Confederate Army: Army of the Mississippi Corps: Hardee's Corps
Brigade: Wheeler's Cavalry Brigade
 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment
 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment
 6th Confederate Cavalry Regiment
 2nd Georgia Cavalry Regiment
 Ist Kentucky Cavalry Regiment

Division: Anderson's Division
Brigade: Adams' Brigade
 13th  Louisiana Infantry Regiment
 14th  Louisiana Sharpshooters Battalion
 16th  Louisiana Infantry Regiment
 20th  Louisiana Infantry Regiment
 25th  Louisiana Infantry Regiment
Brigade:  Brown's Brigade
 1st Florida Infantry Regiment
 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment
 41st Mississippi Infantry Regiment
Brigade: Jones' Brigade
 27th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
 30th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
 34th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
Brigade: Powell's Brigade
 45th Alabama Infantry Regiment
 1st Arkansas Infantry Regiment
 24th Mississippi Infantry Regiment
 29th Tennessee Infantry Regiment

Division: Buckner's Division
Brigade: Cleburne's Brigade
 13th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
 15th Arkansas (Cleburne's?Polk's?Josey's) Infantry Regiment
 2nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Provisional Army 
Brigade: Johnson's Brigade
 5th Confederate (Smith's) Infantry Regiment 
 17th Tennessee infantry Regiment 
 23rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 25th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 37th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 44th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
Brigade: Liddell's Brigade
 2nd Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
 5th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
 6th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
 8th Arkansas Infantry Regiment 
Brigade: Wood's Brigade
 16th Alabama Infantry Regiment 
 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment 
 3rd Confederate Infantry Regiment 
 15th Mississippi Battalion Sharpshooters 
 45th Mississippi Infantry Regiment 
Corps: Polk's Corps
Brigade: Wharton's Cavalry Brigade
 1t Kentucky Cavalry Regiment 
 4th Tennessee (Starnes'?McLemore's) Cavalry  Regiment
 8th Texas Cavalry Regiment 

Division: Cheatham's Division
Brigade: Donelson's Brigade
 8th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 15th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 16th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 38th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 51st Tennessee Infantry Regiment Consolidated
Brigade: Maney's Brigade
 41st Georgia Infantry Regiment
 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 6th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 9th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 27th Tennessee infantry Regiment
Brigade: Smith's Brigade
 12th Tennessee Infantry Regiment Consolidated
 13th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 47th Tennessee Infantry Regiment 
 154th Tennessee Senior Infantry Regiment
 9th Texas (Maxey's) Infantry Regiment
Brigade: Stewart's Brigade
 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 5th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 24th Tennessee Infantry Regiment
 31st Tennessee (A. H. Bradford's) Infantry  Regiment
 33rd Tennessee Infantry Regiment

 Curtis Coats Returned to Pea Ridge National Military Park
by Doug Keller, Historian, Pea Ridge NMP

 The tightly made plywood box was singularly unimpressive, but park rangers knew it contained a rare treasure. The security tape was cut and a power drill removed the screws securing the lid. Speaking took place in hushed tones, as if at a funeral out of respect for the dead. Nesting inside the plywood box was a dull gray archival box containing the sought after items. Soon, spread out on the large table were two double?breasted frock coats bearing the stars of a major general. The uniform coats worn by Union general Samuel Ryan Curtis had returned to Pea Ridge National Military Park exactly 140 years to the day of the battle.

 Curtis's granddaughter Mrs. E. D. Bird donated the coats to Fitch's Home for Soldiers in Noroton Heights, Connecticut. When the Veteran's Administration took over operation of the home the coats were donated to the Museum of Connecticut history in 1927. There they stayed for 70 years before the museum approached the park with an offer to sell the coats. After some time of start and stop negotiations including a change of Superintendents, a three?year loan agreement was reached between the park and the state of Connecticut. The Pea Ridge National Military Park Foundation used the 140th anniversary of the battle to launch a fundraising drive to purchase the coats and donate them to [the] park where they will be displayed. To date, $5,000 has been raised. A total of $32,000 is needed to acquire both coats. The park has been funded to obtain a specially designed environmentally controlled case in which to display the garments, but for right now they remain in collection storage.

 Both coats are significant in that they were both the property of the commander of the victorious union army at Pea Ridge. One ofthem however is extraordinarily unique in that Curtis wore it during the Pea Ridge campaign. This coat was originally manufactured as a regulation colonel's frock coat of fine, dark blue wool broadcloth. "Col Saml R Curtis" is machine stitched into the rear shoulder lining. There is no tailor's label but it is possible that Curtis had the coat made in Washington prior to returning to Keokuk, Iowa, to raise the 2nd Iowa Infantry.

 In August, 1861, Curtis was promoted to brigadier general making his new coat obsolete. Since commissioned officers were required to purchase their own uniforms, it naturally followed that Curtis would have the colonel's coat modified rather than incur the expense of having a second coat tailor made. A photograph of Curtis wearing his newly modified coat with the rank of brigadier general and two rows of buttons in sets of two is in the files of the Old State House Museum in Little Rock. A distinctive feature is a small pocket on the left breast. This is the only known photograph of Curtis wearing this particular coat. There can be no doubt but that he wore this coat during the Pea Ridge campaign and very likely the battle itself.

 Tailors were not through making alterations to this garment. For his victory at Pea Ridge, Curtis was promoted to major general on March 21, 1862, requiring yet another alteration to the coat. To indicate the rank ofmajor general, two rows of buttons in sets of three were added, and on the shoulder two stars of a major general replaced the single star of a brigadier.

 The second of the two coats is a regulation major general's frock coat complete with velvet cuffs. It was in this coat that Curtis was most frequently photographed. Known to be a fastidious dresser, it is likely that Curtis desired a more formal regulation coat instead of a battle worn modification.

 Curtis is now considered the most successful union general west of the Mississippi. Ironically, there have been at least seven biographies of the confederate officers bested by Curtis at Pea Ridge. There has even been a recent biography of Franz Sigel who unabashedly claimed he was architect of union success at Pea Ridge. There has yet to be a biography of Curtis who has been described as "A reserved and rather formal Victorian gentleman, 'in demeanor serious, deliberate, in speech and action undemonstrative'." Now there is an opportunity to pay Curtis the respect he rightfully deserves by raising the money to acquire these two remarkable coats for exhibit at the park. Tax deductible donations can be made to the Pea Ridge National Military Park Foundation, P.O. Box 700 Pea Ridge, Arkansas 72751.

 We hope members of our Round Table will give generously!
 Why, you ask?    Because --

We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!