Dear Arkansas CWRT members:
On behalf of all of the members of my family, I want to thank Jerry's
"extended" local Civil War family for all your kindnesses during his illness and
following his death. We deeply appreciate your phone calls, emails, cards,
letters, flowers, food, visits, attendance at his Memorial Service, memorials
and words of tribute.
For almost 40 years (lacking just a few months) this Round Table received
Jerry's thoughts and efforts. He was sometimes discouraged by lack of
attendance, lack of attention to the RT effort, lack of new leadership in this
RT, etc., etc.; but he never gave up! He has worried over the years that when he
and Bill O'Donnell were gone, there would be no one willing to step in and do
what needs doing to keep the group going.
I am confident you won't let that happen. He loved and respected you as a
group and individually. The greatest tribute you can pay Jerry Russell will be
to continue his work and the work of others over the last 30 years -- the study
of Civil War history and Battlefield Preservation.
As Jerry would say: "Always remember and never forget -- 'We Who Study Must
Also Strive To Save' and 'Battlefield Preservation Is Not A Spectator Sport'."
Thanks again and God bless each of you.
Alice Anne Russell
Fire & Sword:
Dr. Tom DeBlack,
Our speaker will be talking about the process of writing a history of the
Civil War and Reconstruction era in Arkansas (With Fire and Sword). He will
discuss what he sees as some unique aspects of the war in Arkansas and why the
period from 1861 to 1874 has to be viewed as a whole.
"I discovered a lot of things that I didn't know previously, and I found that
objective accounts of this period are hard to come by," Dr. DeBlack said.
Dr. Thomas A. DeBlack is an associate professor of history at Arkansas Tech
University in Russellville. He is a 1969 graduate of Nashville (Arkansas) High
School and holds a B.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas
(1973), an M.S.E. from Ouachita Baptist University (1979), and a Ph. D. from the
University of Arkansas (1995). Dr. DeBlack taught in the public schools in
Arkansas for twelve years.
He is vice-president of the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers
and sits on the board of the trustees of the Arkansas Historical Association.
He is a co-author of Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas
(University of Arkansas Press, 1994), co-editor of Civil Obedience: An Oral
History of School Desegregation in Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1954-1965 (University
of Arkansas Press, 1994), co-editor and contributor to The Southern Elite and
Social Change (University of Arkansas Press, 2002), co-author Arkansas: A
Narrative History (University of Arkansas Press, 2002), and author of With Fire
and Sword: Arkansas 1861-1874 (University of Arkansas Press, 2003). Dr. DeBlack
lives in Conway with his wife Susan, and their new daughter Susannah Grace, born
A reminder to pay your 2004 dues.
The dues are $15.00 for a family membership. Because of recent changes we are
publishing a list of those who had paid their dues (at least what our records
If you have paid your dues and your name is not on the list, contact Brian
Brown. If you would like to pay your dues contact Brian at:
Brian Brown, Treasurer
Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas
P.O. Box 25501
Little Rock, Ark. 72221
Randy & Deborah Baldwin
Edward Tom Bridgers
Dr. Tom DeBlack**
Kay & Charles Durnette
Dr John Ferguson
Donald G Linton
Mary Cooper Miller
Henry L. "Hank" Rogers
The Jan Sarna Family
Robert F. Shaver
Lonnie & Jane Anne Spikes
Dr. Tom DeBlack, Arkansas Tech,
Fire & Sword: Arkansas 1861-1864.
Jim Woodrick, Jackson, Miss. CWRT,
March is the
Roundtable of Arkansas
Dr. William Shea, UA-Monticello,
Cal Collier, Towson, Md.,
Gaylord Northrop, Sherwood,
Command & Control in Confederate Arkansas.
Supt. Ralph Jones, Fort Gibson, Okla.,
The Battle of Honey Springs.
No meeting Scheduled in December
[Letter to the editor January 16, 2004 in the Arkansas
ROBERT E. LEE WON A LASTING VICTORY
There came a time when the people of this country disagreed so bitterly among
themselves that some could not go on living with the rest.
A test of arms was made to decide whether America should remain as it was or
become two different countries. The armies of those who believed in two
countries were led by Robert E. Lee.
What kind of man was he? He possessed every virtue of the great commanders
without their vices. He was a foe without hate, a friend without treachery, a
neighbor without reproach, a Christian without hypocrisy and a man without
They say you had to see him to believe that a man so fine could exist. He had
never failed at anything in his upright soldier’s life. He was a born
winner—except for once. In the greatest contest of his life, the war between the
states, Lee was overwhelmed.
Now there were men who came with smoldering eyes to Lee and said, "Let’s not
accept this result as final. Let’s keep our armies alive. You can be our
leader." But Lee shook his head. "Abandon your animosities and make your sons
Americans," he said.
And what did Lee do when his war was over? He took a job as president of a
tiny college with 40 students and four professors. He had commanded thousands of
young men in battle. Now he wanted to prepare a few hundred of them for the
duties of peace. So the countrymen of Robert E. Lee saw how a born winner loses,
and it seemed to them in defeat he won his most lasting victory.
JIM IKERMAN Little Rock
(From THE SENTINAL The Newsletter of the 6th Arkansas Infantry, Company
"A Fair Trial & a Fine Hangin’"
Marks 140th Dodd Memorial
By Capt. Tom Ezell
The Capitol Guards and the 37th Illinoisre-created the trial of David O.
Dodd, Arkansas’ "boy hero of the Confederacy," before an audience of more than
200 on January 10, marking the 140th anniversary of Dodd’s death, and the return
of the original Dodd memorial window to the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas
Military History. Here, "Capt. Rice," the judge advocate, (Tom Ezell) summarizes
his case before the court (Steve Shore, Chuck Durnette, Harvey Moore, Jim Brigg,
and Mike Loum).
The Capitol Guards and their pards of the 37th Illinois got off to a whomping
good start for the new 2004 campaign season on January 10, with the return and
dedication of the original David O. Dodd memorial stained glass window to the
MacArthur Museum of Military History, where it will hang in the Civil War
gallery, along with the authentic reenactment of Dodd’s trial by a military
commission during the New Year’s holiday of 1864.
As promised, the 140th anniversary observance of the trial and execution of
David Dodd was different than it has been in previous years, not only with the
return of the UDC’s stained glass memorial window to the MacArthur Museum in
Little Rock, but with a reenactment of Dodd’s trial, based upon the official
records. A whole lot of legend and ladies’ poetry has grown up around Dodd’s
story over the past 140 years, extolling the virtues of the "boy martyr of the
Confederacy" and with each telling it gets tougher to separate fact from
One of the objectives of the this reenactment was to cut through some of the
moonlight and romance to portray just what happened during the New Year’s
holiday of 1864 as a historical account, and I think we did just that. From the
comments I’ve received so far, the public believes that we succeeded as well.
Attendance at the event was more than 250 persons, a banner day for the
The event was opened with a welcome by Museum director Stephan McAteer, and
the unveiling of the original window by Museum board director Ron Fuller and
Arkansas UDC president Susan Railsback. Following the unveiling, the Museum
formally opened its fundraising campaign to repair and restore the Capital
Guards monument that stands in front of the Arsenal building in MacArthur Park.
Erected in 1911 in memory of the "Flower of Little Rock", the Capital Guards
pre-War militia company, the monument has deteriorated significantly over the
past 90 years from the ravages of weather and vandalism. The MacArthur Museum
has contracted with a conservator in Missouri to repair and restore the bronze
statue, and in the next few weeks the statue will be taken down and sent to
Missouri for restoration.
The amount needed to professionally clean, repair, and restore the statue is
$35,000. The Museum has raised $20,000 of this amount through grants and large
donations, and is now actively soliciting to raise the remainder of the funds to
complete the restoration. During the museum program, the UDC fund for
Confederate Sculptures in Arkansas presented the MacArthur Museum with a check
for $5,000 toward the restoration of the Capital Guards monument.
A short recess followed as we got our stuff in place for the trial
reenactment, and from the moment we convened the court, the audience appeared to
be riveted. The Dodd reenactment was a team effort, featuring not only members
of the Capitol Guards, but also significant efforts from the 37th Illinois, the
9th Arkansas, and the Early Arkansaw Reenactors’ Assn.
As we went onstage, the cast of characters included David Sesser (David O.
Dodd), Ken Nations and Jerry Simpson as the provost guards, Tom Ezell as the
judge advocate, Jason Massey and Gregory Ferguson as Fishback and Yonley, Dodd’s
attorneys, Harvey Moore, Charles Durnette, Jim Brigg, Steve Shore, and Mike Loum
as the members of the court; Robert Giles, Sheldon Gately, W.J. Monagle, Tyson
Savell, Bob Black, Mark Kalkbrenner, and Larry Hulsey as witnesses for the
prosecution, and Keith Peterson, Matt Bond, Will Hardage, Kathie Gately, and
George Davis as witnesses for the defense. We had gotten together the previous
weekend to read through the script and get everyone familiar with his or her
part and what to expect, and despite the lack of practice, every person "nailed"
Several old veterans who had taken part in actual courts-martial came up
later to comment how "real" that everything looked. Well, we tried… taking pains
to get everyone suited up authentically, matching the scripts to the original
records, and even presenting the evidence. All the evidence and documents made
up for the court was authentic... that is, it said just what it was supposed to
say, and was on the appropriate repro form, just in case somebody wanted to look
at it. Everything from the convening order to the charge sheets, Dodd’s
petitions and oath of allegiance, the letters, etc. Even the memorandum book had
the writing in it, Mark K. was really trying to decipher my chicken scratches in
That was a real copy of the Regs and DeHart’s 1847 manual on courts-martial
just in case one of the panel really did ask a question or need to look
something up while the court was in session.
Following the conclusion of the trial reenactment, we gathered our gear and
headed out to Mount Holly Cemetery for the traditional memorial service at
Dodd’s grave site. As with the Museum program, we had a large turnout here – In
addition to the two officers and color guard, there were 40 rifles in the ranks,
as well as approximately 70 spectators and observers. For once, the ceremony
held to the issue at hand, a military ceremony in honor of a fallen comrade. It
closed with three sharp, crisp volleys as 40 rifles shattered the afternoon calm
and black powder smoke drifted into the blue, crystal-clear sky.
Hmmm... maybe for next year...
Civil War -Histories-Battles-People-Current Events
PLACES of interest including Searchable Chronology Database
DISPATCHES Current Info-Monthly Newsletter
LINKS major historical and preservation source
RESOURCE for historical Civil War information
GROUPS list contacts for today's information
PEOPLE of history
THE MISSING CIVIL WAR SWORD
Piece of History Returned by FBI in Ceremony at U.S. Naval Academy
On March 9, 1862, just three days shy of his 44th birthday, Lieutenant John
Lorimer Worden was fighting the battle of his life. The ship he commanded -- the
iron-plated USS Monitor -- had just arrived in the waters outside Hampton Roads,
Virginia. Its mission: to turn back another armored vessel, the CSS Virginia
(often known by its previous name, the Merrimack), which had sunk two Union
frigates the day before and was threatening the North's naval blockade.
Shortly after noon, following hours of heavy volleys back and forth, the
Virginia aimed its fire at the pilothouse of the Monitor, where Worden was
directing the fight. A shell exploded, temporarily blinding the Lieutenant. His
injuries were so severe that he had to relinquish command. But the Monitor kept
fighting, forcing the Virginia to withdraw and preserving the blockade, the
Union fleet, and ultimately, the Union itself.
An Elegant Tribute. News of the world's first ironclad battle spread quickly,
electrifying the nation and forever changing the history of naval warfare. It
also made John Worden a hero. President Lincoln himself visited the injured
lieutenant. Worden's home state of New York paid tribute to its native son as
well -- in a grand way. It commissioned from Tiffany & Co. an ornate, finely
crafted 37-inch sword, inlaid with gold and silver. Its handle was emblazoned
with the Roman God of the Sea, Neptune. And with it came a gold-plated sheath
and gold-embroidered belt. All together, the set cost some $550, a hefty sum in
The Theft. Worden's star continued to rise. He served as Superintendent of
the U.S. Naval Academy and ended his career as Rear Admiral. Fifteen years after
his death in 1912, the family donated the sword and other items to the U.S.
Naval Academy museum. Then in 1931, the sword -- already considered priceless
because of its link to the infamous ironclad battle -- vanished. The Navy's
investigation came to nought.
How was the Sword Found? In 1998, FBI art theft experts in Philadelphia began
investigating the shady dealings of several appraisers on the hit PBS series,
the Antiques Roadshow. By 2002, three men were in jail for engaging in more than
$1 million worth of memorabilia fraud. But FBI Agents didn't stop there. They
pored over the voluminous records of the appraisers, file-by-file, looking for
more stolen treasures or phony deals. Late last year, they found records on the
Worden sword, which had been bought by an appraiser and then resold to a
collector. The Agents contacted the U.S. Naval Academy, discovered the sword was
stolen, and tracked it down. On Monday, the sword was returned to the Naval
Academy in Annapolis by the FBI.
The FBI's Advice For Collectors: Two words: due diligence. When buying a
priceless work of art, make sure you know its history. It is a federal offense
to obtain by theft or fraud any object of cultural heritage from a museum. For
more information, see the FBI's Art Theft website.
State of Arkansas
84th General Assembly
Second Extraordinary Session, 2003
By: Representatives Martin, Bradford, Childers
HOUSE MEMORIAL RESOLUTION
HONORING THE MEMORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF JERRY LEWIS
HONORING THE MEMORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF JERRY LEWIS
WHEREAS, the tremendously successful political
consultant Jerry Lewis Russell, Jr., born July 21, 1933, in Little Rock,
Arkansas, died in Little Rock on December 5, 2003, at the age of seventy (70);
WHEREAS, Russell was a loving husband to Alice Anne
Cason Russell, a loving father to Leigh Anne Russell, Jerry L. "Sam" Russell,
III, Susan Frances Russell, and Andrew J. Russell, III, a loving grandfather to
Chris Russell, Andrew J. Russell, IV, Ethan Lewis Russell, Marc Miller, D.A.
Miller, and Sarah Broaddrick, and a loving great grandfather to Bethany Anne
WHEREAS, Russell served his country faithfully in the
Korean Conflict; and
WHEREAS, Jerry Russell was a master of both the written
and spoken word, a champion of history, and frequent ally to the political
WHEREAS, Russell put on workshops for political
candidates and made presentations on political topics to audiences nationwide;
WHEREAS, Russell, a former columnist for the
Arkansas Democrat, edited and published a monthly informational letter
Grass Roots Campaigning about political techniques, psychology, and
Short Takes, a monthly newsletter about media, politics, advertising, and
people in Arkansas; and three (3) historical newsletters; and wrote a monthly
column, "Grass Roots Campaigning", in the Kentucky Gazette; and
WHEREAS, Russell was also extremely active in the
preservation and protection of Civil War and Indian War historic sites, served
as founder and chairman of numerous historical societies such as The Confederate
Historical Institute and Civil War Round Table Associates, and has been honored
by organizations throughout the United States for his leadership on behalf of
Civil War historic preservation; and
WHEREAS, Russell was a highly successful political
consultant and trusted confidant to candidates he determined had the toughness
and commitment to run for political office, winning over seventy percent (70%)
of his races; and
WHEREAS, Russell consistently reminded us that "all
politics is local", and that public service is a high calling; and
WHEREAS, Russell changed the way political campaigns
were run and will forever be remembered for his campaign jingles that we could
not help but recall again and again during election season; and
WHEREAS, Russell was a giant among political animals,
political consultants, political educators, political historians, and political
THAT the House of Representatives of the Eighty-Fourth
General Assembly honors the memory of Jerry Russell with grateful appreciation
for his contributions to history and politics.
We Who Study Must Also Strive To
Don't forget, our 40th birthday will be in March.
SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT
for Dr. Tom DeBlack.
AND REMEMBER---2004 dues are due and are $15!
GOD BLESS AMERICA!