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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. 



    Our 40th 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. 
    Brian Brown, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor, 
    Dues $15 Per Year VISITORS WELCOME! 




    Mark L. “Beau” Cantrell


    William Preston Johnston (1831-1899)

     William Preston Johnston was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of General Albert Sidney Johnston. His mother, Henrietta (Preston) Johnston) died when he was four and General William Preston, a relative of his mother’s raised him. He graduated from Yale in 1852, studied law at the University of Louisville, and took up the practice of law in Louisville.

     In addition to his vocation of sonneteer, Johnston was a Confederate soldier, lawyer, and educator. Johnston became a colonel in the Confederate army at the beginning of the Civil War and served on the staff of Jefferson Davis. After the war, Johnston became a professor at Washington and Lee University, and was offered a chair of history and English literature by the university's president, Gen

     Robert E. Lee. Johnston chaired the Department of History and English Literature from 1867 to 1877. While at Washington and Lee, he authored a biography of his father, The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston (1878).

     In 1880, he became president of Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, which he resigned three years later to become the first president of Tulane University of Louisiana in New Orleans, in 1884. In his Louisiana days, Johnston published several volumes of poetry and contributed to the periodicals of the day. He died at Lexington, Virginia; he was the father of six children.

     This is our annual meeting with the North Pulaski Roundtable. This year we will hear Mark L. Cantrell, historian, of El Reno, OK. In addition to being a Litigation & Appeals lawyer, Mark is Commander of the Trans-Mississippi Army of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

    DUES FOR 2005

    The dues are $15.00 for a family membership. We generally publish a list of those who had paid their dues (at least what our records show), to help us keep track.

    If you have paid your dues and your name is not on the list, contact Brian Brown at the meeting. If you would like to pay, your dues contact Brian at the meeting or:

    Brian Brown, Treasurer
    Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas
    P.O. Box 25501
    Little Rock, Ark. 72221

    We already have paid members for 2005.
    Marian Hodges
    Robert F. Shaver
    Michael T. Lewis

    In addition, it is time to think of about your officers for this coming year. Elections will be held at the November meeting. Remember if you are absent, you might be elected to something.


     Colonel William Preston's report

    Of the Battle of Shiloh

    and the death of A. S. Johnston

         Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston hoped to strike a surprise blow at Grant's Army of the Tennessee in its camp at Pittsburg Landing. Grant was awaiting the arrival of Don Carlos Buell's Army of the Ohio. Once combined, the Federals planned to attack and capture the major rail center at Corinth, Mississippi. Johnston hoped that he could defeat Grant's force before Buell's could arrive to reinforce him. The result was the Battle of Shiloh.

    The fighting was fierce throughout the day, but the Confederates were achieving some success. Johnston led several charges himself, and was hit by Federal fire in the afternoon. This was his Aide-de-Camp, Colonel Preston's account of the battle and his death.




    November 23, 2004 --
    Drew Hodges, speaking on
    “A. P. Hill” 
    Election of Officers 

    December, 2004 –
    No meeting Scheduled in December

    January 25, 2005 –
    Mark Christ –
    J. O. Shelby’s Summer of ‘64

    February 22, 2005 - TBA

    March 22, 2005
    Brian Brown – TBA

    April 26, 2005 –
    Tom Ezell -  Jenkins' Ferry

    May 24, 2005 – TBA

    We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!


    Gaylord Northrop former Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas president died this past month. Although, he had been diagnosed with a terminal illness he continued to attend meetings and presented a program to us last July. He will be missed. Below is the obituary as it appeared in the paper.


       Dr. GAYLORD M. NORTHROP, 75, passed away Friday, Oct. 1, 2004, at his Sherwood home following a lengthy battle with leukemia.


       Dr. Northrop was born on Dec. 15, 1928. He was graduated from North Little Rock High School in 1946 and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving until 1948. Following his military service, he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, receiving his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1952. He worked briefly in the aerospace industry in California before continuing his education. He was awarded a Master of Engineering in 1955 and his Doctorate of Engineering in 1961, both from Yale University. During his postgraduate work, he taught at both Yale and New Haven College and simultaneously performed work for several aerospace companies.


       In 1960, Dr. Northrop joined the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, Calif., doing research in the fields of Command Control, Communications, and Data Processing. In 1967, he returned to Connecticut, joining the Center for Environment and Man, where he rose to the position of vice president. While there, he also served as Adjunct Professor and Chair of the Environmental Science and Technology Master's Program at the Hartford Graduate Center.

       In 1982, he received an Associate Professorship at the University of Bridgeport, Conn. He left that position in 1986 to return to Arkansas to care for his mother. He joined the UALR Graduate Institute of Technology, was named Interim Director in 1988, and became Director in 1989. At about the same time, he was also appointed Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering Science and Technology. He retired from the University in 1997 as an Emeritus Associate Professor.


       Retirement slowed him but little. He expanded his interest in Civil War history, touring battlefields, attending and giving lectures, and building a library of books related to the Civil War, particularly relating to Arkansas. He was a past president of the Civil War Round Table. He was the current president of the Arkansas Academy of Electrical Engineers and past president of the Arkansas chapter of the scientific research society Sigma Xi. He was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Little Rock, in which he was a Paul Harris Fellow. In his boyhood, he rose to Eagle Scout, and in his retirement maintained his dedication to the Boy Scouts of America by being active in the Quapaw Council and Troop 045, a group of former Arkansas Scouts from the 1940s. In all of this, he somehow found time to maintain the family land on which he was born and died; removing trees that had become a danger, scraping and painting the myriad buildings that dot the Northrop homestead, and keeping the park-like grounds pristine.


       Gaylord's long list of service and accomplishments underline the most important characteristics of his life: an enormously inquisitive and intelligent mind coupled with his love of sharing his keen interests and observations with those who were open to his expansive view.


       He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Guy and Gladys (Hilsmeyer) Northrop, and a brother, Guy Northrop Jr. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Northrop of Sherwood ; daughter, Melanie Northrop of Wellesley, Mass.; son, Dana and wife Kristin of Camillus, N.Y.; stepchildren, Betsy and Ed Thomas of Bergton, Va.; Sandra and Jeff Kunz of Ayer, Mass.; Jonathan and Maura Wallace of Westminster, Mass.; and his 14 beloved grandchildren.


    Letters to the Editor

    I own a farm southeast of Holly Grove known as Big Slash Farm.  My research has revealed an extant road across the farm that has a close connection to the Battle of Helena of July 4, 1863.

    "When I purchased the farm in 2001, the locals referred to this old road as the 'Marvell to Little Rock Road'.  I have now learned the road begins in Helena and is known there as the 'Little Rock Road'.

    "Perhaps you could point me to additional materials or resources from which I can glean more about General Fagan's passage through Monroe County and the Big Slash Farm.

    "The State of Arkansas has shown interest in purchasing this property because of its ecological and biological significance.  I now know the farm has historical significance as well.  Pine City is immediately east of the farm.   Historically, a 500 square mile region in Monroe County contained the only substantial area of loblollies pine in the entire Mississippi River Valley at the time of settlement.  The area around Pine City is the best remnant of the remaining Delta pine ecosystem.   The Pine City/Big Slash area includes nine rare plant communities and three rare plants and animals, including  the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker which was identified as a conservation priority by several cooperating organizations and agencies in the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain Ecological Assessment.  The Arkansas Forestry Commission has identified through DNA testing that the Pine City area loblollies are genetically distinct from all other loblollies, earning the Big Slash and neighboring pines the name 'Lost Pines of Arkansas'.

    "Whether we strike a deal with the state or not, I would like to be able to know more about the historical significance of the Little Rock Road which passes directly by the tractor shed and transverses the farm east to west.  I want to erect a bronze historical marker with the image of General Fagan and a brief narrative of his passage along the Little Rock Road

     Hopefully, our visitors to Big Slash Farm will hear the wagon wheels creak, taste the dust, and smell the sweat of men and mules as they forced their march 34 miles in a single day toward Helena.

    "I would appreciate any help you could give to me."

    Michael T. Lewis
    519 First Street
    P.O. Drawer 1600
    Clarksdale, Mississippi 38614-1600
    (662) 627-4477


     Historic Fort Blakeley, Alabama




    Scene of Last Major Battle of the Civil War. Just hours after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee miles away in Virginia, the Battle of Blakeley was fought at Fort Blakeley on April 9, 1865 at 5:30 p.m. It was a major news event in the ongoing coverage of the Civil War depicted in "Harper's Weekly". "Probably the last charge of this war, it was as gallant as any on record," Harper's reported.

    Historic Blakeley State Park was created in 1981 to preserve the National Register Site and its 5 1/2 miles of pristine breastworks.


    To develop, operate, promote, protect, preserve, and maintain Historic Blakeley State Park.

    For more information:
    Please submit resume' and references in writing to the following address:
                    Historic Blakeley State Park
                    RE: Position of Director
                    P.O. Box 7279
                    Spanish Fort, AL 36577

    Soldier's Pay


    The American Civil War


    Union privates were paid $13 per month until after the final raise of 20 June '64, when they got $16. In the infantry and artillery, officer was as follows at the start of the war: colonels, $212; lieutenant colonels, $181; majors, $169; captains, $115.50; first lieutenants, $105.50; and second lieutenants, $105.50. Other line and staff officers drew an average of about $15 per month more. Pay for one, two, and three star generals was $315, $457, and $758, respectively.

    The Confederate pay structure was modeled after that of the US Army. Privates continued to be paid at the prewar rate of $11 per month until June '64, when the pay of all enlisted men was raised $7 per month. Confederate officer's pay was a few dollars lower than that of their Union counterparts. A Southern B.G for example, drew $301 instead of $315 per month; Confederate colonels of the infantry received $195, and those of artillery, engineers, and cavalry go $210. While the inflation of Confederate Money reduced the actual value of a Southerner's military pay, this was somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that promotion policies in the South were more liberal.

    As for the pay of noncommissioned officers, when Southern privates were making $11 per month, corporals were making $13, "buck" sergeants $17, first sergeants $20, and engineer sergeants were drawing $34. About the same ratio existed in the Northern army between the pay of privates and noncommissioned officers.

    Soldiers were supposed to be paid every two months in the field, but they were fortunate if they got their pay at four-month intervals (in the Union Army) and authentic instances are recorded where they went six and eight months. Payment in the Confederate Army was even slower and less regular.

     Source: "The Civil War Dictionary" by Mark M. Boatner



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    To call attention to the extensive collection of history related links, the Old State House Museum gives out a History Website of the Week Award.

    They have chosen The Civil War in Arkansas as our winner for the week beginning October 18 and running through October 24.


    Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression


    University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Thursday, Nov. 11, 2004
    The Sheraton Read House Hotel
    7:00-10:00 p.m.


        * "Voices" Dr. Kit Rushing, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

        * "History and Children's Fiction" Fran Bender, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

        * "The Development of Narrative Art in the Civil War Fiction of F. Scott Fitzgerald" Marcia Noe, Fendall Fulton, UTC

        * "I Undertook to Write You a Letter for Publication: The Social Functions of Soldiers' Letters to Indiana Newspapers During the Civil War" Stephen Towne, Indiana Univ. Purdue Univ. Indianapolis

        * "Greeley at Salt River: Whig Radicalism and the Collapse of the Second Party System" Gregory Borchard, UNLV

        * "Slavery in the Florida Whig Press: A report on how three Florida Whig papers covered slavery and the1850 Compromise from 1848-1852" Sherrie Farabee, Lorain County Community College

    Friday, Nov. 12, 2004

    Raccoon Mountain Room of the UTC University Center Luncheon and Dinner in the UTC Chickamauga Room (2nd Floor of the University Center)


        * "A Brief History of the Confederate Press" Deborah Reddin van Tuyll, Augusta State University

        * "No Turning Back": The Official Bulletins of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, Summer of '64" Crompton Burton, Ohio University

        * "Drawing Civil War Soldiers: Volunteers and the Draft in Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1861-1864" Martin Kuhn, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


        * "Hollywood Themes and Southern Myths: An Analysis of Gone with the Wind" Bill Huntzicker, St. Cloud State

        * "Gone With The Wind: It's The Copyright, Not Tara, That's Worth Fighting For" Robert Spellman, SIU, Carbondale

        * "The Fugitive Imagination: Robert Penn Warren and Southern Biography" Robert Gilpin, Yale University

    12:10-1:30 Luncheon in the Chickamauga Room, University Center

         * "Cameras, Sketchbooks and Combat: Visual Communication During the American Civil War" Charles Lewis, Minnesota State University, Mankato


        * "John L. O'Sullivan and the Tragedy of Radical Jacksonian Thought" Robert Sampson, University of Illinois

        * "Assignment Liberia: 'the boldest adventure in the history of Southern journalism'" Patricia McNeely, South Carolina

        * "The Darlings Come Out to See the Volunteers Drilled": Depictions of Women in Harper's Weekly During the Civil War" Kate Edenborg and Hazel Dicken-Garcia, University of Minnesota

        * "Lawyer/Editor Alexander K. McClung: the South's Most Feared Dueler" Alex Nagy, MTSU


        * "This Wicked World: Masculinities and the Portrayals of Sex, Crime, and Sports in the National Police Gazette, 1879-1906" Guy Reel, Winthrop University

        * "The Liberty to Argue Freely: Nineteenth-Century Obscenity Prosecutions and the Emergence of Modern Libertarian Free Speech Discourse" Mary Lamonica, Bridgewater College

        * "Race, Reconciliation, and Historical Memory in American Newspapers During the Centennial Year" Robert Rabe, Wisconsin-Madison

        * "Journalism in Civil War Indiana: Technology, the Party Press, and Suppression" David Bulla, Iowa State University

    6:00-8:00 Dinner in the Chickamauga Room

        * Panel:"Words, Images, Destiny: Native Americans in the 19th Century Press" Barbara Straus Reed, Rutgers, moderator

        * "Portrayals of Native Americans and African Americans in the Journalism of Jane Grey Swisshelm: Heretical or Conventional?" Mary Ann Weston, Northwestern University

        * "Tough Words and Savage Pictures: Images of American Indians in Harper's and Leslie's" Bill Huntzicker, St. Cloud

        * "Business, Politics, and War: Relations Among American Indians and Whites as Portrayed in the Frontier Press of Mankato, 1857-1868" Charles Lewis, Minnesota State University, Mankato

        * "Constituting the present: Lessons for today from newspaper coverage of the Indian Land Severalty Act of 1887" Debra Schwartz, University of Maryland

    Saturday, November 13, 2004


        * "The Failure of a Moderate Southern Voice: Andrew Jackson Donelson's Tenure as Editor of the Washington Union, 1851-1852" Mark Cheathem, Southern New Hampshire University

        * "The Intersection of Mid-Nineteenth Century Black and White Community in Hartford, CT as presented in the letters of Addie Brown" Tami Christopher, Teikyo Post University

        * "Fighting the Demon Rum: The Murder of a Virginia Prohibition Party Newspaper Editor" Stephen Bird, Radford

        * "Immersion and Secession: Mixing Religion and Politics in the Mississippi Baptist, 1860-61" Nancy Dupont, Loyola

        * "Checking Financial Power: Newspaper Coverage of the New York Stock Exchange's Bid to Control the Ticker, June 1889" Cynthia Mitchell, Central Washington University

        * "A Survey of the Newspaper Industry's First Professional Trade Publication, The Journalist (1884-1907)" Jennifer Moore, University of Minnesota

    12:00-6:00 p.m.

            Discussion continues while the group visits Chattanooga's historic Civil War Sites (includes lunch and dinner)

    Sponsored by the West Chair of Excellence, the UTC Communication and History departments, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, and WRCB-TV Channel 3. All paper sessions are free and open to the public.


    Please direct comments and questions about the Symposium to Dr. David Sachsman,





    The purpose of the Arkansas Civil War Reading List is to provide the beginning reader with a short guide, to books on the war as it affected our state.

    General Histories of the Civil War

    James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom. 1988.

    A comprehensive history of the United States from about 1845 until Appomattox. About 40% of the book is on the prewar years, the rest on the war. This book is up to date, reflects most (though not all) of the historical research on the war, and is a single volume which is well written, easy to read, and accessible to the non-historian. It also has an excellent bibliographic note at the end that refers to most of the scholarly literature on issues relating to the war. If you read only one book on the war, this one should probably be it.

    Bruce Catton, The Centennial History of the Civil War. New York, Doubleday Books, 1963.  Three volumes: published separately as The Coming Fury, Terrible Swift Sword, and Never Call Retreat.  One of the best-written histories of the war, by a man associated primarily with the Union side of the war. This series, however, presents equal coverage of both sides. First volume covers prewar material through First Bull Run, second volume Bull Run to Antietam, third volume the rest of the war.

    Shelby Foote, The Civil War: A Narrative. New York, 1958.  Three volumes. Published separately as Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredricksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox.   A history of the War, focusing on the history of the Confederacy more than on Union operations. Until McPherson's book, the most popularly read history of the War.  It’s still the most popular and most widely available Down South.

    Robert Johnson and Clarence Buel, editors. Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. Four volumes. 1887. Reprinted 1959. A series of articles on the various battles of the Civil War, written by generals from both sides that had fought in the battles. A troublesome book: like most firsthand sources, it tends to be inaccurate on the details, especially of the opponent's actions, and tends to reflect the author's needs to justify himself more than what actually happened.  However, an excellent, and comprehensive, collection of first-hand descriptions of the battles by the men who fought them.

    Ken Burns, The Civil War. 1991. An 11-hour motion picture documenting the war. First shown on PBS and highly acclaimed, now available from Time Life Video on nine VHS tapes. There is also a companion book, "The Civil War: An Illustrated History" which you can get.


    Civil War Genealogy

    These are periodicals for the general reader which deal with the Civil War and are likely to be found at your newsstand.

    J. H Segars, In Search of Confederate Ancestors: The Guide  (Southern Heritage Press, 1996).

    Bertram Groene, Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor


    Brian A. Brown, In the Footsteps of the Blue and Grey, A Civil War Research Handbook.  (Two Trails Genealogy Shop, 1996).

    Desmond Walls Allen, Index to Arkansas Confederate Soldiers  In 3 volumes.  (Arkansas Research, 1990).

    Desmond Walls Allen, Arkansas’s Damned Yankees  (Arkansas Research, 1990).

    Janet Hewett, The Roster of Confederate Soldiers (Broadfoot Publishing, 1994).


     Causes of the War and History to 1861


    William W. O’Donnell, Why the “Civil War”?  (Civil War Round Table of Arkansas, 1985)

    James M. Woods, Rebellion and Realignment: Arkansas’s Road to Secession (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 1987).

    (Also see Dougan’s Confederate Arkansas, listed above)





    We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!




    For  “Beau” Cantrell