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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

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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 41th 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. 
    VOL. XLI, No. 04, APR 2005
    Randy Baldwin, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor, 
    Dues $15 Per Year VISITORS WELCOME! 

    Ulysses Grant and General Robert C. Newton

    face off one more time.

      This time it is cordial.

    Ron Fuller

    Long after the conclusion of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant made a tour the country. In 1880, he returned to Arkansas, not as a conqueror, but as a special visitor. The Destination Arkansas tourism promotion effort, launched this past year, at the Capitol Hotel in Little Rock, where then-former President Ulysses S. Grant stayed in 1880. 

    Tuesday we will hear the tale of how he faced former adversaries such as Cavalry Officer General Robert C. Newton. This time glasses were lifted rather than swords. 

    A side story on this event brings Zeb Ward, Arkansas’ Superintendent of Prisons, who was on the dais with Grant was supposedly a dead ringer for Grant. An urban myth existed for a number of years that Grant became fatigued and Ward filled in for him several hours during the hand shaking at the Capitol Hotel.

    Ron Fuller is a native of Hot Springs and a 25-year resident of Little Rock. He is a graduate of HSU with a degree in History. He currently owns a public relations firm and is involved in corporate lobbying.  He is former Army Infantry Officer, served in Korea during the early 1970s, and spent 14 years in the USAR. 

    His ninth Great Uncle Richmond Peeler served in the 1843 Session of the Arkansas House of Representatives as a Whig from Arkansas Post. His mother’s family arrived here from Georgia in 1868 settling in Yell County. His Great-Great Grandfather Private Andrew Jackson Moss served with Gist Brigade in the 8th GA for over 3 years surrendering in 1865. He traces his linage to Joseph Moss who came to this country as a member of a British Foot unit during the French and Indian Wars and George Fuller who served in the North Carolina Line during the Revolution.

    His Grandfather served on the Texas border with the Arkansas National Guard during the search for Pancho Villa, and his father served with the 7th Infantry in the Pacific. He is currently the Chairman of the Arkansas MacArthur Military Museum Board.

    CWRT member Stewart Long has a CD that has probably the best "Rebel Yell" ever recorded. He will take about ten minutes Tuesday night to play it for us.

    Back in 1935, just 70 years after the war ended, a SCV convention was being held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Many of the old veterans were giving the yell but it seemed that 90-year-old Thomas Alexander still had his strong voice, and it was recorded by the local radio station.


    With modern technology, his voice has been multiplied many times and you can really hear the sound of hundreds charging across a field giving the "Rebel Yell". It almost scares me when I hear it.

    During the month of September, the Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas will have an exhibit of civil war memorabilia at the Terry Library 2015 Napa Valley Dr. Little Rock. This is a part of the celebration of “If All of Arkansas Read the Same Book”. Don Hamilton, Mike Loum, and Charles Durnette are working on the project.


    Jeff Shaara, author of the critically acclaimed best-selling novel, Gods and Generals, will be in Arkansas for a week in September. He will be here as a part of the “If All of Arkansas Read the Same Book” program and will be making appearances all around the state.

    <>CWRT members and friends have an opportunity to meet him in person on September 13. He will meet with everyone at 7:00 pm at Wordsworth Books, 5920 R St. (In the Heights) Little Rock. Watch for updates, and mark your calendars, now. The doors will open at 6:30 and he will be there at 7:00.
    Check this site for more locations:

      September 13

    6:30 PM WordsWorth Books, 5920 R St., Little Rock with Civil War Roundtable.

      September 14

    2:00 PM to 4:00 PM  The Arkansas History Commission presents:

    The Blue and the Grey on Display at the Arkansas State Capitol's Second Floor Rotunda.

    Arkansans are invited to bring Civil War-era artifacts and documents for conservation appraisal.

    6:30 PM  Central Arkansas Library System, Main Library's Darragh Center

    Please phone 501-918-3032 for reservations.

    [Check our Website for the complete schedule of events]

     A fascinating perspective of the Battle of Franklin as seen from the back porch of the McGavock home.  Charles Olin Durnette

     The Widow of the South

    by Robert Hicks

    In 1894 Carrie McGavock is an old woman who has only her former slave to keep her company…and the almost 1,500 soldiers buried in her backyard. Years before, rather than let someone plow over the field where these young men had been buried, Carrie dug them up and reburied them in her own personal cemetery. Now, as she walks the rows of the dead, an old soldier appears. It is the man she met on the day of the battle that changed everything. The man who came to her house as a wounded soldier and left with her heart. He asks if the cemetery has room for one more.

    In an extraordinary debut novel, based on a remarkable true story, Robert Hicks draws an unforgettable, panoramic portrait of a woman who, through love and loss, found a cause. Known throughout the country as "the Widow of the South," Carrie McGavock gave her heart first to a stranger, then to a tract of hallowed ground-and became a symbol of a nation's soul.

    The novel flashes back thirty years to the afternoon of the Battle of Franklin, five of the bloodiest hours of the Civil War. There were 9,200 casualties that fateful day. Carrie's home-the Carnton plantation-was taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a hospital; four generals lay dead on her back porch; the pile of amputated limbs rose as tall as the smoke house. And when a wounded soldier named Zachariah Cashwell arrived and awakened feelings she had thought long dead, Carrie found herself inexplicably drawn to him despite the boundaries of class and decorum. The story that ensues between Carrie and Cashwell is just as unforgettable as the battle from which it is drawn.

    THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH is a brilliant novel that captures the end of an era, the vast madness of war, and the courage of a remarkable woman to claim life from the grasp of death itself.

    Robert Hicks was born and raised in South Florida. In December 1997, after a third term as President of the Carnton board, and in light of his work at Carnton, fellow-board members honored him with a resolution calling him "the driving force in the restoration and preservation of Historic Carnton Plantation”.


    September 13

    “If All of Arkansas Read the Same Book” is a program that brings an author into the state for a book tour. In the fall of 2005, they have scheduled Jeff Shaara and his book “GODS AND GENERALS”.  Be sure to attend the  special event for CWRT members.

    September 27, 2005 – Regular Meeting
    Terry Winschel,
    Historian - Vicksburg NMP –

    “A Tragedy of Errors: Failure of the Confederate High Command in the Defense of Vicksburg

    October 25, 2004
    James Ikerman

    November 22, 2005

    Dave Gruenewald
    Pat Cleburne's Ireland

    Election of Officers

    December 2005 –

    No meeting Scheduled in December

    We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!


     [LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, January 2, 1862, p. 2, c. 1

                The Close of the Year.—The old year—time—decay—rapid changes—retrospect—solemn thoughts—departed friends—gallant dead—vain regrets—cherished memories.  War—prospects last spring and now—contrasts—the old union—Ilium fuil—the future—independence, our own stout hearts and strong arms—liberty or death—freedom or annihilation—rich and powerful republic—career of unexampled prosperity and priceless heritage of liberty bequeathed to our descendants.

                We had intended to follow the immemorial custom of editors and write an article on the above theme, but the imp of the office called for copy and announced that the paper would go to press before we could do more than write down the skeleton of the article.  As mothers, in Christmas times, to call forth the taste and sewing abilities of their daughters, give them an undressed doll, which they may dress to their tastes, so we present our readers with our skeleton article, to fill up to please themselves. 

    [LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, January 2, 1862, p. 2, c. 4

    More About Flags.

                Mr. James A. Martin of this city has shown us a drawing of a flag designed by him, which keeps prominent the characteristics of "the sun flag" of the Richmond Dispatch and avoids the objectionable features of a bar sinister and lines that may be made horizontal in a change of the position of the flag by the wind.  In Mr. Martin's flag a sun is in the center; this is surrounded by a circle of blue which reaches to the top and bottom of the flag.  Outside of this there are two curves or crescents, part of a regular circle of white, and outside of the white, the flag is filled with red.  This gives each end and corner a red, which is easily distinguished, and the whole affair is simple and tasteful.

                Our fellow citizen, P. L. Anthony also sends us a design, accompanied by a note, which we publish below.  It is somewhat difficult to describe Mr. Anthony's flag.  At a point midway between the upper and lower left hand corners lines are drawn nearly to the upper and lower right hand corners.  This divides the flag in three unequal triangles.  The upper one is colored blue; the lower one is green, and the middle triangle, with its point towards the flag staff remains white.  On the base of this white triangle that is on the end of the flag farthest from the staff, is a narrow perpendicular stripe of red.  On the white triangle the sun and thirteen stars are represented.  Mr. Anthony's note will further explain the design:

    Editors True Democrat—

               Sir:  I see in your issue of yesterday two articles in regard to the flag of the Confederacy, and numerous propositions to change it.

                Herewith please find a rude and hastily drawn and colored flag, which I have devised, almost without reflection, the ideas of which, however, are in part suggested by those articles.

                Above, a blue sky; beneath, the green earth; the centre designed to represent a pure and virtuous people;--The sun, emblematic of the Confederacy; the stars of the States; the red band, of a sea of blood from which they emerge.

                I pretend to but little knowledge of heraldry, and had no regard to it in grouping the emblems.
    Your friend etc.  P. L. Anthony

     [LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, January 9, 1862, p. 2, c. 4

                Our Correspondents.—We are in receipt of many letters from our friends in the different camps, which we do not publish for several reasons.  The primary one is want of space.  In many instances, the matter in the letters has already been anticipated by others and it would be useless to republish it.  There is a great complaint of want of clothing, and the soldiers say that the State agreed to furnish them clothing, thus cutting them off from obtaining it from the Confederacy, or commutation in lieu of it.  A soldier in writing to us from Island No. 10, on Christmas eve, says the 11th Arkansas regiment has been out nearly six months and has no guns yet.  The pay-master, he says, came up but he had bills against the regiment for clothing and blankets exceeding the amount of pay due, and it is so arranged that the soldiers cannot get commutation for the clothing.  He pertinently asks what Arkansas wants with men when she sends a regiment off without providing them arms.  In the course of a long letter from Mr. J. N. Kellough, of the artillery volunteers, occurs the following:

                "It is a gallant spectacle.  The long lines of flickering fires glaring in the night; the tramp of hosts; the neighing of horses; the clash and gleam of burnished arms; the stalwart soldiers improvising their simple and hardy fare beside the blaze and long, moving shadows stretching back from the fires.  At the tap of the drum, all is still, save the call of the sentinel in the distance, publishing the hours of the night, or, perchance, the ejaculation of some weary soldier as he dreams of home and the loved ones there.  In dreams, they see the sweet face of a gentle wife; the soothing voice of a mother is heard or the prattling of children falls upon the soul and the bold heart of the sleeper becomes full of tenderness.  Yet, let the trumpet or the long roll call to arms and this sleeping host will arise as one man, with strong arms and stout hearts to the realities of the march to victory or death."

                We have other letters, some of which have been so long in reaching us that the matters of which they treat are stale; others that have been crowded out so long that we are ashamed to publish them.  We are glad to receive letters from the army, and hope our correspondents will not be offended at the non-appearance of their letters n print, but continue to keep us posted as to camp affairs. 

    [LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, January 9, 1862, p. 3, c. 6

                Some of the Yankee correspondents occasionally indulge in sarcastic descriptions of their own troops, which are highly seasoned with humor.  The correspondent of the New York Mercury thus described a body of troops which he denominates the "Mackerel Brigade:"

                The review of seventy thousand troops near Munson's Hill, on Thursday, was one of those stirring events my boy, which we have been upon the eve of for the past year.  A new cavalry company, the Mackerel Brigade, excited great attention as it went past, and I understand the President said that with the exception of the men and horses it was one of the finest mobs he ever saw.  The horses are a new pattern fluted sides, polished knobs on the haunches, and a hand rail all the way down the back.  A rebel caught sight of one of these fine animals the other day, and immediately fainted.  It was afterwards ascertained that he owned a field of oats in the neighborhood. 

     [LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, January 16, 1862, p. 2, c. 6

                Another Design for a Flag.—Mr. Hicks, of White county, has sent us the drawing of a flag designed by him.  It is nearly square.  From one of the lower corners a half circle is drawn ending at the opposite lower corner.  All above this line is a blue ground on which thirteen stars are arranged in the form of a pyramid.  Adjoining the blue is a belt or semicircular band of red.  This leaves a hemisphere of white in the lower part of the flag, on which a sun is emblazoned.  It is a novel design and must be seen to be appreciated.  The effect is very pleasing.  The letter of Mr. Hicks will explain in full:

                            Searcy, Ark., Jan'y 6, 1862.
    Editor True Democrat—

                I enclose you my design for a Confederate flag, which I hope you will notice as you may deem it merits.

                In this flag the three colors "Red, White and Blue" are retained as they surely should be, as each has a significance now.  The stars on the blue ground represent the States and arranged in pyramidal form an indication of strength and permanency.  They also rest on the arch.  The arch or bow is indication of strength and also denotes a perfect structure.  This refers also to the bow of promise after the deluge of abolition fanaticism which destroyed the old union.  May our sunny South never again be visited by such a curse.  The sun denotes our rising glory, also our sunny South.  The white ground indicative of that purity which should characterize us as a people.

                This flag bears no resemblance to the old one.  It is easily distinguished amidst dust and smoke and at a distance.

                I do not think the colors should be surrendered by us.  They may be arranged so as to bear no resemblance whatever to the flag of any other nation.

                    Very respectfully,    Will. Hicks. 




    Randy Baldwin, President -
    Don Hamilton, Vice President -

    Brian Brown, Treasurer -
    Brian is still accepting dues of $15.00

    Chas. Durnette, Secretary/Editor -

     We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!


    for  Ron, President Grant, and General Newton

    The battle goes on...  Help if you can...