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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 42nd Year 
FEB 28, 2006
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. XLII, No. 2,
Jan Sarna, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor, 
Dues $15 Per Year


The Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro)

December 31 - January 2, 1863
Brian Brown

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.                                           After Gen. Braxton Bragg's defeat at Perryville, Kentucky, October 8, 1862, he and his Confederate Army of the Mississippi retreated, reorganized, and were re-designated as the Army of Tennessee. They then advanced to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and prepared to go into winter quarters. Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans's Union Army of the Cumberland followed Bragg from Kentucky to Nashville. Rosecrans left Nashville on December 26, with about 45,000 men, to defeat Bragg's army. He found Bragg's army on December 29 and went into camp that night, within hearing distance of the Rebels. At dawn on the 31st, Bragg's men attacked the Union right flank. The Confederates had driven the Union line back to the Nashville Pike by 10:00 am but there it held. Union reinforcements arrived from Rosecrans's left in the late forenoon to bolster the stand and before fighting stopped that day, the Federals had established a new, strong line. On New Years Day, both armies marked time. Bragg surmised that Rosecrans would now withdraw, but the next morning he was still in position. In late afternoon, Bragg hurled a division at a Union division that, on January 1, had crossed Stones River and had taken up a strong position on the bluff east of the river. The Confederates drove most of the Federals back across McFadden's Ford, but with the assistance of artillery, the Federals repulsed the attack, compelling the Rebels to retire to their original position. Bragg left the field on the January 4-5, retreating to Shelbyville and Tullahoma, Tennessee. Rosecrans did not pursue, but as the Confederates retired, he claimed the victory. Stones River boosted Union morale. The Confederates had been thrown back in the east, west, and in the Trans-Mississippi.

Sale of Civil War site proposed
Proposal would turn Carthage battleground
into living history park

Susan Redden
Globe Staff Writer

CARTHAGE, Mo. - A proposal to preserve land that was the scene of part of the Battle of Carthage will be outlined at noon today at the Carthage Civil War Museum. Officials of Battle of Carthage Inc. are to announce that the nonprofit group has obtained a purchase option for land on which fighting took place on July 5, 1861.
Gordon Billheimer, president of the organization, said the tract holds the potential to become a commemorative and living-history park to recognize the important events that happened in Missouri at the start of the Civil War. "Many issues in our country and in this area were impacted by the Civil War," he said. "It's important that people understand it."
Billheimer said the group was formed about seven or eight years ago and sponsored Battle of Carthage re-enactments in 2000 and 2003. Money raised at the last event is "seed money" for the purchase option. Details about the tract, the purchase plan, and a fund-raising campaign will be announced today. Billheimer said the property is north of Carthage on Civil War Road.
A state historic site recognizing the battle is located just east of Carthage on Chestnut Street. That tract is the location of one of the last skirmishes of the battle and was a campsite for both armies - Union troops the night before the battle and Confederate troops the following night.  The battle was a running engagement that spread over 10 miles. Col. Franz Sigel and his army of 1,100 fully armed men were sent to Southwest Missouri to stop Missouri Gov. Claiborne Jackson's army - 4,000 armed and 2,000 unarmed men - from joining Confederate troops in Arkansas.
On July 5, 1861, the troops met about nine miles north of Carthage. The most severe fighting took place at crossings of Dry Fork Creek, Buck Branch, and Spring River. The Confederate Missouri State Guard was victorious, but Union troops escaped the superior force with minimal losses.
The battle happened more than two weeks before the first Battle of Bull Run outside of Washington, D.C. Billheimer, who is a Civil War re-enactor, said it has been recognized as the first major land battle of the war. Sixteen other battles and skirmishes took place in and around Carthage during the war, he said.
Some things that may be coming this way:
A 2011 Committee is being formed to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War and the 100TH Anniversary of the UCV meeting in Little Rock.
The Military Museum has obtained an 1841 - 12-pound mountain howitzer from Virginia. Watch for Don Hamilton’s excitement on this one.
Reed’s Bridge has finished the management study and is moving into the acquisition phase.

March 1861
04 - Lincoln's inaugural address. Union Secession convention members pay $75.00 for the text to be wired to Little Rock. Neither pro-Unionists nor pro-Secessionists cared for the speech at all.
 04 - Arkansas Secession Convention convenes.  
05 - "Test vote" held for Convention chair, pro-Unionists win 40-35. The vote is split geographically between yeoman farmers in the mountainous northwest and planters in the delta.  
06 - Two South Carolina visitors are allowed to speak at the Convention. They stated that since South Carolina was responsible for Arkansas being allowed into the Union, that Arkansas should follow her out of it.  
08 - Fire-eaters at the Convention begin to lose patience when every attempt to draw up a secession ordinance is voted down.  
11 - Unionists in good mood, rumor is that Lincoln will evacuate Charleston Forts. Unionists vote to open each session with a prayer. Pro-secessionists are exasperated.  
12-15 - A titanic display of Arkansans oratorical skills or lack thereof.  
16 - Roll call vote. Secession defeated 39-35. Thirty-nine guns are fired at Van Buren in celebration. In the delta meetings are held advocating division of the State. Secessionists manage to get a concession from the convention that would allow a vote of the people.  



State Seal Of Arkansas (1861)

Arkansas Had No Official Flag Before 1913, Thus The State Seal Of The Period Is Pictured Here.  The Latin Phrase Beneath The Eagles, "Regnant Populi" Means "The People Rule".
Ordinance Of Secession Of Arkansas
(Passed In The State Capitol At Little Rock On 06 May 1861, By A Vote Of
to dissolve the union now existing between the State of Arkansas and the other States united with her under the compact entitled "The Constitution of the United States of America."
WHEREAS, in addition to the well-founded causes of complaint set forth by this Convention, in resolutions adopted on the 11th of March, A.D. 1861, against the sectional party now in power in Washington City, headed by Abraham Lincoln, he has, in the face of resolutions passed by this Convention pledging the State of Arkansas to resist to the last extremity any attempt on the part of such power to coerce any State that had seceded from the old Union, proclaimed to the world that war should be waged against such States until they should be compelled to submit to their rule, and large forces to accomplish this have by this same power been called out, and are now being marshaled to carry out this inhuman design; and to longer submit to such rule, or remain in the old Union of the United States, would be disgraceful and ruinous to the State of Arkansas:
Therefore we, the people of the State of Arkansas, in Convention assembled, do hereby declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the "ordinance and acceptance of compact" passed and approved by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas on the 18th day of October, A.D. 1836, whereby it was by said General Assembly ordained that by virtue of the authority vested in said General Assembly by the provisions of the ordinance adopted by the convention of delegates assembled at Little Rock for the purpose of forming a constitution and system of government for said State, the propositions set forth in "An act supplementary to an act entitled 'An act for the admission of the State of Arkansas into the Union, and to provide for the due execution of the laws of the United States within the same, and for other purposes,'" were freely accepted, ratified, and irrevocably confirmed, articles of compact and union between the State of Arkansas and the United States, and all other laws and every other law and ordinance, whereby the State of Arkansas became a member of the Federal Union, be, and the same are hereby, in all respects and for every purpose herewith consistent, repealed, abrogated, and fully set aside; and the union now subsisting between the State of Arkansas and the other States, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby forever dissolved.
And we do further hereby declare and ordain, That the State of Arkansas hereby resumes to herself all rights and powers heretofore delegated to the Government of the United States of America; that her citizens are absolved from all allegiance to said Government of the United States, and that she is in full possession and exercise of all the rights and sovereignty which appertain to a free and independent State.
We do further ordain and declare, That all rights acquired and vested under the Constitution of the United States of America, or of any act or acts of Congress, or treaty, or under any law of this State, and not incompatible with this ordinance, shall remain in full force and effect, in nowise altered or impaired, and have the same effect as if this ordinance had not been passed.
Adopted and passed in open Convention on the 6th day of May, A.D. 1861

January 24: Don Nall
Stonewall's Wounding and Death
Feb 28: Brian Brown
Stone's River
March 28: John C. Scott, NPS –
The Pea Ridge Story including
Dr. Doug Scott’s recent archeological survey of the battlefield
April 25: Don Hamilton
A Day at Shiloh
May 23: Cal Collier
June 27:
July 25: Dr. Bobby Roberts
River War in Arkansas
August 22:
September 26: Michael B. Dougan
Snarling cormorants of newspaper filth:
" The Civil War Press of Arkansas."
October 24:
November 28:
Election of Officers
December 2006 –
 No meeting Scheduled in December
We Who Study
      Must Also Strive To Save!

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  "Edge of Conflict"
  at the IMAX

AETN's "Edge of Conflict- Arkansas in the Civil War" will be broadcasted onto the big screen at the Aerospace Education Center at 7 pm on May 11. This event will be sponsored by AETN, the Arkansas Times, KUAR, and the Aeropsace Education Center.
At this event, the SCV, COC, UDC, Reenactors from around the state, and the Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas will have a direct involvement in promoting and being visible at this event. Mark your calendars now for this Civil War extravaganza!


This sourcebook aims at chronicling the military, economic, social, and political history associated with the Civil War as it happened in Tennessee. The sources consulted were diaries, period newspapers, official Civil War records, diaries, ship deck logs, letters, and historical articles. There are well over 7,000 entries in this collection.
When details of history are obscured by circumstances of inscrutability, citizens may become imperfectly informed of their own past and worse, distrustful of their institutions. This work will have been successful should it be of some help in overcoming such a state of affairs.

Of rebel raiders and the West
By Tom Chaffin
TOM CHAFFIN is the author of the just-released book "Sea of Gray: The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider 'Shenandoah.' "
  FORT POINT, A STATELY brick pile at the base of the San Francisco side of the Golden Gate Bridge, might be the most overlooked landmark in California. Literally and figuratively overshadowed by a world-famous landmark and a storied view, it is the relic of a history that is as easy to miss as the fort itself.
Between 1861 and 1865, 500 Army soldiers stood constant guard at Ft. Point, securing California's largest (population 58,000) and richest city during the Civil War. Thousands of other Union military forces were dispersed throughout the state.
California was anything but a passive bystander in America's bloodiest conflict. Union and Confederate partisans had split, in large part, over the question of whether the territories of the West and states such as California would be open to the spread of slavery. When the war came, Confederate-Union conflicts, including a handful of battles, flared on Western soil.
California entered the Union in 1850 as a free state, and Abraham Lincoln, in the 1860 presidential race, managed to carry the state. But only barely. In 1861, slavery remained illegal in California, but blacks lacked full rights, such as suffrage. Moreover, with the Gold Rush of 1849, thousands of Southerners had streamed into the state, many of whom favored the Confederacy. By the time, the war erupted, about 40% of California's white population of 380,000 hailed from below the Mason-Dixon Line. U.S. officials in California thus faced the challenge of tamping down open and clandestine Confederate insurgencies within the state and preventing invasion by outside rebel forces.
In February 1861, two months before the Civil War's first shots, officials in the outgoing administration of President James Buchanan ordered the completion and arming of Ft. Point, whose construction, begun in 1853, had languished. They anticipated the fort's strategic importance in protecting the "treasure steamers" that soon departed from San Francisco carrying eastbound gold donated by patriotic Californians to Union coffers.
During the war, the Confederacy launched eight major warships aimed at destroying commercial shipping. Of those, the Shenandoah, a "commerce raider" clandestinely purchased in Britain and dispatched to prey on the whaling fleet, was the most feared along the West Coast. A 220-foot auxiliary steamer — propelled by steam and wind — the Shenandoah eventually became the only Confederate ship to circumnavigate the globe. During the steamer's 13-month, 58,000-mile voyage, she destroyed 32 Union vessels.
By spring 1865, rumors in San Francisco had the raider California-bound, intent on capturing a treasure steamer or even laying siege to the city. One rumor suggested that San Francisco was so vulnerable that a ship dispatched by the Shenandoah had already slipped into the port to procure provisions for the raider.
Ironically, San Francisco's fears of the Shenandoah reached their apogee in July 1865, three months after the Civil War had formally concluded.
When sentries at Ft. Point spotted a whaler, the Milo, approaching the Golden Gate on July 20, 1865 — long before the end of the whaling season — they surmised that she did not bring good news. Local newspapers soon headlined sensational stories.
The Shenandoah's Confederates, using their signature ruse — the flying of a false flag — captured the Milo. They refused to believe what the whalers told them: The South had surrendered months earlier. In exchange for the Confederates' promise to save his ship, the Milo's captain had to agree to transport his own crew and the Shenandoah's growing roster of potentially mutinous prisoners to San Francisco. The Shenandoah would go on to destroy 17 ships, including nine Yankee whalers burned on a single day in the Bering Strait.
In San Francisco, the cries for retaliation mounted. Over the next few weeks, however, as the Shenandoah failed to appear along the Pacific Coast of the U.S., the city breathed easier. By then, the raider was off Mexico's coast.
There, a British merchantman had delivered — again — the news of the Confederacy's collapse. This time, the Shenandoah's officers and crew believed it. The news meant that for months they had been fighting without cause or state: In the eyes of the world, they were no better than pirates, a hangable offense. Stowing their cannons and camouflaging the ship as a merchant vessel, they commenced an outlaw odyssey in search of a friendly port somewhere in the world.
California, and the weary soldiers who stood the fog-shrouded vigil at Ft. Point, had weathered the rebel threat. However, for the Confederates aboard the Shenandoah, their own drama had suddenly grown infinitely darker and more complicated.
                                                               [EDITORS NOTE: Wordsworth Bookstore in Little Rock had a couple
                                                                                                 of copies of this book. They are going fast.]


for   The Battle of Stones River

Always Remember
Always Be Ready