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. 

 


Our 42nd Year 
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY,  JULY 25, 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. 
Online:  www.civilwarbuff.org
VOL. XLII, No. 7,
Jan Sarna, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor, 
Dues $15 Per Year
VISITORS WELCOME! 

VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...
WHILE YOU CAN


River War in Arkansas

by

Dr. Bobby Roberts

Dr. Roberts will bring us the story of how the Union used its river forces against the Confederates in Arkansas .  His talk generally focuses on the nature of that fighting.  In addition, he will show images of some of the vessels that served in the state.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE RIVER DURING THE PERIOD
1857
The ROCK CITY, a steamboat of 250 tons, 127 feet long, 28-foot beam, with 16 staterooms, was launched at Little Rock. It drew only 10 inches.
 
1862
Confederate troops constructed an earthen fortification known as Fort Hindman, located on a peninsula bordered by the Arkansas River and two backwaters.
 
1863
In January, Union troops destroyed Fort Hindman and the adjacent river port town, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.
 
1868
River traffic in the Indian Territory and the lower Arkansas began to decline.
 

Bobby Roberts grew up in Helena, Arkansas and graduated from central high school in 1962.  He holds a master’s degree in library science from the University of Oklahoma and a PhD. in American history from the University of Arkansas.  He has been director of the central Arkansas library system since 1989.  Roberts earlier served on the faculties of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and the University of Arkansas at little rock.

His specialty is military history with a particular interest in the civil war.  He is the co-author of four books on the civil war in the portraits of conflict series, author of 11 articles/book chapters, and co-editor of three civil war books.

Between 1983 and 1984, Roberts served as governor bill Clinton’s liaison for public safety.  In January 1986, the governor appointed Roberts to the board of correction and he served until July 1993.  From 1994 until 2004, Roberts served on the national commission on libraries and information science.  The commission advises the president and congress on federal information policy. 

In 2002, he was received the Arkansas chapter of the American institute of architects “award of merit” for his commitment to building quality public buildings.  In 2004, he received the distinguished alumni award from the University of Arkansas ’ j. William Fulbright College of arts and sciences.

Roberts was named library journal’s librarian of the year for 1998.  It is one of librarianship’s most prestigious national awards.


PROGRAMS 2006

August 22: Don Nall

The Drummer Boy

September 26: Michael B. Dougan

Snarling cormorants of newspaper filth:
" The Civil War Press of Arkansas."

October 24: Fred Williams

Federal Occupation of Little Rock

November 28:

TBA

Election of Officers

 December 2006 –

 No meeting Scheduled in December

January 23. 2007

 

   TBA

 February 27, 2007  Bill Gurley, Ph.D.

Maj. Gen. Mosby M. Parsons'

Confederate Missouri Brigades

We Who Study  Must Also Strive To Save!

 
LECTURE

Bill
Worthen
, director of the Historic Arkansas Museum. Will present a program on “The History of the Bowie Knife or Arkansas Toothpick” Monday.
 
The program is at 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, July 24, at the Saline County Library, 1800 Smithers Drive.
Benton, AR 72015, (501) 778.4766
 
Worthen was co-author of Arkansas Made: A Survey of the Decorative, Mechanical, and Fine Arts Produced in Arkansas, 1819-1870, published by the University of Arkansas Press. He is the author of Little Rock: One From the Heart, published by Towery Publishing.

Battle of the Bees, Okolona

On April 3, 1864, General Joseph Shelby caught up with General Samuel Rice's Union troops. They engaged in a skirmish in a pecan orchard during a severe thunderstorm. Along with the other damage due to hail and high winds, several beehives were overturned. The insects first attacked the Confederates, then turned their attention to the Union army. Both armies left the battlefield to their stinging tormentors. On July 4, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette had a the following article:

http://www.ardemgaz.com/ShowStoryTemplate.asp?Path=ArDemocrat/2006/07/04&ID=Ar01104&Section=Arkansas


Last Civil War Widows

The last-known Union widow, Gertrude Janeway , died in Jan. 2003 in Tennessee . John Janeway joined the Union army in 1864 and was briefly a POW at Andersonville. The couple married in 1927, after waiting three years until Gertrude turned 18. John was 81.

The person thought to be the last-known Confederate widow, Alberta Martin, was born Dec, 4, 1906, and died at age 97 in Alabama on May 31, 2004. In 1927, at age 21, she married William Jasper Martin, then 81. Martin joined the Confederate army in May 1864. Upon her husband's death, she married his grandson from his first marriage.

The publicity surrounding Alberta Martin's death prompted relatives of Maudie Celia Hopkins of Arkansas to reveal that the 89-year-old was in fact the last civil war widow. Hopkins married 86-year-old William Cantrell on Feb. 2, 1934, when she was 19. She did so to escape poverty, but kept quiet about the unusual marriage, “I thought people would gossip about it”. Cantrell, who served in the Virginia Infantry , supported her with his Confederate pension of “$25 every two or three months” until his death in 1937. Hopkins has outlived three other husbands.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Visit

www.civilwarbuff.org

Register to receive your newsletter on-line.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&


TRIVIA
Here are the Trivia Questions fro this month. Write out your answers and bring them to the meeting. No fair calling Dave Gruenewald and trying to bribe the answers out of him (although I understand he is fond of the big breakfast at the Ozark Smokehouse).

QUOTABLE QUOTES

The civil war saw many memorable statements made during the heat of combat, off the battlefield or in writing.  Name the individuals who are attributed with these quotable quotes.  Please note that they been recorded, over the years, with various phrasings.  I have seen one of them stated six different ways:

“I AM WITH ARKANSAS IN WEAL OR IN WOE.”

“THERE STANDS JACKSON LIKE A STONEWALL – RALLY BEHIND THE VIRGINIANS!!!”

“WELL GENERAL, FEW OF US WILL EVER SEE ARKANSAS AGAIN.”

“IT IS WELL THAT WAR IS SO TERRIBLE - ELSE WE WOULD GROW TOO FOND OF IT.”

“THE CONFEDERATES COULDN’T HIT AN ELEPHANT AT THIS RANGE.”

“SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS!!!”

“THOSE WAGONS ARE OF NO USE TO ME NOW.”

“THE ALMIGHTY HAS COVERED MY MEN WITH HIS SHIELD AND BUCKLER!”  

“WITH MALICE TOWARD NONE, WITH CHARITY TOWARD ALL.”

LEE TO THE REAR!!!”



Register Now for the

Annual Civil War Seminar at

The Old State House Museum

This year’s seminar sheds light on the contentious road to war

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Enthusiasts of Arkansas and Civil War history need to register soon for the Old State House Museum’s annual Civil War seminar. This year’s seminar will take place Saturday, August 19, 2006, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Old State House Museum, 300 West Markham Street, in downtown Little Rock. Entitled “’The Die is Cast’: Arkansas Goes to War, 1861”, this year’s offerings focus on the road to war, and will feature the following sessions:

“An eternal chitter chatter kept up in the galleries”: The Arkansas Secession Convention in Action, March-June, 1861 by Dr. Michael Dougan

Domesticity Goes Public: Southern Women and the Secession Crisis by Dr. Lisa Tendrich Frank

Arkansas’s Confederate Soldiers: Why They Fought by Dr. Carl Moneyhon

A “Remarkably Strong Union Sentiment”: Unionism in Arkansas in 1861 by Dr. Tom DeBlack

“When the Arks. boys goes by they take the rags off the bush”: Arkansas Soldiers in the Wilson ’s Creek Campaign, 1861 by Dr. William G. Piston

The cost for this year’s seminar is $20, and includes lunch. Reservations are required by August 14, 2006. Call (501) 324-8641 to register.

About the Old State House Museum

The Old State House Museum is a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and shares the goal of all seven Department of Arkansas Heritage agencies, that of preserving and enhancing the heritage of the state of Arkansas. The agencies are Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, and the Old State House Museum.

Story of the C.S.S. Arkansas

The C.S.S. Arkansas, an ironclad ram, constructed at Memphis, Tennessee during the winter of 1861-62. In April 1862, the Arkansas was moved to the Yazoo River in Mississippi to prevent capture as Memphis fell to the Federal Navy. Her sister ship, the Tennessee , was burned in her dock because she could not escape.

In May of 1862, Commander Isaac Newton Brown of the Confederate States Navy received orders at Vicksburg from the Navy Department in Richmond to proceed to Greenwood, Mississippi and assume command of the Arkansas . His orders were to finish and equip the vessel.

When Captain Brown arrived, he found a mere hull, without armor, engines in pieces, and guns without carriages. The railroad iron, intended as armor for the ship was lying at the bottom of the river. A recovery mission was ordered and the armor was pulled up out of the mud. Captain Brown then had the Arkansas towed to Yazoo city where he enlisted the assistance of the Army for construction crews. After five weeks of extraordinary make-do engineering under the hot summer sun, the ship had to leave due to falling river levels. She had been fully outfitted except for the curved armor intended to surround her stern and pilothouse. Boilerplate was stuck on these areas "for appearances sake".

Captain Brown determined that the time had come to take the offensive. He crewed his vessel with about 60 Missouri soldiers. These soldiers had never served big guns and most of them had probably never served aboard a ship before. Captain Brown stated, "The only trouble they ever gave me was to keep them from running the Arkansas into the Union fleet before we were ready for battle." Captain Brown then set sail for the Union fleet.

Days later, after sunrise three Federal vessels were sighted steaming towards the Arkansas, the ironclad Carondolet, the wooden gunboat Tyler , and the ram Queen of the West. The Federal vessels gave chase and a running battle ensued. The Carondolet was quickly disabled with a shot through her steering mechanism. Attention was turned to the Tyler and the ram, which quickly turned away and ran for their fleet with the Arkansas pursuing.

Soon the massive Federal fleet of about 20 ships came into view around the river bend above Vicksburg, "a forest of masts and smokestacks...” Brown noted.  The Arkansas and its crew of Missouri "sailors" pounded their way through the midst of the enemy fleet and emerged on the other side bound for Vicksburg itself, the stunned Federal fleet did not feel like pursuing.

Arkansas lay at Vicksburg the following week, repairing - under the less than effective plummeting fire of the Federal fleets. Soon the siege was lifted; General Van Dorn at Vicksburg ordered the Arkansas to support a land attack at Baton Rouge . The Arkansas departed without Captain Brown , who was ill at Grenada . Upon hearing this, Captain Brown had himself placed on a train and angrily rushed to Vicksburg where he found that she had left four hours before, his orders having been overruled by Van Dorn with the support of another Navy officer.

The Arkansas under the command of her first officer broke down within sight of the Federal fleet in front of Baton Rouge . Efforts were made by the crew to repair the cranky engines even as the enemy steamed toward them. The first officer, seeing that he could bring no guns to bear on the approaching enemy ordered his men ashore and personally set fire to his vessel. Within minutes she exploded, her colors still flying gallantly.

SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT

For Bobby Roberts


VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS

WHEN YOU CAN...WHILE YOU CAN

GOD BLESS AMERICA