River War in Arkansas
will bring us the story of how the Union used its river forces against
the Confederates in
. 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
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.
Confederate troops constructed an earthen fortification known as
located on a peninsula bordered by the Arkansas
River and two backwaters.
In January, Union troops destroyed Fort
and the adjacent river port town, ensuring control of the
River traffic in the Indian Territory and the lower
began to decline.
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
He has been director of the central
Arkansas library system since 1989.
earlier served on the faculties of the
Fayetteville, and the
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
In 2002, he was received
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
Arkansas ’ j.
of arts and sciences.
was named library journal’s librarian of the year for 1998.
It is one of librarianship’s most prestigious national awards.
August 22: Don
The Drummer Boy
Snarling cormorants of newspaper filth:
" The Civil War Press of
October 24: Fred
Federal Occupation of Little
Election of Officers
No meeting Scheduled in December
January 23. 2007
February 27, 2007
Maj. Gen. Mosby
We Who Study
Must Also Strive To Save!
director of the Historic
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
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
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:
Last Civil War Widows
The last-known Union
Janeway , died in Jan. 2003 in
Janeway joined the Union army in 1864 and
was briefly a POW at Andersonville. The
couple married in 1927, after waiting three years until
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
on May 31, 2004. In 1927, at age 21, she married William Jasper Martin,
Martin joined the Confederate army in May 1864. Upon
her husband's death, she married his grandson from his first marriage.
surrounding Alberta Martin's death prompted relatives of
to reveal that the 89-year-old was in fact the last civil war
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
, supported her with his Confederate pension of “$25 every
two or three months” until his death in 1937.
has outlived three other husbands.
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Here are the Trivia
Questions fro this month. Write out your answers and bring them to the
meeting. No fair calling
and trying to bribe the answers out of him (although I understand he is
fond of the big breakfast at the Ozark Smokehouse).
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
IN WEAL OR IN WOE.”
LIKE A STONEWALL – RALLY BEHIND THE VIRGINIANS!!!”
GENERAL, FEW OF US WILL EVER SEE
“IT IS WELL
THAT WAR IS SO TERRIBLE - ELSE WE WOULD GROW TOO FOND OF IT.”
CONFEDERATES COULDN’T HIT AN ELEPHANT AT THIS RANGE.”
WAGONS ARE OF NO USE TO ME NOW.”
ALMIGHTY HAS COVERED MY MEN WITH HIS SHIELD AND BUCKLER!”
TOWARD NONE, WITH CHARITY TOWARD ALL.”
LEE TO THE REAR!!!”
Register Now for the
Annual Civil War Seminar at
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:
chitter chatter kept up in the galleries”: The Arkansas Secession
Convention in Action, March-June, 1861 by
Public: Southern Women and the Secession Crisis
Arkansas’s Confederate Soldiers:
Why They Fought
Strong Union Sentiment”: Unionism in
Arkansas in 1861 by
“When the Arks.
boys goes by they take the rags off the bush”: Arkansas Soldiers in the
’s Creek Campaign, 1861 by
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.
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,
Center in Helena,
Center, and the
Story of the C.S.S. Arkansas
The C.S.S. Arkansas, an
ironclad ram, constructed at
Tennessee during the winter of
In April 1862, the
Arkansas was moved to the
Mississippi to prevent capture as
fell to the Federal Navy. Her sister ship, the
, was burned in her dock because she could not escape.
In May of 1862,
Commander Isaac Newton Brown of the Confederate States Navy received
from the Navy Department in
Richmond to proceed to
and assume command of the
. His orders were to finish and equip the vessel.
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.
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".
determined that the time had come to take the offensive.
He crewed his vessel with about 60
soldiers. These soldiers had never served big guns and most of
them had probably never served aboard a ship before.
stated, "The only trouble they ever gave me was to keep them from
into the Union fleet before we were ready for battle."
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
, 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
and the ram, which quickly turned away and ran for their fleet
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
and its crew of
Missouri "sailors" pounded their way through the midst of
the enemy fleet and emerged on the other side bound for
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;
Van Dorn at
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,
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.
under the command of her first officer broke down within sight of the
Federal fleet in front of
. 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
VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS
WHEN YOU CAN...WHILE YOU CAN