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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 

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. 10,
Jan Sarna, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor, 
Dues $15 Per Year




C. Fred Williams

Excerpt From
Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas;

One historian has described Little Rock at the time of the war as a "respectable town." The census of 1860 showed that it had a population of 3,727 people (2,874 white, 853 black). It had a college (St. John's Men's School) and was connected by steamboat to the outside world. Gaslights illuminated its streets, most of its businesses, and many of its residences, but its railroad system was "still largely in the blueprint stage," there were few manufacturing concerns, and banking was almost nonexistent.

Still, residents held high hopes for the city's future. "It is apparent ... that Little Rock will ... be a point of some very considerable importance," a local editor wrote in 1859. "[I]t will become in a commercial view, a city to which every citizen of Arkansas can point with pride." An editor from neighboring Memphis added that "there can be no doubt but that a fair and flourishing future awaits our sister city ... situated on one of the most beautiful sites that can be imagined."
The Federal campaign against Little Rock lasted forty days and cost 137 casualties (18 killed, 118 wounded, 1 missing). Incomplete Confederate reports listed 64 casualties. Price had managed to evacuate his army and a large portion of his supplies to Arkadelphia, but the Little Rock arsenal, with three thousand pounds of powder and a considerable quantity of cartridges, fell into Union hands

C. Fred Williams is Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  He has been at UALR for more than thirty years. Beginning as an Assistant Professor in 1969, he progressed through the academic ranks and was made a full professor in 1978.
In addition to his faculty appointment, he has also served in a number of administrative posts -- including Chairman of the Department of History, Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs.
A specialist in Arkansas History with an emphasis on agriculture, he has authored, co-authored, or edited eight books, published more than a dozen articles, and directed more than a dozen grant projects for sponsored research.
Here is an interesting point on our subject for the meeting about Federal Troops in Little Rock.  When I went to the Internet to find a little bit of the story for the newsletter, the first four references on the search engine referred back to our own website.
That is probably why we have over 1,000 hits a day.

PROGRAMS 2006/2007

 November 28: Confederate Veterans Reunions

 Election of Officers

December 2006

 No meeting Scheduled in December


January 23, 2007 - Randy Philhours

Marmaduke Walker Duel


February 27, 2007  - Bill Gurley, Ph.D.

Maj. Gen. Mosby M. Parsons'

Confederate Missouri Brigades


March 27, 2007 – Brian Brown

Home from Gettysburg


April 24, 2007 - Miss Ellie

Women during the War Between the States


May 22, 2007 Cal Collier


June 26, 2007 W. D. Honnoll

M. J. Thompson: The Swamp Fox


July 24, 2007



August 28, 2007



September 24, 2007



October 23, 2007



November 27, 2007



We Who Study Must Also Strive To Save!



At the Novemebr meeting it will be time to elect new officers and to think about paying next years dues. If you would like to serve as an officer or have a suggestion for next year, please contact Don Hamilton of the nomination committee.

We also want to thank Dr. Michael B. Dougan for his excelent presentation on the newspapers of the time at the last meeting.



Margie Bearss

October 22, 1925 - October 7, 2006

One of HistoryAmerica's dearest—and one of history's best—friends, Margie Riddle Bearss, passed on in Mississippi on October 7, 2006. She was two weeks shy of her 81st birthday.

For nearly half a century she was married to Edwin Cole Bearss, the "pied piper" of history, the celebrated Historian Guide so well known to so many HistoryAmerica travelers. But Margie was far more than just the wife of that icon, who survives her. She was not only his partner in life—they shared two daughters and a son, Sara, Cole, and Jenny—but she was also his partner in history. She edited his written works, and when he raised the Union ironclad gunboat, the Cairo, from the bottom of the Yazoo River in 1964, she cleaned, identified, and catalogued every artifact he salvaged.

But neither was Margie just an indispensable helpmate in Ed's professional and private life. She was a formidable historian in her own right. She wrote an outstanding work on Sherman's Meridian Expedition of 1864. In the last two years of her life she was the co-editor with Rebecca B. Drake of two books—a collection of letters and a diary from the Civil War era.

She will be deeply missed by those of us who loved her. Here is the online guestbook to sign.


In 1848, the Cyrus Alger Co. produced four artillery pieces called “6-pounder guns, light”, which have since been known as “Cadet” guns. Only 50.5 inches in total length and weighing but 570 pounds, all four guns were sent to the Virginia Military Institute.
Three years later, Alger made two more for the Arkansas Military Institute in Tulip, Arkansas. Four additional guns were manufactured for the Georgia Military Institute in 1852. Of these ten Alger Cadet Guns, only seven are known to survive.
 These guns were intended for drill and instruction, however, a shortage of field pieces in the Confederacy at the beginning of the

Civil War resulted in the Cadet guns being commandeered for active duty. The two from Arkansas were carried to Virginia in 1861 by the school’s cadets as part of the Third Arkansas Infantry.
You are invited to preview one of the two Alger Cadet guns from the Arkansas Military Institute as it returns to Arkansas on loan from the Petersburg National Battlefield. See the gun on the afternoon of Saturday November 4TH at the Museum in MacArthur Park.
Join us tjem also for a book signing of Ray Hanley’s new release Remembering Arkansas Confederates and the 1911 Little Rock Veterans Reunion. Proceeds from the book sale will go toward costs of exhibiting the Alger Cadet gun at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.
The museum will also show footage from the 1949 Confederate veterans reunion held in Little Rock.

Patriotic Treason

John Brown and the Soul of America

By Evan Carton

This Edition: Hardcover
Publication Date: 09/2006
Our Price: $30.00

Availability: Usually ships within 2-3 days

John Brown is a lightning rod of history. Yet he is poorly understood and most commonly described in stereotypes -- as a madman, martyr, or enigma. Not until Patriotic Treason has a biography or history brought him so fully to life, in scintillating prose and moving detail, making his life and legacy -- and the staggering sacrifices he made for his ideals-fascinatingly relevant to today's issues of social justice and to defining the line between activism and terrorism.
Vividly re-creating the world in which Brown and his compatriots lived with a combination of scrupulous original research, new perspectives, and a sensitive historical imagination, Patriotic Treason narrates the dramatic life of the first U.S. citizen committed to absolute racial equality. Here are his friendships (Brown lived, worked, ate, and fought alongside African Americans, in defiance of the culture around him), his family (he turned his twenty children by two wives into a dedicated militia), and his ideals (inspired by the Declaration of Independence and the Golden Rule, he collaborated with black leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, and Harriet Tubman to overthrow slavery).
Evan Carton captures the complex, tragic, and provocative story of Brown the committed abolitionist, Brown the tender yet demanding and often absent father and husband, and Brown the radical American patriot who attacked the American state in the name of American principles. Through new research into archives, attention to overlooked family letters, and reinterpretation of documents and events, Carton essentially reveals a missing link in American history.
A wrenching family saga, Patriotic Treason positions John Brown at the heart of our most profound and enduring national debates. As definitions of patriotism and treason are fiercely contested, as some criticize religious extremism while others mourn religion's decline, and as race relations in America remain unresolved, John Brown's story speaks to us as never before, reminding us that one courageous individual can change the course of history.


Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart of the First United States Cavalry crossed the yard of the Harpers Ferry armory and approached the thick oak door of the engine house under a flag of truce. He felt eyes on his back. In the gray first light of the raw morning of October 18, 1859, Stuart could make out the muzzles of two rifles protruding from gun holes that appeared to have been hastily chiseled through the engine house wall. 

He doubted that he had much to fear from the incompetent band of northerners and negroes trapped in the small building in front of him, fanatical haters of the southern system of labor that was protected by the country's laws and enshrined in its traditions.

He was at greater risk, he thought wryly, from the unsteady hands and judgment of his fellow Virginians who perched on the railroad trestle and the water tower and in every window of the hotel to his rear.




There have been numerous whispers about, all indicating a desire to resurrect the Arkansas Society of the Order of the Confederate Rose.  It is with great pride and anticipation that we have decided to go forth and pursue the Eliza Currie Davis Chapter #2, to be associated with the Patrick R. Cleburne Camp # 1433 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
Read about Eliza here
Officially, we have a lot of paperwork to complete and some interesting decisions to be made, including a state logo.  (I have some ideas, but want you to be thinking about it, too!)  We have a great support system in place with the help of the National OCR with offers of doing some of the leg-work for us.  Be thinking about officers to assist the current co-presidents: Kayla Kalkbrenner, 2421 Meadowpond Trail, White Hall, AR, 71602 ( 870-247-2394 and Ellen DiMaggio, 1323 Lakehall Rd., Lake Village, AR 71653 ( 870-265-3073.  We will need a treasurer and secretary (both recording and corresponding).  Plus we need members!  Anyone interested in Southern Heritage, over the age of 10, regardless of gender or race or background ancestry may join. 
Our first event will be Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006 at the White Sulphur Springs Cemetery.  A most enjoyable location, the cemetery provides a perfect background for our gathering as it is the burial site of our own Eliza Currie Davis.  Please join us in period dress if you can for the first un-official, official OCR Chapter #2 event.  The ceremony begins at 2:00 in the afternoon, but the cemetery will be open all Saturday and Sunday as a Living History event.  Come out and join in the Southern comraderie and to honor those who gave their All for the Cause, including Mrs. Eliza Currie Davis.

What is the Order of the Confederate Rose?
It is a way for us to support our Confederate Heritage and to further the cause of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and to support endeavors by the SCV.
How is it organized?
Local chapters are sponsored by SCV camps, and these chapters are formed into state societies.  There is a nationwide Confederation of States that provides a means for meeting and sharing with other societies.
Who may join the OCR?
Anyone over the age of 10, you do not need a relative in the SCV, or an ancestor in the CSA.  All you need is a desire to support our Confederate Heritage.  Each chapter votes on its own requirements.  It will not compete with the UDC or any other genealogical organization. 
What will the OCR do?
Our goal is to aid and further the cause of the SCV and to support endeavors sponsored by the SCV when they request our assistance.  We are free to focus on projects or problems important to our own area as well as to support efforts of national scope.  The OCR will aid the SCV by providing additional communications, promoting educational programs and organizing social functions.
How do we become a recognized chapter?
We must submit the appropriate paper work to National plus $100 each year. We need at least 7 members, at least 10 years old, with an approval signature from an SCV member. Design a state logo.  Get a bank account with 2 signatures plus an EIN number. Dues; $20/year Aug 1-July 31.  $10 to local chapter, $10 to national Lifetime $100 ($50 to National, $50 local) Elect officers
Order of the Black Rose? 
The Order of the Black Rose is a part of the OCR, separate, but equal.  To be a member of OBR, you must be ready with a mourning outfit for memorials and/or cemetery dedications and respectfully portray a Southern woman in mourning.
Respectfully submitted,
Ellen M. DiMaggio



We ran out of time for the quiz last week, so here it is again.







From an article
by Tom Dillard
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Like so many of the pioneering settlements in territorial Arkansas, Tulip was settled by a North Carolinian by way of Tennessee, Tyra Harris Brown. A few years later came Col. Maurice Smith, the forerunner of a whole clan of Smith settlers. A different Smith family, this one headed by Nathaniel G. Smith of Hardeman County, Tenn., also settled in Tulip. All of the Smiths were families of wealth and culture, which bode well for their new settlement. Tulip does not seem to have gone through an unruly adolescence. The village, which was near a military road, soon was home to Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian churches. In particular, the Methodists had a thriving congregation, which was for a time headed by the renowned Rev. Andrew Hunter.
In 1849, George D. Alexander, a 24-year-old graduate of Washington College in Virginia, convened a meeting in Tulip to consider establishing an educational institution. The resulting Alexander Institute began as a coed school, but it was divided into two different institutions after only a year, forming the Arkansas Military Institute and the Tulip Female Collegiate Seminary.




for  C. Fred Williams