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Our 43nd 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. XLIII, No. 1,
Ron Kelly, President/ Charles O. Durnett, Sec-Editor, 
Dues $15 Per Year


Marmaduke Walker Duel


Randy Philhours

Randy has been with us before and is well versed on his subject, John Sappington Marmaduke (March 14, 1833 – December 28, 1887) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and was governor of Missouri from 1884 until his death in 1887.

Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke American voters generally like military heroes, but in our day John Sappington Marmaduke would have been warned away from candidacy by even the bravest spin doctor. Tall, blue-eyed, mustachioed, somewhat handsome though middle-aged, Marmaduke unfortunately appeared haughty and reticent, spoke poorly from the platform, alienated business powerful interests, and was a bachelor. He also had killed a fellow officer in the Civil War.

Yet this former Confederate general managed to get elected governor of Missouri. His productive administration aided in the state’s transition from an

antebellum culture into a new Missouri in which former Unionists and Confederates worked together.

Marmaduke was the offspring of a prominent Saline County clan who were leaders of the Boonslick Democracy, a powerful political alliance of Southern aristocrats and yeoman farmers, many of whom were also slaveholders before the War Between the States. His Virginia-born father, Miles M. Marmaduke, was elected lieutenant governor in 1840 and succeeded briefly to the governorship when Thomas Reynolds committed suicide.

The second son among ten children, Marmaduke studied at Yale and Harvard and earned his lieutenant’s commission from West Point. When the issue of secession split Missouri, the father supported the Union while the son sided with the South. His initial battle was an embarrassment: his ragtag bunch of Southern militia fled the Unionists in an 1861 skirmish waggishly dubbed the Boonville Races.

His subsequent career, with stints as a cavalry leader, was distinguished, and he rose to the rank of major general. While under Gen. Sterling Price’s command near Helena, Arkansas, in September 1863, however, he fell out with his immediate superior, Gen. LuciusMarshWalker. Marmaduke suggested that Walker’s absence from the field had imperiled Marmaduke’s men in the face of the enemy. Walker resented this implication of cowardice and challenged Marmaduke to a duel.

“I have not pronounced you a coward,” Marmaduke wrote back harshly, “but I desire to inform you that your conduct as commander of the cavalry … was such that I determined no longer to serve you.” Consequently, at first light September 6, the two generals faced each other with Colt Navy revolvers. Both fired and missed. Marmaduke recocked and fired, striking Walker with a killing shot. Marmaduke offered his assistance, and Walker, in his failing moments, forgave his subordinate.


February 27, 2007

March 27, 2007
Brian Brown

Home from Gettysburg
April 24, 2007
Miss Ellie
Women during the War Between the States
May 22, 2007

June 26, 2007
 W. D. Honnoll

M. J. Thompson: The Swamp Fox
July 24, 2007 
Dr. Thomas A. DeBlack

August 28, 2007
September 24, 2007
October 23, 2007
November 27, 2007

We Who Study

  Must Also Strive To Save!


The officers for Civil War Roundtable for the  year 2007 :

Ron  Kelly    President

Rick  Meadows  -  Vice President

Charles Durnett – Secretary

Brian  Brown – Treasurer

President is in charge of the room and the meeting (Set up-getting key-lock up). Once again, there is plenty of help here from folks.
The VP is in charge of all the programs and getting and introducing the speakers. Practically speaking, everybody can suggest programs.
Secretary generally schedules with the library, keeps minutes of the meeting, and handles general correspondence.
Treasurer collects the dues, handles financial correspondence, and deals with any honorariums that may be necessary. Brian also handles the raffle.
The dues each year are $15 and are due in January. The organization has few expenses, so the dues are low to make them affordable to everyone. The main expenses are the newsletter each month and an occasional honorarium for a speaker.
Chairman CACWHT - Chas. Durnett
Vice Chairman CACWHT - Mike Loum
The Central Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trail is a sister organization of the Roundtable and is a part of the network providing input from central Arkansas.
The Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trail is a network of regional private, nonprofit, volunteer organizations seeking to identify, protect, interpret, and promote Arkansas properties related to the state's Civil War experience. The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, provides general guidance for the groups.


January 04-11, 1863 
Arkansas Post 
Phillips, Arkansas 
From Helena to mouth of White River, across land and up Arkansas River to Arkansas Post
On January 4, 1863, Grant placed Maj. Gen. John McClernand in command of Union forces that were attempting to regain control of the Mississippi River. McClernand, a former Illinois congressman who owed his position to President Lincoln's desire to hold southern Illinois Democrats to the Union cause, was despised by regular army men, and he knew it, but he was determined to make the most of his opportunity. After concluding that future operations against Vicksburg were threatened by the continued presence of Rebel forces at Arkansas Post, he determined to attack and destroy it. William Tecumseh Sherman, fresh from his defeat at Chickasaw Bluffs and now in McClernand's command, concurred. On the night of January 4, Sherman and McClernand conferred with Adm. David D. Porter, chief of river operations, on board Porter's headquarters boat, the Black Hawk, to develop plans for the attack .

On January 8, McClernand loaded thirty-two thousand infantry, one thousand cavalry, and more than forty pieces of artillery aboard sixty transports. Escorted by three ironclads and several other rams and gunboats, the Federal flotilla headed upriver from Milliken's Bend near Vicksburg. In an attempt to mask his intentions, McClernand directed that the force continue upriver past the mouth of the Arkansas to the mouth of the White River. The flotilla proceeded up the White and thence through a cut-off to the Arkansas, where it turned upriver toward Fort Hindman. At 5 p.m. on the ninth of January, the troops began disembarking on the left bank of the river at Nortrebe's farm, approximately three miles below the fort.

By noon on the tenth, all troops had been landed. In addition, two regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and three pieces of artillery were landed on the right bank of the river with instructions to gain a position above the fort from which they could control the upriver approaches.

Churchill ordered his whole force, which he reported as "3,000 effective men," to take positions in trenches about one-and-a-half miles below the fort to block the direct line of advance along the river between Nortrebe's farm and Fort Hindman. But enfilading fire from the gunboats Rattler and Black Hawk forced the Confederates to withdraw to the fort and adjoining positions. Defective powder limited the range of Fort Hindman's big guns preventing them from effectively challenging the gunboats.

McClernand planned to move his troops into position on a plateau north of the fort. To divert attention from this movement, he ordered Porter to move his gunboats upriver to engage Fort Hindman's guns. Shortly after 5:30 p.m., Porter sent the ironclads Louisville, Baron de Kalb, and Cincinnati upriver to within four hundred yards of the fort. As soon as these became engaged, Porter also sent the light draft vessels Lexington and Black Hawk to throw in shrapnel and rifled shell. Finally, he ordered the Rattler to steam past the fort and enfilade it. A fierce duel ensued in which the Rattler sustained severe damage from Confederate guns and drifted back into an abatis that Dunnington had placed in the river opposite the Post. The fight continued until after dark, when superior Union firepower finally succeeded in silencing most of the fort's guns. McClernand continued to deploy his troops throughout the evening of the tenth.

Churchill was also busy positioning his troops in the rifle pits extending west from the fort to Post Bayou.,, During the night, he received a telegraphic dispatch from General Holmes ordering him to "hold out till help arrived or all dead." Churchill passed the word on to his brigade commanders with instructions to see it carried out "in spirit and letter."

A Texas cavalryman scoffed, "When it comes to our number holding out . . . against such odds it is all bosh, and if 'GRANNY' Holmes was down here where he 

could smell a little gunpowder, he would get better of the 'hold on' fit which so recently seized him at LITTLE ROCK.

McClernand recorded that the night was cold and his troops without fires and tents, but on the morning of January 11, his "chilled but faithful men were greeted by a bright and genial sun." His plan called for Porter's gunboats to begin a thirty-minute shelling of the Rebel positions at 1 p.m. This would be followed by a three-minute lull, and then the full-scale assault would begin. Porter's barrage began as scheduled.
On the Union right, Sherman, whose troops were in position approximately four hundred yards from the Confederate lines, noticed that the Rebel artillery quickly ceased to respond to the fire. He ordered his troops forward before the specified time had passed. Soon the entire Federal line was in motion. With Fort Hindman's big guns silenced, Porter's gunboats moved in, pounding the fort from close range and lobbing exploding shells over the walls.
Reduced to reliance on small-arms fire and what remained of their six field pieces, the Confederates nevertheless resisted fiercely, staggering and halting the Union advance. W.W. Heartsill, a Texas soldier on the left end of the Confederate line, watched the advancing Federals with a mixture of awe and dread. Although he overestimated the size of the enemy army, he provided a vivid account of the climactic point of the battle:
"Oh what a grand sight. FORTY THOUSAND men pressing forward as one man, all silent except the commands of the Officers, on, on they come like an irresistible thunder-bolt, as it dashes unrestrained through the air; to crush the atoms of the sturdiest Oak, or cleave the adamantine cliffs in twain.
The Confederates remain as silent as spectators, every man with his finger on the trigger, and each gunner at his post, until the front line of the enemy are within seventy yards of our works; a blaze of fire flashed like lightning along our line, sending three thousand bullets into the Federal ranks, while at the same time [our remaining artillery] poured forth grape and canister; opening avenues of death through the lines of the advancing foe, their lines waver; halt; and fall back, but in good order, leaving the ground strewed with their dead and dying; They reform their lines for another assault."

Through the Howling Wilderness

The 1864 Red River Campaign and
Union Failure in the West
By Gary D. Joiner

The Red River Campaign of 1864 was a bold attempt to send large Union army and navy forces deep into the interior of Louisiana, seize the Rebel capital of the state, and defeat the Confederate army guarding the region enabling uninhibited access to Texas to the west. Through the Howling Wilderness emphasizes the Confederate defensive measures and the hostile attitudes of commanders toward each other as well as toward their enemies.

Gary D. Joiner contends that the campaign was important to both the Union army and navy in the course of the war and afterward, altering the political landscape in the fall presidential elections in 1864. The campaign redirected troops originally assigned to operate in Georgia during the pivotal Atlanta campaign, thus delaying the end of the war by weeks or even months, and it forced the navy to refocus its inland or “brown water” naval tactics. The Red River Campaign ushered in deep resentment toward the repatriation of the State of Louisiana after the war ended. Profound consequences included legal, political, and sociological issues that surfaced in Congressional hearings as a result of the Union defeat.

The efforts of the Confederates to defend northern Louisiana have been largely ignored. Their efforts at building an army and preparations to trap the union naval forces before the campaign began have been all but lost in the literature of the Civil War. Joiner’s book will remedy this lack of historical attention.

Replete with in-depth coverage on the geography of the region, the Congressional hearings after the Campaign, and the Confederate defenses in the Red River Valley, Through the Howling Wilderness will appeal to Civil War historians and buffs alike.

Gary D. Joiner is assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he is director of the Red River Regional Studies Center. He is also owner of Precision Cartographics in Shreveport. Dr. Joiner is the co-editor of No Pardons to Ask, nor Apologies to Make and the author of One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864, winner of the 2004 Albert Castel Award and the 2005 A.M. Pate, Jr., Award.



By Nelson D. Lankford

A compelling re-creation of the eight crucial weeks preceding the Civil War 

In early March 1861, civil war loomed. By late April, Americans had begun to kill their fellow citizens. Cry Havoc! recounts in riveting detail the events that divided the states and reveals how quirks of timing, character, and place all conspired to transform the nation into a battlefield.

Nelson Lankford, author of Richmond Burning, chronicles the eight critical weeks that began with Lincoln’s inauguration through the explosion at Fort Sumter and the president’s fateful response to it. Before Fort Sumter, the balance could have tipped in favor of a peaceful resolution. This book addresses the many mighthave-beens, both familiar and lesser known. What if Lincoln had delayed the proclamation calling for troops? Could wavering Unionists in the upper South have held the line?

A must read for all who wish to understand the birth of the modern United States of America, Cry Havoc! probes the fateful series of events and analyzes each of the failed possibilities that hindsight affords.




For Randy Philhours


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