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Battle of Gettysburg, First Day
Our 43nd Year
THE MEETING TUESDAY, March 27,
Meets Fourth Tuesday, January-November
Founded March 1964
Fletcher Branch Library, H & Buchanan
(East of University Ave.),
Program at 7 p.m.
VOL. XLIII, No. 3,
Ron Kelly, President/ Charles
O. Durnett, Sec-Editor,
Dues $15 Per Year
VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...
WHILE YOU CAN
We hear much about the various aspects of the
Battle of Gettysburg, but seldom from the beginning. How did the
combatants get there and what was their thinking as they moved into this
Brown is just
back from reviewing the entire battle and is ready to give us his
analysis of the Battle of Gettysburg.
realized the importance of the high ground directly to the south of
that if the
Confederates could gain control of the heights, Meade's
army would have difficulty dislodging them. He decided to utilize three
ridges west of Gettysburg:
Herr Ridge, McPherson Ridge, and Seminary Ridge (proceeding west to east
toward the town).
These were appropriate terrain for a delaying action by his small
division against superior Confederate infantry forces, meant to buy time
awaiting the arrival of Union infantrymen who could occupy the strong
defensive positions south of town at
The Battle of Gettysburg (July 1 – July 3, 1863), fought in and
around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as part of the Gettysburg
Campaign, was one of the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War and
is frequently cited as the war's turning point Union Major General
George Gordon Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by
Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending
Lee's invasion of the North.
Following his brilliant success at Chancellorsville in May 1863,
Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley for his
second invasion of the North, hoping to reach as far as
Pennsylvania, or even
Philadelphia, and to influence Northern
politicians to give up their prosecution of the war. Prodded by
Lincoln, Maj. Gen.
moved his army in pursuit
but was relieved almost on the eve of battle and replaced by
The two armies began to collide at
on July 1, 1863, as Lee
urgently concentrated his forces there. Low ridges to the northwest of
town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division, which was soon
reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large
Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north,
collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders
retreating through the streets of town to the hills just to the south.
March 27, 2007 –
Female Spies for the Confederacy
May 22, 2007
June 26, 2007
W. D. Honnoll
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!
Coming April 1, 2007, at
2:00 pm will be the Fitzhugh Wood Historical Marker Dedication
(located just north of Augusta, AR Plans have been in the works
for many years and at last are coming into their own. On that date, 143
years ago, on a foggy morning the Confederate troops encouraged the
Union command to attack to the rear.
Some years ago,
Lunday, and Larry
Lunday, both natives of
Augusta who are interested in placing a
marker at Fitzhugh’s Wood in
County, contacted the
Arkansas Heritage Trails Chairman,
The Lundays know the
chronology of the events before, during, and after the battle. They also
have photographs and artifacts from the site of the battle. The Lundays,
Honnoll, Bay Fitzhugh, and a group of historians from the Arkansas
Historic Preservation Program planned for the erection of this marker.
The Action of Fitzhugh’s
Woods was a Civil War action fought on April 1, 1864, as Union forces
ventured from Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Woodruff County in an
attempt to stop Confederate recruitment efforts and disrupt Rebel
attempts to attack Federal targets.
As Major General
Steele led a Yankee army into south
Arkansas in March 1864 on what became known as the Camden
Expedition, Confederate Brigadier General
was recruiting troops in the area between the White and
Mississippi rivers. Aided by forty-six
commissioned officers who were left without commands because of the
flood of Confederate desertions that followed the fall of
Little Rock in September 1863, McRae sought to bring the
former soldiers back into the Rebel ranks for attacks against such
Yankee targets as the Memphis
to Little Rock Railroad.
Colonel Christopher C. Andrews, commander of both the Third Minnesota
Infantry Regiment and the Union garrison at Little Rock, led 186 men of
the Third Minnesota and forty-five troopers of the
Eighth Missouri Cavalry (US) to Woodruff County on
March 30, 1864, to disrupt McRae’s operations. The Yankee troops aboard
the steamer Dove arrived at Gregory’s
Landing on the White River at dusk and
advanced toward a reported Confederate campsite. They found it deserted.
On the morning of April 1, the Federal troops arrived
County) and learned that McRae’s main camp was said to
be at Antony’s plantation, seven miles
left a small detachment to guard the Dove and headed north with 160 men.
His column soon encountered some resistance from Confederate cavalry,
but Union troops nearly captured McRae himself as he watered his horse
at a stream near Antony’s.
However, the general and his companions managed to outrun his pursuers.
After marching about twelve miles north of
Andrews decided to turn back toward the town. While pausing at
the Fitzhugh Plantation for lunch, the Federal troops were attacked by
Confederate cavalrymen under Colonel Thomas
and Captain John
Bland, with a mixed force of about
425 troopers. Repelling this attack, the Yankee troops hurried south on
the road to
but were soon hit again south of the plantation at a forested area known
as Fitzhugh’s Woods.
The attacking Confederates included the commands of
Freeman and Bland, along with companies under Captain
McGuffin, Captain Jesse
Tracy, and Captain
Reynolds—a combined force of about 545 Rebel
cavalrymen. The Southern cavalrymen struck
Andrews’s men from the front, left, and rear, but the
Federal soldiers stood their ground and fended off their attackers in a
lengthy firefight that left both forces low on ammunition.
Perceiving a Rebel attempt to cut his retreat route
south across a cypress bayou, Andrews ordered
his men to fall back to a cluster of log huts and fences near the bayou.
The Confederates moved into Fitzhugh’s Woods but did not seriously
challenge the new Union line. The Federal troops returned to
Augusta without opposition.
command suffered eight killed, sixteen wounded and five missing or
listed his losses as
twenty to twenty-five killed and mortally wounded and sixty to
seventy-five wounded. The fighting at Fitzhugh’s Woods slowed McRae’s
attempts to recruit soldiers or reenlist deserters into the Confederate
army; it would not be until summer that
Brigadier General J.
Shelby would implement serious
conscription and begin organized attacks against Union forces in the
“‘It Was a Hard Little Fight’: The Battle of Fitzhugh’s Woods, April 1,
Historical Quarterly 64 (Winter 2005): 1–11.
A special Memorial celebration was held March 24, 2007 at his gravesite in
was born in Ovens, County Cork,
Ireland on March
16, 1828. The second son of
the only physician in the locale, Patrick
grew up in comfortable, middle class surroundings and privilege.
However, life was not without its tragedy. His mother died when he was
eighteen months old, and by the time the boy reached age fifteen, his
father had died. He pursued the family tradition of studying medicine,
but failed the entrance exam to
in February 1846. Pride and his
sense of honor led him
to enlist in the 41st Regiment of Foot of the British Army to escape his
failure. Three and one half years later, he bought his discharge and
came to America
with two brothers and an older sister. He settled in
Arkansas, in 1850, first as a
druggist until he became a naturalized citizen. In 1856, he began the
practice of law, and was senior partner with
Cleburne, Scaife and Mangum by 1860.
joined the Yell Rifles of Phillips as a private, and was soon elected
Captain of the company. From this position, he rose swiftly in rank,
through the early months of the war and became Colonel of the 1st
Arkansas. When Gen.
Hardee was put in command of
Confederate troops in Arkansas, he
quickly recognized the gem he had in an officer, and secured
Cleburne’s promotion to Brigadier General on
March 4, 1862.
Shiloh, the Kentucky
Campaign, and Murfreesboro
were ahead for
He was severely wounded in the mouth at
Ky. on August 30. Returning to
duty in time to participate in the Battle of Perryville on October 8, he
proved his capability in a charge on the field that led to Confederate
victory. After the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee December 31 and
January 1, 1863, Cleburne
was promoted to Major General.
Through the campaigns of
became more outspoken along with his superior and mentor
Hardee on the incompetence of Gen.
Bragg. After the Battle of
Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign, Cleburne
achieved lasting military fame for his defense of Tunnel Hill on
Missionary Ridge in Tennessee and at
the Battle of Ringgold Gap in North Georgia.
His brilliant tactical command in the use of his small force and
strategic utilization of terrain remain among the most compelling in
military history to study.
Always pensive and observant, he realized the deplorable state of morale
in the army, and the straitened conditions of the Confederacy in general
were working against the goal of independence. He had a solution which
he earnestly believed would turn the tide in favor of the South, both
militarily and politically, and on January 3, 1864, he met with Gen.
Joseph Johnston and other high command personalities in Dalton, Georgia
to read his proposal
on emancipating the slaves and enlisting them in the
Confederate army. His concept was shocking to some, endorsed by others,
but ultimately rejected by President Jefferson
Davis at the urging of his military advisor in
Cleburne accepted his superiors’ suggestions to suppress his
proposal on enlisting slaves, and accompanied his friend
Hardee as best man to Hardee’s
wedding in Demopolis,
Tarleton, the 24-year-old daughter of a
planter, and was love struck. He proposed to her before his ten-day
furlough was up, and she agreed to become engaged to him.
The spring of 1864 began military operations, which
culminated in the Atlanta Campaign.
fought valiantly at every battle, from the opening shots at Rocky Face
Gap until the end at Jonesboro
in August. He received no other promotions, though vacancies occurred
for corps commander. He was distressed when Hood
as commander-in-chief of the Army of Tennessee, and marched his division
north with the army in the Tennessee Campaign.
In a desperate assault on Union breastworks at
on November 30, 1864,
Cleburne was killed in action
beside his men. He was buried at St. John’s
Mount Pleasant, Tennessee.
In April 1870, his remains were disinterred and brought back to
Helena, Arkansas, where he
was reburied in an impressive ceremony in
Cemetery. His fiancée
married a classmate of her brother’s, but died of a swelling of the
brain on June 30, 1868.
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PEOPLE of history
LIKE IT WAS YESTERYEAR
Every year armies from
around the state participate in re-enactments, living histories,
parades, and other period events. In most cases you can sit on the hill
Confederate Flag and Memorial Day, Capitol Little Rock
of Blue Springs
April 13th, 14th, 15th
April 27th – 29th
Marks Mill, Fordyce,
May 4, 5 & 6
Chalk Bluff, St Francis
artillery and infantry demos, Norfork,
Fireworks Show at Sulpher
Living history & skirmish at
MO, living history and battles
September 14th – 16th
145th Anniversary Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
of Cabin Creek,
Davidson, Pilot Knob, MO
of Mill Springs, Somerset,
September 28th – 30th
Civil War Days
Battles at Burton Sugar Farm, Michigan City,
MS (30 mi east of Memphis)
White Sulphur Springs, Pine Bluff,
living history & skirmishes
AR, artillery demos & skirmish
artillery demos & skirmishes
Battles at Old Washington,
November 3rd –4th
November 2nd – 4th
A Big Thanks to
For bringing us the program
Where the South Lost the Civil War…
SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Civil War Round Table of Arkansas