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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. 3,
Ron Kelly, President/ Charles O. Durnett, Sec-Editor, 
Dues $15 Per Year

Battle of Gettysburg, First Day


Brian Brown
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 major battle.

Brian Brown is just back from reviewing the entire battle and is ready to give us his analysis of the Battle of Gettysburg.

General Buford realized the importance of the high ground directly to the south of Gettysburg, knowing
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
Cemetery Hill, Cemetery Ridge, and Culp's Hill.

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 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia, and to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit

but was relieved almost on the eve of battle and replaced by Meade.

The two armies began to collide at Gettysburg 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  Brian Brown
Home from Gettysburg
April 24, 2007 - Miss Ellie
Female Spies for the Confederacy
May 22, 2007 Cal Collier
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!



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, Herbert Lunday, and Larry Lunday, both natives of Augusta who are interested in placing a marker at Fitzhugh’s Wood in Woodruff County, contacted the Arkansas Heritage Trails Chairman, Danny Honnoll.

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 Frederick Steele led a Yankee army into south Arkansas in March 1864 on what became known as the Camden Expedition, Confederate Brigadier General Dandridge McRae 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 at Augusta (Woodruff County) and learned that McRae’s main camp was said to be at Antony’s plantation, seven miles north of Augusta. Andrews 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 Augusta, 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 W. Freeman and Captain John Bland, with a mixed force of about 425 troopers. Repelling this attack, the Yankee troops hurried south on the road to Augusta 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 George Rutherford, Captain Sam 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.

Andrews’s command suffered eight killed, sixteen wounded and five missing or wounded. McRae

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. O. Shelby would implement serious conscription and begin organized attacks against Union forces in the region.

For additional information:

Christ, Mark K. “‘It Was a Hard Little Fight’: The Battle of Fitzhugh’s Woods, April 1, 1864.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 64 (Winter 2005): 1–11.



A special Memorial celebration was held March 24, 2007 at his gravesite in Helena.
Join the Patrick Cleburne Society
Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born in Ovens, County Cork, Ireland on March 16, 1828. The second son of Dr. Joseph Cleburne, 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 Trinity College 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 Helena, 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. 

Cleburne 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. William J. 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 Patrick Cleburne. He was severely wounded in the mouth at Richmond, 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 1863, Cleburne became more outspoken along with his superior and mentor William J. Hardee on the incompetence of Gen. Braxton 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 Richmond, Braxton Bragg.

Patrick Cleburne accepted his superiors’ suggestions to suppress his proposal on enlisting slaves, and accompanied his friend William J. Hardee as best man to Hardee’s wedding in Demopolis, Alabama. Cleburne met Susan Tarleton, the 24-year-old daughter of a Mobile, Alabama 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. Patrick Cleburne 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 replaced Joe Johnston 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 Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864, Patrick Cleburne was killed in action beside his men. He was buried at St. John’s Church near 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 Evergreen Confederate Cemetery. His fiancée Susan Tarleton, married a classmate of her brother’s, but died of a swelling of the brain on June 30, 1868.





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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

April 1
Battle of Fitzhugh Woods, Augusta, AR

April 7th
Confederate Flag and Memorial Day, Capitol Little Rock

April 13-15
Battle of Blue Springs, Mosheim, TN

April 13th, 14th, 15th
Pleasant Hill

April 27th – 29th
Marks Mill, Fordyce, AR
May 4, 5 & 6
Chalk Bluff, St Francis County
May 19
Wolf House artillery and infantry demos, Norfork, AR
June 8-10
Battlefire, Tribbey, OK
July 4th
Fireworks Show at Sulpher Springs Methodist Church
Aug 4
Living history & skirmish at Mammoth Springs, AR
Aug (tbd)
Battle of Bloomfield, MO
September 14-16
Old Greenville, MO, living history and battles
September 14th – 16th
145th Anniversary Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)
September 21-23
Battle of Cabin Creek, OK
Sept 21-23
Battle of Fort Davidson, Pilot Knob, MO
Sept 28-30
Battle of Mill Springs, Somerset, KY
September 28th – 30th
Pocahontas Civil War Days
Oct 5-7
Battles at Burton Sugar Farm, Michigan City, MS (30 mi east of Memphis)
Oct 12-14
White Sulphur Springs, Pine Bluff, AR living history & skirmishes

Oct 20
Rapps Barren Park, Mountain Home, AR, artillery demos & skirmish     
Oct 27-28
Degray Lake State Park, Arkadelphia, AR artillery demos & skirmishes
November 2-4
Battles at Old Washington, AR
November 3rd –4th
Old Washington
November 2nd – 4th
Battle of Pea Ridge
Reenactment Bentonville AR.
Dec 2-3
Battle of Tahlequah, OK                        

A Big Thanks to

Tom Ezell 
For bringing us the program

Where the South Lost the Civil War

Last month




for  Brian Brown


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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas