The Little Rock Campaign of 1863
In July of 1863, the Union Army under General Ulysses S.
Grant captured the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg, Mississippi.
With the surrender of Vicksburg, Union forces
were then poised to invade the interior of Arkansas
and capture its capital city, Little
By the end of the month, Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele had
arrived at Helena to take command of all Federal
forces in Arkansas.
Steele and his officers then planned a campaign to move into the interior of
the state and strike at Little Rock.
In Little Rock,
responsibility for the defense of the city had passed to Maj. Gen. Sterling
Price commanded a small army of eight thousand men present
for duty. Price pronounced his troops to be "in excellent condition, full
of enthusiasm and eager to meet the enemy”, but he confessed in a letter to Lt.
General Kirby Smith that he "did not believe it would be possible for us
to hold it [Little Rock]
with the forces then under my command."
Despite his misgivings, Price set about devising a plan for
the capital's defense. He ordered the
cavalry of Brig. Gen. John Marmaduke and Brig. Gen. Lucius
M. Walker to observe and harass enemy movements and began the construction of a
defensive position composed of rifle pits and redoubts on the north side of the
Arkansas River about two-and-a-half miles
downstream from the city. This position faced eastward, bounded by a cypress
swamp on the left and the river on the right. Price believed that his only
chance of successfully defending Little
Rock lay in the possibility that the Union commander
would launch a straight frontal
against this fortified position.
On August 10th and 11th, Major General Steele sent six
thousand infantry, backed by sixteen pieces of artillery, west from Helena toward Clarendon on the White
River. There he would rendezvous with a like number of cavalry
moving south from Missouri
under Brig. Gen. John Davidson. Davidson reached Clarendon on August 8.
On August 23, Price ordered Marmaduke to join forces with Walker at Brownsville along
the major overland approach to Little
Rock. Since Walker was
the senior officer, he was Marmaduke's superior; however, the two officers had
been feuding since an earlier engagement at Helena.
At sunrise on August 25, advance elements of Davidson's
cavalry collided with Marmaduke's thirteen hundred horsemen near Brownsville. Outnumbered
four to one in men and eight to one in artillery, Marmaduke could not hope to
defeat the Federals, but the Missourian gave ground grudgingly before retiring
from the field.
He formed a new battle line six miles west of the town, and
there he temporarily halted the Union advance. On August 26, Price ordered
Walker and Marmaduke to withdraw to Bayou Meto, a sluggish stream running east
of the capital, and to "hold it as long as possible”.
November 27, 2007 - Clem Papineau
December – No Meeting in December
January 22 -- Connie Langum
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
The Wound Has Never Healed
Recruiting Black Regiments
August 26 – Dr. Michael B. Dougan
Christian missionaries and Indians -- slavery and
We Who Study
Must Also Strive To Save!
BUSINESS AT THE MEETING
With the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War
looming in the future, moving of the David O. Dodd marker is again up for
The stone marker memorializes the site of Dodd’s hanging.
After that actual site became an Interstate
Highway, the market was moved to its current site.
After the UALR Law School
acquired the property and landscaped the area of the Dodd monument. That area
now sites directly behind the stone marker for the Law School.
Through the fence -
the Dodd Monument.
Perhaps a little background on efforts to move the Dodd
marker will be beneficial. Three years ago, some folks approached Steve Mcateer
about the possibility of moving the marker from its current location. They
felt the publicity surrounding the museum's acquisition of the Dodd window on
loan from the Museum of the Confederacy would renew interest in the Dodd
story. They also felt the current location was not visible or
accessible. We contacted those involved with the marker to solicit their
The UALR law school is willing to relocate the marker, but
only if it is removed from the law school grounds. The next likely
setting was MacArthur
Park, where it could be
accessible and visible to those who use the park. As with any monument in
a public setting, there is always the risk of vandalism. A few years ago,
the museum took the lead in raising $35,000 to conserve the Capitol Guard
memorial in front of the Arsenal
In 2004, Bryan Day, then Parks Director, was willing to
allow the Dodd marker to be moved to Parks ground surrounding the old parade
grounds behind the Arsenal
Building. Some felt
that was not the best location and the efforts were dropped. The Parks
Department may not be willing to relocate the marker if a fence were erected
around it. Issues of mowing-ease, cost, and maintenance come to
mind. A plaque needs to be placed with the marker (whether it stays put
or is moved to a new location) to correct the perception that its current
location marks the actual site where Dodd was hanged. The cost of the
plaque is another issue that must be considered.
NEWS FROM ACROSS THE RIVER
The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (AIMMM) in North Little Rock, AR
recently acquired a large collection of Civil War material on CD-ROM.
These CD-ROMs are digital reproductions of the original
source documents, many of which have been out of print for decades.
Some of the CDs are:
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in
the War of the Rebellion was originally published in the late 1800s and
early 1900s. This set of 30 volumes covers all aspects of naval operations during
the American Civil War.
The companion set, Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies in the War of the Rebellion was published during the
same period and consisted of 69 volumes.
Confederate Military History, originally published in
1899, was a twelve volume set written by many of the Confederate officers and
officials who were also historians. Many held positions in the federal
government before and after the Civil War. The volume on the war in Arkansas was written by Colonel John M. Harrell of Hot Springs, who served as
a staff officer for Generals Holmes and Breckinridge and commanded a cavalry
unit, participating in much of the history that he wrote about.
The volume on Confederate Naval History was written by CAPT
William Parker, who commanded CSS Beaufort,
a gunboat, in battles on the James River.
Personal Accounts of the Civil War is a collection of
material written by people on both sides of the conflict, some famous, such as
Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, who wrote The Rise and
Fall of the Confederate Government but many just ordinary people caught up
in extraordinary times.
In addition, there are five CDs of photographs and six CDs
of maps, as well as other Civil War-related material. Historians or researchers
might be interested in using this material.
By Janice Fae Mitchell
Guard Staff Writer
Published on Wednesday November 7, 2007
One hundred years ago, a monument was dedicated on the
Independence County Courthouse lawn to remember soldiers of the former
On Saturday, it was rededicated by the local United
Daughters of the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans groups.
“This memorial is historical. It is part of our history and
memorializes our ancestors,” said Dora Kate Lee, state UDC president and member
of the Albert Sidney Johnston chapter 135. “It is also patriotic because the
UDC honors all veterans.”
“These soldiers and their mothers, wives and daughters, who
with patriotic devotion remained steadfast to their cause, went through untold
hardships during the war period of 1861-1895, such as starvation, cold, rain,
heat and no telling what,” said Mary Cooper Miller, chapter 135 president.
The CSA Monument
was paid for with small donations from former Confederate soldiers and their
families, then erected and dedicated in 1907 by the UDC and SCV. According to reports from the time, the
dedication had a large attendance of Independence
County citizens, with the
state presidents of the UDC and the SCV
both participating. Then-governor of Arkansas,
Xenophon Overton Pindall, was present, as were various local politicians.
Today, the monument is on the National Register of Historic
During Saturday’s ceremony, the names of 19 Confederate Army
commanders from Independence
County were spoken aloud.
The local SCV camp, Pvt. Job S.
Neill Camp 286, also took part in the rededication.
Commander Harold Nix spoke about a 19-year-old man from
Batesville who left home, found a teaching job and then joined the Confederate
Army. The local SCV chapter was
named after Neill, who
was one of the first soldiers killed from Arkansas in the Civil War.
Neill was killed and buried in Missouri,
and his family sent a wagon to retrieve their son to bury him in Oaklawn Cemetery in Batesville.
“It is our charge to carry on the legacy of the citizen
soldier that took up arms to defend his home just as you would today if we were
invaded. These guys had no choice when their homes were taken and their food
stolen and plundered but to take up action against the northern aggressors,”
Nix explained. “Probably 5 percent of the Confederate soldiers had slaves.
“Everybody wants to make it a slave issue, but it wasn’t a
slave issue until (President) Lincoln came out
with a proclamation act, and that was only a ploy to keep Spain and England out,” he continued.
“But we want to carry on the remembrance of these men that
died fighting for their homes just like any other war.”
The memorial was constructed of Batesville marble by Otto
Pfeiffer. The commanders’ names are etched into the monument. Some of the
commanders whose names are etched into the monument did not die until after the
monument was constructed in 1911.
Fern Fike, UDC chaplain, said, “Nothing is ended until it is
forgotten. That which is held in memory still endures and is real. We are
grateful for the records of the past, which bring inspiration and courage. We
are appreciative of the lessons taught by memorials to events and deeds of long
LAST KNOWN CONFEDERATE WIDOW FOUND
Some might think it is impossible a Confederate widow is
still alive. However, it was recently discovered that a Confederate widow was
residing in an assisted living facility in West Helena.
Maude Hopkins of Lexa is very much alive. Mrs. Hopkins married her first
husband, Confederate William M. Cantrell, an aging widower, in 1934.
She was 19 and he was 86. Living alone and in his 80’s, he
employed Maude to cook and care for him. Being mindful of the moral standards
of the time, they agreed to marry to not bring disrespect upon her name.
Confederate Cantrell was in French’s Battalion, Company A, of the Virginia
Infantry. Maude cared for Cantrell until his death on Feb. 26, 1937, at 90 years
of age. Following his death, she remarried and had two daughters.
Recently members from the United Daughters of the
Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Chapter #2191, New Orleans, La.,
Members Lea Martin of Mandeville, La, Lynn Dowdy of Jonesboro and prospective
member Dayl Taylor of Trumann spent time with Mrs. Hopkins and her
Mrs. Hopkins was presented with a fall arrangement for her
room. During the visit, they learned about her marriage to Cantrell and what
life was like when she married him. Mrs. Hopkins was made a member of the David
0. Dodd Chapter #212, Pine Bluff
in August of 2004.
A Real Confederate Daughter
Alive and Well
Recently members of the Jefferson Davis Chapter #2191,
United Daughters of the Confederacy, visited with a real daughter, Estella
Raiteri, and real granddaughter, Pam Knowles in Olive Branch, Miss. Mrs.
Raiteri is the daughter of C.B. Lowe who enlisted in the Confederate Army in
March 1864, when he was sixteen years old. He was later taken prisoner of war
and was paroled in Grenada, Miss. in May 1865. Many
years later, he married a much younger woman and had two sons and a daughter,
UDC members Lea Martin and Lynn Dowdy, along with their
sister and prospective member, Dayl Taylor, visited with Estella and her
husband, Charles, along with their daughter, a real granddaughter, Pam Knowles.
Estella told her visitors that she remembers sitting on the front porch with
her dad, often wearing his Confederate uniform. It still fit after all those
years had passed. She remembers a medal pinned to his uniform and drew a
picture of it. It was the Southern Cross of Honor. She was only eleven years
old when he passed away.
Pam Knowles and Estella Raiteri joined the UDC and were
accepted into the Varina Howell Davis Chapter 2559 in Horn Lake, Miss. Pam said
that UDC members across the country have sent cards and letters to her mom,
making her feel like royalty.
DECEMBER 1, 2007
The Reed's Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society would
like to invite you to the ceremonial dedication of five panels depicting Jacob
Gray, the first permanent settler of this area arriving during the winter of
1820, the Military Road,
which was enacted in 1824 by the U. S. Congress, the 1831-1838 Indian Removal,
and the 1863 Reed's Bridge Battle.
The presentation will begin at 11:00 A. M., Saturday,
December 1 at the corner of Trickey
Lane and Military
Road (Hwy. 294) in Jacksonville.
Civil War enactors will bivouac by Reed's Bridge for the
weekend and will be participating in the ceremony.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the
Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and
also the City of Jacksonville, Pulaski County
and the Daughters of the American Revolution.
We hope you will be able to join us for this ceremony.
At 1:00 p.m. after the ceremony, the city of Jacksonville invites
everyone to watch the annual Christmas Parade.
Ship Island, Mississippi
Rosters and History of the Civil War Prison
Theresa Arnold-Scriber and Terry G. Scriber
Ship Island was used as a French base of operations for Gulf Coast
maneuvers and later, during the War of 1812, by the British as a launching
point for the disastrous Battle of New Orleans. But most memorably, Ship Island
served as a Federal prison under the command of Union Major-General Benjamin F.
Butler during the Civil War. This volume traces this fascinating and somewhat
sinister history of Ship Island, which lies about 12 miles off the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
After discussing the impact that early Southern abandonment of the island
ultimately had on the course of the war, it describes the unhealthy atmosphere
and inhumane treatment of prisoners, which earned Butler the nickname of “The Beast.” The main
focus of the book, however, is a series of rosters of the men imprisoned.
Organized first by the state in which the soldier enlisted and then by the
company in which he served, entries are listed alphabetically by last name and
include information such as beginning rank; date and place of enlistment; date
and place of capture; physical characteristics; and, where possible, the fate
and postwar occupation of the prisoner. A list of Union soldiers who died while
serving on garrison duty is also provided, as well as information about the
citizens of the Confederacy who were imprisoned on Ship Island.
About the Author
Theresa Arnold-Scriber and security consultant Terry
G. Scriber reside in Knoxville,
Tennessee. They are the authors
of The Fourth Louisiana Battalion in the Civil War (2008).
SEE YOU TUESDAY NIGHT
For The Battle of Brownsville
GOD BLESS AMERICA