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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

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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 43rd Year 
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, November 27, 2007

Meets Fourth Tuesday; January-November
Founded March 1964 

Second Presbyterian Church

600 Pleasant Valley Drive

Little Rock 
Program at 7 p.m. 
Online:  www.civilwarbuff.org
VOL. XLIII, No. 11,

Ron Kelly, President  /  Charles O. Durnett, Editor,

rkelley225@aol.com  /  milhistory@aristotle.net  
Dues $15 Per Year
VISITORS WELCOME! 

VISIT THE BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...
WHILE YOU CAN


 


Battle of Brownsville

 

By

 

Clem Papineau

 


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 Rock.

 

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.

 

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  assault against this fortified position.

 

Brownsville MarkerOn 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”.


FUTURE PROGRAMS

November 27, 2007 - Clem Papineau
Battle of Brownsville
 
December – No Meeting in December
 
January 22 -- Connie Langum
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
 
February 26 --TBA
 
March 25 – Brian Brown
The Battle of Perryville
 
April 22 --Miss Ellie
The Wound Has Never Healed
 
May 27 – Cal Collier
TBA
 
June 24 – Mark Christ
Recruiting Black Regiments
 
July 22 --
August 26 – Dr.  Michael B. Dougan
Christian missionaries and Indians -- slavery and related themes
 
September 23 --
 
October 28 --
November 25

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 discussion.

 

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 input. 

 

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 Building

 

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.


MONUMENT REDEDICATED

 

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 Confederate Army.

 

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 Places.

 

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 ago.”

 

  

 

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., visited her.

 

Members Lea Martin of Mandeville, La, Lynn Dowdy of Jonesboro and prospective member Dayl Taylor of Trumann spent time with Mrs. Hopkins and her granddaughter, Donna.

 

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

 Is 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, Estella.

 

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