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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

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Our 43nd Year 
Meets Fourth Tuesday, January-November

Founded March 1964 
Second Presbyterian Church
600 Pleasant Valley Drive

Little Rock 

Program at 7 p.m. 
VOL. XLIII, No. 9,

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


The Civil War in the Arkansas River Valley




Nancy Dane

Here is a short bio of our speaker

Nancy Dane born in New Mexico 1949 moved to AR at a young age married for 40 years.  “We raised our children on our cattle farm high in the Ozarks near the tiny town of Ozone.” She has four married children (one dentist, 2 attorneys, and a CPA) all living in Arkansas with 11 grand children (num. 12 on the way).  Where the Road Begins is her first published work of fiction.  Tattered Glory is the documentary History she compiled while researching for the novel.

From the book ... Pale and drawn, he was bundled against the frigid air. It was rumored he had taken a dunking in the river when his boat overturned on the way to Van Buren. Elijah stamped his feet to keep warm while Major General ..."




The Battle of Prairie Grove sputtered out as darkness fell on Sunday, December 7, 1862. The Confederates had staved off a series of furious Union assaults but were desperately low on ammunition. The Federals seemed determined to renew the struggle in the morning, so Major General Thomas C. Hindman, the Confederate commander, decided to withdraw to the safety of the Arkansas Valley. The soldiers of the Trans-Mississippi Army slipped away during the night, leaving behind their dead, most of their wounded, and their hopes of liberating Missouri before the onset of winter. After a difficult crossing of the Boston Mountains, the Confederates settled into a string of camps on the north side of the Arkansas River near the town of Van Buren.
Hindman intended to remain in the Arkansas Valley until spring and have another go at Missouri, but the overtaxed logistical system on the western edge of the Trans-Mississippi Department was on the verge of collapse. “It was all we could do to procure supplies enough to barely live on,” recalled Silas C. Turnbo of the 27th Arkansas Infantry. “Corn bread mixed with part of the bran, corn meal bran coffee, and a very limited supply of exceedingly poor beef was our only diet.” Chronic hunger was compounded by exposure. Tents, blankets, and coats were in short supply, and soldiers suffered terribly as the weather turned cold and wet. Lieutenant General Theophilus H. Holmes, commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, visited Hindman’s command in mid-December and was appalled at what he found. “I have never seen such ruinous losses by disease,” he exclaimed to a friend. Desertion was epidemic, especially among conscripted Arkansans and disillusioned Texans. The long-suffering Trans-Mississippi Army was on the verge of disintegration.1 

Holmes directed Hindman to shift his command one hundred miles down the Arkansas River to Lewisburg (present-day Morrilton), where food and forage were more plentiful. Hindman complied with his usual brusque efficiency and the Confederates began moving east on the south side of the river. A regiment of Texas cavalry and a brigade of Arkansas infantry stayed behind 
to maintain a Confederate military presence on the border with the Indian Territory, a matter of considerable political importance. Several hundred commissary and quartermaster troops also remained behind to transfer the army’s sadly depleted stockpiles of food, clothing, and equipment onto a small flotilla of transports at Van Buren and Fort Smith. The vessels were to move downstream in conjunction with the marching columns and provide logistical support. By December 28 some of the transports were full, or nearly so, others were still taking on stores. There was no particular sense of urgency. After all, the Federals had been quiet since the bloodbath at Prairie Grove three weeks earlier and no one seriously expected them to lunge across the Boston Mountains and make an appearance in the Arkansas Valley.

(“Blunt’s Raid” by William Shea)


 Oct 27-28

Battle of Pea Ridge, Bentonville, AR

 A Re-enactment of the 145th Anniversary of The Battle of Pea Ridge will take place on October 26,  27, 28, 2007 at Bentonville, Arkansas.

Spectator Information:
- Battle times are 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, 1 p.m. on Sunday.
- Several presentations and demonstrations will occur throughout the day on Saturday.
- Period church service is 10 a.m. on Sunday

There will be food vendors so that spectators may choose to enjoy breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Entry fee is $7/carload. Spectators are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets for viewing of the battles. Stay all day and into the evening.

The Civil War was a defining event in the history of the United States.  The issues, the conflict, the brutality, and the personalities of it continue to fascinate us to this day.  The public is invited to join the Civil War Round Table of the Ozarks as we examine “The Civil War West of the Mississippi” in a two-day seminar on Friday evening, November 16, and Saturday all day, November 17. 
The location of this seminar is the Clarion Hotel at 3333 S. Glenstone in Springfield, Missouri, which will offer discounted room rates for those attending.  The seminar will feature many noted speakers. 
The main speakers will be M. Jane Johansson author of Peculiar Honor:  The 28th Texas Cavalry, William L. Shea, author of Pea Ridge:  Civil War Campaign in the West, William Garrett Piston, author of Wilson’s Creek:  The Second Battle of the Civil War, D. L. Clark, author of A Bright Tragic Thing – The Great Gainesville Hangings, Carl H. Moneyhon, author of  The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on Arkansas:  Persistence in the Midst of Ruin, and Christopher Phillips, author of “Damned Yankee:  The Life of General Nathaniel Lyon”.
The cost to pre-register is just $20.00 for Friday evening’s dinner, which will include door prizes and music provided by “The Back Porch Players”.  Following Dinner, Christopher Phillips program will look at the Union’s First Fallen General, Nathaniel Lyon.  For $50.00, one may pre-register for both the Friday night dinner and the sessions all day Saturday with lunch included.  After October 31, it will be $20.00 for Friday night, $40.00 for Saturday, or $60.00 for the whole weekend. 

Early registration is urged however, since there is only space for 250 attendees.  Once those slots are, filled registration will end.  Many vendors are expected to be there, so come, and browse when you’re not in a session.  For more information about the seminar and registering, please call Steve Buffat at (417) 862-1772 or email him at or call Tom Debo at (870) 426-2513 or email him at



Back to the saga of the Little Rock Campaign brochure. The reprint is now a fact, and they may be available by the time of our meeting.
A giant thank you to Don Hamilton, Evans Benton, and all of those involved with getting this revised and printed. We will have 15,000 distributed to the various visitor centers and museums. Well done people.
Last issue this Report announced that Wiliam Villines had been chosen to be the Yankee pictured in the Jerry Russell Memorial along with Gen. Cleburne. It turns out there was a problem with using that likeness, so another was chosen. The task force is looking at William Tealy, 1ST Arkansas Battalion. We will keep you informed.
As to the Jerry Russell Memorial Fund, a number of donations have been received and will be acknowledged shortly. We are still collecting and you can make a donation to
Jerry Russell Memorial Fund
P. O. Box 7281
Little Rock, AR 72217
Please consider contributing to the fund.
Most are aware of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission formed by the Legislature to celebrate the coming 150TH anniversary of the war.
Two of our own serve on the ACWSC: Don Hamilton was appointed to the group for a two-year term, and Charles Olin Durnett, Chairman of the Central Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trail, serves in an advisory capacity in his capacity as Arkansas Division Commander of the SCV.

A new marker has been placed at the intersection of Hiway 167, and State Hiway 87, just a few miles south of Batesville. This will be a part of the Heritage Trail in that area; which includes the monuments at the County Court House and the interpretive panels in the area for the cold winter of 1862-1863. Col. J. O. Shelby quartered his men in that area during the winter.


September 24, 2007- Nancy Dane
Conflict Along the Arkansas River Valley

October 23, 2007 - Mike Polston
General Allison Nelson

November 27, 2007

 We Who Study

      Must Also Strive To Save!

It is time to start lining up speakers for the coming year please contact Vice President Rick Meadows. We have sent out a number of invitations and are waiting for folks to respond.



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The Earth Reeled and Trees Trembled

Civil War Arkansas 1863-1864

If someone on your list is a history buff, you may want to give them a book about the state’s exciting history. Edited by Mark K. Christ, this is a compelling portrayal of Arkansas’s involvement in this conflict as conveyed through lectures given at the Old State House Museum’s Civil War symposia held in 2003 and 2004.
Essays in the book include:
• Michael Dougan,
Say "Au Revoir" but not "Good-Bye”:
The Enduring Confederate Government of Arkansas
• Mark K. Christ,
“As Much As Humanity Can Stand”:
The Little Rock Campaign of 1863
• Douglas E. Larson,

“Alfred Gales and the Third Minnesota in Arkansas

• Cynthia DeHaven Pitcock,
“Gunpowder, Lard, and Kerosene:
Civil War Medicine in the Trans-Mississippi”
• Bobby Roberts,
“Rivers of No Return”
• Gary Dillard Joiner, “
“Fred Steele's Dilemma and
Kirby Smith's Quest for Glory”
• Billy Gurley,
“The Civil War Journal of Dr. Henry Dye:
Texas Surgeon in the District of Arkansas”
• Tom Wing,
“A Sink of Iniquity and Corruption:
The Civil War in Fort Smith and Indian Territory
• Mark K. Christ,
“The Queen City Was a Helpless Wreck”:
J.O. Shelby’s Summer of ’64
• Daniel Sutherland,
“Guerrilla Conflict in 1864:
Day of the Outlaw“
“The Earth Reeled and Trees Trembled”:  Civil War Arkansas, 1863-1864 is available through the Old State House Museum Store for a cost of $24.95. The Old State House Museum Store is located inside the museum at 300 West Markham Street in Little Rock. Store hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The store is solely owned and operated by the state of Arkansas; all sales and proceeds go towards the fulfillment of the museum’s mission of historic preservation. The book can also be purchased online.

Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients
A Complete Illustrated Record
Robert P. Broadwater

In November 1861, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Townsend, adjutant general of the Army, sought to establish an award to motivate and inspire Northern soldiers in the aftermath of the early, morale-devastating defeats of the Civil War. The outcome of Townsend’s brainstorm was the Congressional Medal of Honor. This reference book details and organizes information regarding the Civil War Medal of Honor and its recipients in an easily accessible, previously unemployed format. After a brief history of the medal, the book presents a traditional alphabetical list of medal recipients and details their acts of heroism. The work then organizes recipients by a variety of criteria including branch of service; regiment or naval ship assignment; place of action; act of heroism; state or country of nativity; age of recipient; and date of issuance. Also included is information about the first winners of the medal, the first recipients of multiple medals, posthumously awarded medals and civilian recipients?

About the Author
Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 20 books and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the Civil War and the Revolution. He is the author of many works on military history including American Generals of the Revolutionary War (2007), The Battle of Olustee, 1864 (2006), The Battle of Perryville, 1862 (2005) and Chickamauga, Andersonville, Fort Sumter and Guard Duty at Home (2006) and lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.



Devil's Backbone
September 1, 1863
Backbone Mountain Arkansas
After the Battle of Honey Springs, Union Major General James G. Blunt ordered Col. William Cloud to continue in pursuit of the Confederate forces that had withdrawn from Fort Smith and chased Brigadier General William L. Cabell's brigade nearly 16 miles south to a village known as Old Jenny Lind. The Rebels turned on Cloud and skirmished with him at the base of Devil's Backbone. Cabell's forces ambushed approaching Union troops and momentarily halted their advance. Regrouping, the Union forces, with the help of artillery, advanced again and forced the Confederates to retire in disorder to Waldron.
The Battle of Massard Prairie
July 27, 1864
A Confederate cavalry force launched a daring sunrise attack on a detachment from the 6th Kansas Cavalry on Massard Prairie near Fort Smith, Arkansas. The Federals were camped on the prairie to guard horses being grazed there and the Confederates completely surprised them.
More than half the Union soldiers on the field were killed, wounded, and captured in what one Confederate general called a "brilliant and dashing affair”.
December 28, 1862
Often relegated to the status of preliminary affair to the larger BattleBattle of Cane Hill was a significant encounter in its own right.
Fought across an estimated 12 miles  of fields, woods, ravines and  mountain tops, the December 28,  1862, battle erupted when 5,000  Federals attacked three brigades of  Confederate cavalry on the Cane Hill  ridge in southern Washington County.
Dripping Springs
December 28, 1862
On December 28, 1862, the Union Army of the frontier swept out of the Boston Mountains and attacked Confederate troops at Dripping Springs and Van Buren, Arkansas.
The first confrontation of this brief campaign was the Battle of Dripping Springs, a sharp cavalry fight at a vital crossroads between Van Buren and the approaches to the mountains.
Looking for more on Skirmishes, Actions, Expeditions, Scouts, or Affairs; check the Searchable Chronology Database on our WebSite

All of the above can be found at


We Who Study

    Must Also Strive To Save!


for Nancy Dane