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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 45th Year 

Meets Fourth Tuesday; January-November
Founded March 1964

Second Presbyterian Church

600 Pleasant Valley Drive

Little Rock 
Program at 7 p.m. 
Rick Meadows, President /  
Dues $20 Per Year


August 21, 2008 

Dear Members and Friends of The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, 

Please join us for the monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 26. Dr. Michael Dougan, of Jonesboro, will present the monthly program based on a diary of a Methodist Episcopal South Minister detailing events during and after the Civil War.  

Dougan grew up in Neosho, Missouri. He earned his undergraduate degree from Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State University), where he majored in History and minored in Philosophy. He began his Arkansas studies under the noted Civil War professor Bell I. Wiley at Emory University, writing his master’s thesis on the Little Rock press during the Civil War. His first publication, “The Little Rock Press Goes to War,” appeared in Arkansas Historical Quarterly in the spring of 1969. His dissertation on Confederate Arkansas came in 1970; the same year joined the faculty at Arkansas State University, where he remained until 2006. 

His works include:

  • Confederate Arkansas; The People and Policies of a Frontier State in Wartime (1976)
  • By the Cypress Swamp; The Arkansas Stories of Octave Thanet (1980)
  • Confederate Women of Arkansas in the Civil War (1993) 
  • Arkansas Odyssey; The Saga of Arkansas from Prehistoric Times to Present (1994)
  • Arkansas History: An Annotated Bibliography, complied with Tom W. Dillard and Timothy G. Nutt (1995)
  • Arkansas Politics: A Reader, with Richard P. Wang (1997)
  • Community Diaries; Arkansas Newspapering, 1819-2002 (2003)  

Dougan served as president of the Arkansas Historical Association from 1984 to 1986, receiving their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Dr. Dougan and his wife, Carol, reside in the J. V. Bell House in Jonesboro, a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides his scholarly awards and publications, Dougan has coached and played slow-pitch softball for more than twenty-five years and is trying to graduate from a half marathon to a full one. Watch for him at 2012 Olympic Games in London!

Hope to see you Tuesday night at 7:00 with Dr. Dougan! 

Rick Meadows, President

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas



Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society 

Tommy Dupree, President of the Reed’s Bridge Preservation Society in Jacksonville has announced plans for the reenactment of Reed’s Bridge Battle. Various activities will occur August 29, 30, and 31. Approximately 50 re-enactors will put on the blue and the gray for this event. Hopefully, 4 cannon will be displayed and fired! Other activities include a dance, a church service, and a memorial service. The agenda is as follows: 

    Friday, Aug 29  3:00 p.m.  Troops arrive at Reed’s Bridge  

    Saturday, Aug 30  Morning Drill at Reed’s Bridge

                        2:00 p.m. Battle at Reed’s Bridge

                            7:00 p.m. Dance at Jacksonville Community Center 

    Sunday, Aug 31  10:00 a.m. Church Services at Reed’s Bridge

                           12:00 p.m. Memorial Service at Bayo Meto Cemetery       

                  2:00 p.m.  Battle at Reed’s Bridge  

    Reed’s Bridge Battlefield is located on Hwy 161, just south of the junction of Hwy 161 and Hwy 294.  



Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission 

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has been hard at work. The commission is charged with planning and developing programs and activities to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Arkansas.  

When our State Legislators convene in 2009, they will be reviewing various budget requests for the next two years. Please contact your legislator and ask him/her to support funding recommended by the Commission. Your support is critical. Please see a partial list of members of the State Senate and House of Representatives on the back page who live in Central Arkansas you may call.



Chris Fordney: Yankees Assault New Mall!

Last week I got a chance to visit Rutherford's Crossing, the new shopping center on U.S. 11 north of Winchester anchored by a Target and Lowe's.

But I wasn't there to shop. I've been reading Scott Patchan's excellent study of the 1864 valley campaign, "Shenandoah Summer," and it was nice to be able to tour the scene of the Civil War battle that occurred here, even if there were a few distractions, such as smoky, loud earthmovers still digging into the land and the general paved-over look of the area.

The Battle of Rutherford's Farm took place as Federal forces pursued Gen. Jubal Early's small army through the valley after it had marched all the way to Washington, causing a panic and even bringing Abraham Lincoln out to the city's defenses, where he got yelled at for sticking his head up to see what was happening.

Patchan's book has a detailed map of the core area of the Battle of Rutherford's Farm, and it's remarkable how it matches the site plan for the shopping center and the adjacent 500,000-square-foot building that houses offices of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

So it's possible to trace what happened by the location of the stores that have been built or are planned for the shopping center.

On July 20, 1864, Federal forces under Gen. William Averell, marching south from Martinsburg, W.Va., ran into Confederate Gen. Stephen Ramseur's division. The battle opened with an artillery duel, with cannonballs bouncing across the main parking lot of the FEMA building.

Early had told Ramseur to stay in a defensive position close to Winchester, but Ramseur was what that era called "impetuous" and what we might call a hothead. He tried to sneak up on the Federals, bringing his forces right up to the loading dock behind Target.

Around that time the Northerners launched an infantry assault, moving through the ground-level offices at FEMA and crossing over into the large parking lot in front of the new Lowe's, and the battle was on. Their right wing was anchored by the customer service desk in the appliances department.

Unfortunately for Ramseur, his left flank was "in the air," which means the Yankees had an opportunity to swing around and get into his rear. Federal cavalry moved around to the west, clattering up the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 for a short distance before turning and galloping down the entrance ramp from U.S. 11.  

Ramseur, who had made his headquarters at Beach Bum Tanning, saw what was happening and tried to get his artillery out of the drive-through lane at Chick Fil-A. But as they withdrew and turned to meet the threat, they got hung up in the lingerie department at Target and their fire was rendered ineffective.

The removal of the artillery caused a weakness in the center of the Confederate line that Averell's men were able to exploit. They swept through the espresso counter at Daily Grind and slowly forced the Southerners back until, one by one, the Rebel units began to give way.

From there, it was a rout. Ramseur's entire force crumbled and took off for Winchester, with some troops not stopping until they got to the Sportsplex.

So it's pretty clear who won the Battle of Rutherford's Farm.

The developers. 

Reprinted from article, August 11, 2008, NV Daily News

Contact Chris Fordney at

(The same can happen in Arkansas! Preserve the hollowed ground while you can!


In Case You Missed It

Standing just 150 feet from the platform on which President Lincoln delivered his most famous speech, one of the few remaining “witness trees” to the Battle of Gettysburg has been severely damaged by a storm. The huge honey locust tree on Cemetery Hill fell August 7th. “The top of it is totally broken off, and the storm severely damage 70% to 80% of the tree,” spokesman Jo Sanders said. The tree, which stood on the right side of the Union lines, “was there as a silent witness to the battle, to the aftermath, to the burials, to the dedication of the cemetery, park historian John Heiser said.

Park maintenance officials will assess what to do with the remains of the tree. “When it’s something this bad, it’s highly doubtful that a tree like that can survive,” said Heiser. Heiser said he knows of only tree other witness trees that still stand in the heart of the battlefield.

(reprinted from Arkansas Democrat/Gazette August 10, 2008)


Way to Go Girl Award 

Thanks to our new member, Pris Weathers, for all of her work updating our web site! She has done an awesome job for you! If I was a judge in the Olympics, I would give her a perfect 10 along with the Gold Medal! Be sure to go to for the latest updates. One new page of interest is: What’s New -2008. This week Pris added information about the fund raising efforts for the “David O. Dodd Marker”. Thanks also to David Gruenewald for his tireless efforts on this project. Please read part of what is found on the web site:  

The David O. Dodd memorial marker will be relocated to a spot immediately behind the museum in the coming months. This is a project long sought by former Commissioner Jimmy Rice and current Commissioner Bill Terry. All groups have agreed to the relocation. The Foundation is working with several Civil War groups, including the Civil War Roundtable and the Arkansas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy to raise approximately $1500 to fund a way sign to place beside the marker and explain the Dodd story. The goal is to have the signage in place by January to commemorate the 145th anniversary of Dodd's execution as a Confederate spy. Contributions are tax-deductible and should be sent to the Arkansas Military Heritage Foundation at the museum.

If you would like to contribute to the David O. Dodd Marker, then write a check to the: 
”Arkansas Military Heritage Foundation" for the amount you would like to contribute. 
Designate for "David O. Dodd Marker" 
Include your name, address & telephone # 
Mail to: David Gruenewald 
63 Robinwood Drive 
Little Rock, Ar. 72227 
You can also call Mr. Gruenewald at 501-219-4293 if you have any questions. The foundation is designated a 501C2 organization and you will receive a letter acknowledging your tax deductible gift.

Thanks again Pris and Thanks again David!



Book Review – Available Fall 2008 
Your browser may not support display of this image. Confederate Phoenix 
Rebel Children and Their Families in South Carolina 
Edmund L. Drago 

ISBN: 9780823229376 
Book (Hardcover) 
Fordham University Press 
224 pages 
8 black and white illustrations 
October 2008

“A richly researched study of the war’s impact on children in the heart of the Confederacy.” —Steven Mintz, University of Houston, author of Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood

Confederate Phoenix provides a realistic, unvarnished, and dramatic view of the South Carolina experience during the Civil War. Written in clear, supple prose, this book contains exceptionally rich material on childhood and the War’s impact on all civilians. It is a must-read for all historians of the family and the War in the South.” 
Joan Cashin, The Ohio State University

“Edmund Drago explores in impressive detail the experiences of the children and youth of South Carolina and their families during the Civil War. . . . Like the best histories of children and youth, Confederate Phoenix transcends the Confederate battlefield and home front by following the child participants in South Carolina’s greatest crisis into their adult lives.”—James Marten, Marquette University

In this innovative book, Edmund L. Drago tells the first full story of white children and their families in the most militant Southern state, and the state where the Civil War erupted.

Drawing on a rich array of sources, many of them formerly untapped, Drago shows how the War transformed the domestic world of the white South. Households were devastated by disease, death, and deprivation. Young people took up arms like adults, often with tragic results. Thousands of fathers and brothers died in battle; many returned home with grave physical and psychological wounds. Widows and orphans often had to fend for themselves.

From the first volley at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor to the end of Reconstruction, Drago explores the extraordinary impact of war and defeat on the South Carolina home front. He covers a broad spectrum, from the effect of “boy soldiers” on the ideals of childhood and child rearing to changes in education, marriage customs, and community as well as family life. He surveys the children’s literature of the era and explores the changing dimensions of Confederate patriarchal society. By studying the implications of the War and its legacy in cultural memory, Drago unveils the conflicting perspectives of South Carolina children—white and black—today.

EDMUND L. DRAGO is Professor of History at the College of Charleston. His most recent book is Charleston’s Avery Center: From Education to Preserving the African American Experience.


Handy State Official List

Arkansas State Senate 
  • John Paul Capps 501-268-8117 


  • Jack Critcher  501-6825459 

  • Bob Johnson  479-880-8844 

  • Bobby Glover  870-552-3300 

  • Shane Broadway 501-682-6050 

  • Mary Anne Salmon 501-753-4521 

Arkansas State Representatives 

  • Lenville Evans 501-676-6780 

  • Dawn Creekmore 501-888-3411 

  • Lamont Cornwell 501-778-3253 

  • Dan Greenberg 501-821-4808 

  • Sid Rosenbaum 501-258-4008 

  • Linda Chesterfield 501-261-7266 

  • Kathy Webb  501-412-6443 

  • David Johnson  501-663-3876 

  • Ed Garner  501-663-7880 

  • Sandra Prater  501-988-0695 

Hope to see you August 26, 2008 at the Civil War Roundtable meeting!

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