Civil War Round Table of Arkansas
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Our 45th Year
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, October 28, 2008
Second Presbyterian Church
600 Pleasant Valley Drive
Program at 7
Dues $20 Per
BATTLEFIELDS WHEN YOU CAN...
WHILE YOU CAN
Infrastructure of Arkansas in the Civil War
Tom Dillard, Head of the
Special Collections Department of the University of Arkansas
Libraries will be the guest speaker of the monthly meeting of the
Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas on Tuesday, October 28.
Active in Arkansas history
circles, Dillard is a past president of both the Arkansas Museums
Association and the Arkansas Historical Association. He was named
Humanist of the Year by the Arkansas Humanities Council in 1984. In
2001 he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arkansas
His works include
Researching Arkansas History: a Beginner’s Guide in 1979 and
Arkansas History: An Annotated Bibliography with Michael Dougan
and Timothy Nutt in 1995.
He currently writes a weekly Arkansas history column for the
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is also the founding
editor-in-chief of the on-line Encyclopedia of Arkansas History &
Culture. He and his wife, Mary Frost Dillard, are the parents of
an adult son, Neil Q. Dillard, a Little Rock firefighter.
Dillard will bring a
program about the infrastructure of Arkansas in the Civil War.
The meeting will be held
ad 7:00 at the Second Presbyterian Church at 600 Pleasant Valley
Drive in Little Rock.
Hope to see you Tuesday
Roads in Arkansas
The Encyclopedia of
Arkansas History & Culture, a project of Tom Dillard, states
that early travelers in Arkansas used rivers and creeks for
Military roads were
constructed in Arkansas from the 1820s to the mid-1840s and used for
troop movement. Some of the early trails in Arkansas were converted
into military roads in the early 1820s. Two examples of these trails
are the Southwest Trail, first used in the 1760s, and John Pyeatt’s
Road, which Pyeatt built in 1807 from the Crystal Hill area to an
Indian trail leading to Arkansas Post.
One of the most important
military roads in Arkansas was the Memphis to Little Rock Road.
Crossing the swamps of eastern Arkansas had always been a hurdle to
population growth in the state. The construction of a road from
Memphis to Little Rock opened a conduit that would allow settlement
in western parts of the state. By 1827, sixty miles of the road had
been constructed from Memphis west toward Little Rock, with the rest
completed by the mid-1830s.
As Arkansas became a state,
two things happened concerning roads; the first was Act 167 of 1836,
which stated that all public roads laid out in pursuance of the laws
of the territory or state of Arkansas were declared public highways.
This act codified the existing territorial laws and placed the
responsibilities of construction and maintenance of the public
highways in the hands of the county courts. Secondly, the U.S.
government, in an effort to improve federal mail service, began a
new wave of road construction and reconstruction of the existing
military roads. These post roads were constructed from 1836 to the
late 1860s under local contract at federal expense. The cost of this
work was split by the U.S. Post Office and the Department of
Agriculture. These roads provided a network for communication and
commerce in areas with no steamboat. Along with the construction of
new roads, the old military roads were reconstructed as part of this
system. The first of these roads, called “post roads” because they
were built to facilitate the delivery of mail, in Arkansas was built
very soon after statehood between Batesville and Lewisburg in Conway
County. It utilized parts of the old Fort Smith to Little Rock
military road, as well as new construction.
From 1836 to 1871, road
construction in Arkansas did not change. Post roads continued to be
constructed and improved, while public highway construction began to
center on connecting the “roads to nowhere” to the post road system.
Old Wire Road
Railroads in the Civil War
By the time Arkansas seceded from the Union on May 6, 1861,
only the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad’s thirty-eight miles
of track from Hopefield (later West Memphis) to Madison were
complete and operational. By 1862, the section of the Memphis
and Little Rock Railroad from the bank of the Arkansas River
opposite Little Rock to De Valls Bluff in Prairie County on the
White River was completed. This was the only significant
railroad construction to take place during the war. By 1865, the
war had officially ended in the region, although major military
operations in the state had ceased some time before.
Steamboats in the Civil
Steamboats at Vicksburg
During the Civil War both
Union and Confederate forces exploited steamboats for rapid
communication and transport of troops, horses, and supplies on
Arkansas waters. Little Rock, Pine Bluff, DeValls Bluff, and
Helena became major re-supply centers and shipping points, first
by the Confederacy, then by the Union. Civilian vessels were
chartered; in the case of the Homer, the Confederacy made
use of it until its capture by the Union and scuttling in the
Ouachita River in April 1864 at Camden. Bombardment of
Confederate positions on land by Union gunboats was an important
factor in the capture of St. Charles in Arkansas County on the
White River in June 1862, the destruction of Arkansas Post in
January 1863, and the defense of Helena July 1863. The
Engagement at St. Charles included the scuttling of three
steamboats by Confederates in a vain attempt to block the
upstream advance of the Union fleet. The capture of Little Rock
in September 1863 saw the sinking of more Confederate vessels,
including the gunboat Pontchartrain. Throughout the war,
Union-chartered steamers and specially built tin-clad nd
iron-clad warships were fired on regularly from the shore, and
Confederates even managed to capture and burn the tin-clad
Queen City at Clarendon in June 1864. For additional
information go to
Saved By the
Soon after the Battle of
Manassas, Stonewall Jackson wrote an amazing account of a
Confederate soldier whose life was saved by a Bible.
Mr. James Davidson’s son,
Frederick, and William Page (son of my dear friend) were killed.
Young Riley’s life was saved by his Bible which was in the
breast-pocket of his coat…
How ironic that a
soldier’s life was literally saved by carrying his Bible into
battle. Notice that he carried it in a pocket which covered his
heart. Little did this soldier know that his habit of keeping
the Word of God near his heart would one day save his life.
We need more than just
head knowledge of Scripture. It needs to rest deeply in our
hearts. When that happens, the Bible becomes a shield of truth
protecting us from the enemy’s fiery arrows. It brings
salvation, protection, comfort, and a shield against temptation.
Stories of Faith and
Courage from The Civil War: Battlefields & Blessings.
Written by Terry Tuley, Chattanooga, Tennessee. 2006
Article furnished by
Steve Chamness of Cabot
In Case You
Ezell, member of The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas took not
only one tumble off his bicycle, but two on the third annual Big Dam
Bridge 100 held on Saturday, October 4th. Celia Storey,
who writes for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, reported that
volunteer, Tom Ezell had a “rocky morning”. He wheeled into the
Mayflower rest stop with a bandage on his face, a battered knee and
a sore rump. “I’ve kissed the pavement twice this morning.” He
said. His first tumble was caused by answering his cell phone while
riding. He landed on the grass.
fall occurred at Chester and La Harpe Boulevard in Little Rock. A
rider ahead of him braked suddenly; he veered to avoid a collision,
but his front wheel lodge in cracked pavement. “Flipped me right
over my handlebars. I went scooting along about four feet of
pavement,” he said.
had a long day with 75 more miles to go. On the way back he got a
flat tire about 15 miles from the finish. He finished the 100-miler
in eight hours and 40 minutes.
Ezell is a
resident of Scott, Arkansas. He is a regular speaker to our
Roundtable and is a Civil War re-enactor on the weekends when he’s
not biking. Just think, Brig. General Marmaduke would have
appreciated his cavalry covering 100 miles in eight hours! Sore
rump and all!
article Arkansas Demcrat-Gazette, Monday, October 6, 2008 (PG 6E).
Preservations Efforts at Reed’s Bridge
Your financial assistance is being
called for 2 worthwhile projects in Central Arkansas.
First, the Reed’s Bridge
Battlefield Preservation Society and the City of Jacksonville are
working together to preserve the site of the battle that occurred on
August 27, 1863. Two key parcels of land are under consideration to
purchase. One is across Hwy 161 from the present park. The amount
for this part of the battlefield is approximately $55,000.
The other parcel is south of the
Bayou where Confederate artillery was stationed. This amount is
Donations to preserve these core
pieces of the battlefield can be mailed to:
Reed’s Bridge Battlefield
100 Veterans Circle
Jacksonville, AR 72076
Second, The David O.
Dodd memorial marker will be relocated to a spot immediately behind
the McArthur Museum of Military History in the coming months. The
Arkansas Military Heritage Foundation is trying to raise $1500 for a
new “Wayside Sign” to be placed at the Museum. This new sign will
better 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 or to:
63 Robinwood Drive
Little Rock, AR 72227
Be sure to write “David O. Dodd
Marker” in the memo section of your check.
Thank you for your financial
consideration in support of these efforts.
Arkansas Civil War
is your link to the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War in
Arkansas. This new web site has news releases, research & education
information, and detailed information to many of the Civil War sites
in Arkansas. As a reminder, please contact your state legislators
and ask for their support of the General Improvement Fund grant of
$716,630 over 2 years. Monies will be used for markers, preservation
efforts, publications, and grants for local observances.
November 30, 2008
An invitation has been
sent to the public by the Save The Franklin Battlefield, Inc,
to attend the 2008 Battle of Franklin Commemorative Illumination
Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 30th
in front of the Carter House on Columbia Avenue in Franklin,
Tennessee. Approximately 10,000 luminaries will be displayed to
represent the total battle causalities: killed, wounded, and
missing. The ceremony will begin at 4:45 P.M. and will include
comments by author Erick Jacobson and period music performed by
Olde Town Brass.
information, contact Save The Franklin Battlefield, Inc
P.O. Box 851
Franklin, TN 37065-0851
Prairie Grove – Here We Come!
At the last meeting
of The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, we had 5-6 persons
who expressed interest in a Civil War Battlefield Tour of
Prairie Grove. With the 100th anniversary of the
Battlefield Park, (1908-2008), we are planning on
invading Prairie Grove on Friday, December 5.
from the Park may join us for dinner on Friday to add to the
experience. In addition, we may have 1 or 2 noted historians
join our group!
The Prairie Grove
Battlefield State Park will commemorate the 146th
anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove with the
presentation of a new original oil painting by Andy Thomas.
In addition, historian and author, Dale Cox, is scheduled
for a book signing of his new book, The Battle of Massard
Prairie. We will participate in guided tours through
Union, Confederate, and civilian camps and view various
military drills. We will take part in an 1862 political
rally, arguing for/against martial law and conscription.
Some of you may even be removed to jail! Infantry and
cavalry attacks will take place near the historic Borden
Prairie Grove is
recognized nationally as one of America’s most intact Civil
War battlefields. On December 7, 1862 the Confederate Army
of the Trans-Mississippi clashed with the Union Army of the
Frontier resulting in about 2,700 causalities in a day of
fierce fighting. This marked the last major Civil War
engagement in northwest Arkansas. The United Daughters of
the Confederacy (UDC) bought the original 9 acres in 1908.
The State of Arkansas now owns 838 acres, including the low
ridge that was the center of the Confederate line.
Friday, Dec 5 3:00
P.M. Depart Little Rock –Second Pres Church
6 6:-9 A.M. Complimentary Continental Breakfast
A.M. Visit Hindman Hall Museum
A.M. Guided Tour
Life, Political Rally
P.M. Lunch with Boy Scouts
P.M. Battle Re-enactment
P.M. Depart Prarie Grove
P.M. Dinner – Russellville (Holiday Inn) 7:45 P.M.
Arrive Little Rock
We will carpool up
to Prairie Grove, 4 per car. If we have more than 8 persons
on the tour, we will rent a large passenger van. Spouses
Fayetteville (2 people per room, 2 queen beds, non smoking)
Room Rate $86.62
with AAA Discount
Room Rate $96.25
without AAA Discount
Museum Tour - free
Tour Guide – free
Parking at Park -
$4 per car
Meals – not
Gas and van rental
Due to cold
December weather, please bring warm clothes and hiking
information and to register contact:
Fields of Gettysburg
Thursday, June 4 - Sunday, June 7, 2009
Conference Registration Fee
- Tour guides
- Conference program
- Name tags
- breakfast, lunch, a
reception, and a Saturday banquet
- And more!
Fee does not include hotel
registration; attendees must make their own reservations.
Rate: $535 – before
January 15, 2009
Rate: $585 – after
January 15, 2009
For additional information,
please contact Melissa Sadler at 800-298-7878, ext. 208 or
and other information:
Tours will include in
depth tours of each day of the battle, Retreat from
Gettysburg, Devil’s Den Then and Now, The Battles of
Harrisburg and Carlisle and more.
Speakers and Scholars Include:
Garry Adelman, Ted
Alexander, Ed Bearss, Kent Masterson Brown, Eric Campbell,
Scott Hartwig, James McPherson, Wayne Motts, Richard
Sommers, Jeff Wert, and Eric J. Wittenberg.
Tours will include:
- Battles of Carlisle and
- Battle of Gettysburg,
- Battle of Gettysburg,
- Devil's Den: Photos,
Fighting and Folklore
- Gettysburg Battlefield
- Gettysburg Cavalry Tour
- Retreat from Gettysburg
- Roads to Gettysburg
- Historic Homes (Friday
- Pennsylvania Today
The Wyndham Gettysburg, 95 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg,
The group room rate is $135/night. Please call 866-845-8885
and ask for the "Civil War Preservation Trust" group rate.
Reservations must be made by May 11, 2009.
Media Director for the Civil War Preservation Trusts,
PRESERVATION GROUP ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS FOR ENDANGERED
(Washington, D.C.) -
The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT), the nation’s
largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, is
accepting nominations for its annual report on endangered
Civil War battlefields. The report, entitled History Under
Siege, identifies the most threatened Civil War sites in the
United States and what can be done to rescue them.
“Too often the threats to our priceless historical treasures
go unnoticed,” noted CWPT President James Lighthizer. “This
report is a rallying cry to the nation, a powerful reminder
that our hallowed battlefields are in imminent danger.”
History Under Siege is part of CWPT’s ongoing effort to
protect America’s remaining Civil War battlefields. Every
day 30 acres of hallowed ground associated with Civil War
battlefields fall victim to development, succumbing to the
backhoe and the bulldozer. Once lost, these historic
treasures can never be replaced.
The 2009 endangered battlefields report will be released
next Spring in Washington, D.C. Any Civil War battlefield is
eligible to for nomination and consideration. The ten chosen
sites will be selected based on geographic location,
military significance and the immediacy of current threats.
“From Pennsylvania to New Mexico, the battlefields where the
Civil War was fought are under siege,” Lighthizer remarked.
“Nominations from concerned citizens, history buffs and
preservation activists help us stay aware of the most
current threats to a wide variety of battlefields.”
Among the ten sites identified in the 2008 report were
Antietam, Maryland; Cedar Creek, Virginia; Perryville,
Kentucky; and Spring Hill, Tennessee. The report also
mentioned ten “at risk” battlefields that, although
seriously threatened, did not make the final ten. Each year,
the report raises public awareness of the threats to
historic sites, leading to victories for preservationists.
“Thanks in part to the publicity generated by the report, we
expect continued successes in the remainder of the year and
in the future,” Lighthizer predicted.
Individuals and groups are encouraged to fill out the
nomination form available online at
should include photographs of the site and a detailed
description of recent threats. Nominations must be
postmarked no later than October 10, 2008.
With 65,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit
battlefield preservation organization in the United States.
Its mission is to preserve our country’s remaining Civil War
battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more
than 25,000 acres of hallowed ground nationwide. CWPT’s
website is located at
Speakers in 2008 - 2009
November Connie Langum -
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
January - Tom Wing The
Arkansas Experiences of Private Henry
Strong, 12th Kansas Inf. 1863-65
February - Mark
Kalkbrenner General William J. Hardee
March - Don Nall Nathan
April - Terry Winschel Vicksburg
May - Brian Brown Fort
June - Drew Hodges TBA
September - C. Fred
October - Mark Christ TBA
November - Bill Shea TBA
December No Meeting Merry
the Union Flag in Texas
The Campaigns of
Major General Nathaniel P. Banks in the West
Appointed by President
Lincoln to command the Gulf Department in November 1862,
Nathaniel Prentice Banks was given three assignments, one of
which was to occupy some point in Texas. He was told that
when he united his army with Grant's, he would assume
command of both. Banks, then, had the opportunity to become
the leading general in the West—perhaps the most important
general in the war. But he squandered what successes he had,
rendezvoused with Grant's
army, and ultimately orchestrated some of the greatest
military blunders of the war. "Banks's faults as a general,"
writes author Stephen A. Dupree, "were legion."
Readers will have a holistic
understanding of Banks’”appalling” failure to win Texas and
may even be led to ask how the post-Civil War era might have
been different had he been successful. This fine study will
appeal to Civil War buffs and fans of military and Texas
Stephen A. Dupree is retired
from Sandia National Laboratories, where he served as an
expert in nuclear nonproliferation, international
safeguards, and the detection and analysis of nuclear
radiation. A lifelong interest in the Civil War, Dupree
holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Purdue University.
He lives in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.
Texas A & M University Press
Hope to see you October
28, 2008 at the Civil War Roundtable Meeting!