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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 45th Year 
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, September 23, 2008

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
Rick Meadows, President 

RMeadows@aaamissouri.com / milhistory@aristotle.net  
Dues $20 Per Year
VISITORS WELCOME! 

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

Lakeport Plantation

By

Dr. Ruth Hawkins 
 
 

     Dr. Ruth A. Hawkins, from Arkansas State University will be our Guest Speaker on Tuesday, September 23. Dr. Hawkins will bring us up to date on the restoration project of The Lakeport Plantation, which is located near Lake Village. Built by slave labor in 1859, the plantation home has been restored at a cost of six million dollars. In addition, her program will look at plantation life before, during, and after the Civil War.

     Dr. Hawkins is director of the Arkansas Heritage SITES program at Arkansas State University, which includes responsibilities for the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center at Piggott, the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum at Tyronza, and the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village.   She also is Executive Director of Arkansas Delta Byways, Inc., a tourism promotion association serving 15 counties in Eastern Arkansas. The association manages and promotes two National Scenic Byways in the region:  the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and the Arkansas segment of The Great River Road. 

     Dr. Hawkins has served in various administrative capacities at Arkansas State University for 30 years.  She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri, a Master's degree in Political Science from Arkansas State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Mississippi.  Dr. Hawkins also teaches classes in the Heritage Studies Ph.D. program at Arkansas State University, including Preservation Issues for Heritage Sites and Cultural Heritage Tourism.  She serves as a technical advisor to the Mississippi River Parkway Commission of Arkansas, board member for Mississippi River Trail, Inc, member of the Arkansas Women’s Forum, and member of the Arkansas Creative Economy Advisory Panel.  
 

Hope to see you Tuesday with Dr. Hawkins! 
 

Rick Meadows

President

 

 

Prairie Grove – Here We Come!

December 5-6

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Borden House 
 

At the last meeting of The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, those in attendance indicated in a survey that they would be interested in a Civil War Battlefield Tour. With the 100th anniversary of the Battlefield Park, (1908-2008), we are planning on invading Prairie Grove on Friday, December 5.  
 

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 House.  
 

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.

Itinerary 
 

Friday, Dec 5  3:00 P.M.  Depart Little Rock –Second Pres Church

            6:30    Arrive Fayetteville - Best Western

            6:45   Dinner in Fayetteville (Place TBD) 
       

Saturday, Dec 6 6:-9 A.M.  Complimentary Continental Breakfast

                  9:00 A.M.   Visit Hindman Hall Museum

                  10:00 A.M.   Guided Tour

                                    Camp Life, Political Rally

                  12:00 P.M.  Lunch with Boy Scouts

                  1:00 P.M.  Battle Re-enactment

                  3:30 P.M.   Depart Prarie Grove

                  5:00 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 are invited!   
 

Cost

Best Western, 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 – no included

Gas and van rental not included 
 

Due to cold December weather, please bring warm clothes and hiking boots.  
 

For additional information and to register contact:

Rick Meadows (501-843-9090)

rmeadows@aaamissouri.com 
 
 
 
 
 

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Walking Trail  
 

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Can You Name Him?

 

 
Jim Campi, Media Director for the Civil War Preservation Trusts, announces: 
 

New Monument – Grant’s Canal 
 

After years of work and waiting, Connecticut will have a monument in the Vicksburg National Military Park.  
 

It will be a tribute to the men of the 9th Connecticut Regiment Volunteers — known as the Irish Regiment — who, in the summer of 1862, dug Grant's Canal across Louisiana's DeSoto peninsula so Union ships could bypass Vicksburg and its Confederate guns.  
 

Long denied a place at the military park because of the timing of their service, the 9th's monument will come to fruition in October.  
 

National Park Service workers recently broke ground at the monument site, across the river near Delta, La., where traces of Grant's Canal remain. The canal was begun in June 1862 and abandoned the following January after several disastrous attempts.  
 

The 9th was there for two months. About 150 men from the regiment died from malaria, dysentery and heat stroke.  
 

One of them, John Marlow of New Haven, was the great-great-grandfather of Bob Larkin, a Cheshire resident who has worked for nearly 10 years to see a memorial at the park for the men of the 9th.  
 

"It's been tiring but very rewarding because of my ancestor," Larkin said in a recent phone interview, shortly after the centerpiece of the Connecticut monument was unveiled in a Hartford ceremony by Gov. M. Jodi Rell. "I found a lot of other people with ancestors who were in Vicksburg that are interested in history and were anxious to see some mention of what they went through. They weren't at the final battlefield and siege, but they were there the year before."  
 

The monument to the 9th's efforts is black granite and comprises a base, a center panel winged by two side pieces and two benches. The centerpiece is nearly 9 feet tall and weighs 5,827 pounds. Mounted on the side pieces are bronze plaques, one in the shape of the state of Connecticut. The plaques tell the history of the 9th, which also saw action in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  
 

Vicksburg National Military Park historian Terry Winschel was at Grant's Canal recently as work progressed on the site, a quiet, flat, grassy area fringed with trees.  
 

"The monument's center panel has laser etchings of the soldiers, including some of the faces of the men who worked on the canal," he said. "The black granite stone is beautiful."  
 

The pieces will be assembled and rest on a concrete plaza, which will include a central area in the shape of the state of Connecticut with its counties shown in different colors, Winschel said.  
 

Nearby, a series of metal tablets and information markers already line the path and tell the story of Grant's Canal, remnants of which are just beyond the site on the 2.56 acre property. Other units besides the 9th also worked on the canal, as well as about 500 slaves mustered from nearby plantations.  
 

"This will open a whole new chapter of interpretation for us," Winschel said.  
 

The area will not be manned, but is included on park maps and in the latest edition of park brochures being printed as the site work gets underway.  
 

In its initial establishment of the Vicksburg National Military Park, Congress authorized monuments for the 28 states with units that fought in the 1863 campaign and siege of Vicksburg, Winschel said. All 28 of those states have erected monuments.  
 

Because the 9th Connecticut worked on Grant's Canal during the summer of 1862, separate legislation was required to expand the park's province.  
 

Passed in 1990, the bill authorized memorials for two additional states, Vermont and Connecticut, which served in the 1862 campaign, and to accept the donation of the land. Vermont has not yet accepted its invitation.  
 

Winschel praised Larkin and the committee that worked to see the Connecticut monument become a reality.  
 

"It's been a very time-consuming process. Also very expensive. I have no idea what the cost of the monument was. All the funds were raised privately," he said. The Knights of Columbus and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism were among the project's benefactors.  
 

Larkin said the 9th was called "the Irish Regiment" because many of the men were first-generation Irish-Americans or immigrants. The website of the Connecticut Irish-American Historical Society prominently features the 9th and its Vicksburg monument and puts the estimate for the cost at $60,000, a figure Larkin confirmed.  
 

The official dedication ceremony will be Oct. 14 at the Grant's Canal site.  
 

The Connecticut monument will bring the park's total to 1,332, making it "one of the most densely monumented battlefields in all the world," Winschel said.  
 

In recent weeks a number of preservation and restoration projects have taken place at the park, including replacing markers commemorating Col. T.N. Waul's Texas Legion's defense positions and moving monuments honoring Illinois artillery units and Union Col. Adolph Engelman inside park boundaries.  
 

"When Connecticut was not invited to place a monument at Vicksburg’s National Military Park, they put in a beautiful monument to the 9th overlooking the harbor in New Haven," Larkin said.  
 

"This was in 1903. Two months later, the first monument was dedicated at Vicksburg, the Massachusetts monument. I'm sure if we'd been invited back in 1899 or 1900 Connecticut might have been first.  
 

"But it's finally happening in Vicksburg." Terry Winschel will be our speaker in April 2009.  
 
 
 

_______________________________________________________________ 
 

Scheduled Speakers in 2008 
 

October Tom Dillard  Infrastructure of Arkansas During the Civil War 
 

November Connie Langum Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield 
 
 

 

 

 

Preservations Efforts at Reed’s Bridge 
 

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Photo courtesy Pris Weathers 
 

The weekend of August 29 – 31 saw Blue and Gray clash once again in Jacksonville at Reed’s Bridge. Re-enactors joined civilians in retelling the story of this engagement which led to the fall of Little Rock on September 10, 1863.  
 

Brig. Gen John Davidson led a cavalry force of six thousand men who united with another six thousand infantrymen who crossed the hot August prairie from Helena. These forces were joined under the command of Maj. Gen. Frederick Steele.  The Confederate Cavalry under the command of Brig. John S. Marmaduke retreated after a skirmish at Brownsville and a series of running battles down the Military Road (Hwy 294) to the Bayou Meto. Davidson’s cavalry soon advanced on the Confederate Troops at the Bayou Meto. After an ill-advised attack by the First Iowa Cavalry Regiment was repulsed, Confederates attempted to burn the bridge. Soon an artillery duel ensued with Union artillery stationed north of the Bayou and Confederate south. At the end of the day, Federal troops regrouped in Brownsville. Union losses totaled seven killed and thirty-eight wounded. Confederated losses were at least two dead and many wounded.  
 

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 other parcel is south of the Bayou where Confederate artillery was stationed. Please see the enclosed map for details. Donations to preserve these core pieces of the battlefield can be mailed to: Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society,

100 Veterans Circle, Jacksonville, AR 72076.

 

 
 

  

 

Fund Raiser for David O. Dodd Marker  

The David O. Dodd memorial marker will be relocated to a spot immediately behind the McArthur Museum of Military History 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 or to Mr. David Gruenewald.

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 
 
 

 

 

Decision in the Heartland

The Civil War in the West 
 

by Steven E. Woodworth 
 

Description

The verdict is in: the Civil War was won in the "West"--that is, in the nation's heartland, between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. Yet, a person who follows the literature on the war might still think that it was the conflict in Virginia that ultimately decided the outcome. Each year sees the appearance of new books aimed at the popular market that simply assume that it was in the East, often at Gettysburg, that the decisive clashes of war the took place. For decades, serious historians of the Civil War have completed one careful study after another, nearly all tending to indicate the pivotal importance of what people during the war referred to as "the West." In this fast paced overview, Woodworth presents his case for the decisiveness of the theater. 
 
Overwhelming evidence now indicates that it was battles like Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Atlanta that sealed the fate of the Confederacy-not the nearly legendary clashes at Bull Run or Chancellorsville or the mythical "high-water mark" at Gettysburg. The western campaigns cost the Confederacy vast territories, the manufacturing center of Nashville, the financial center of New Orleans, communications hubs such as Corinth, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, along with the agricultural produce of the breadbasket of the Confederacy. They sapped the morale of Confederates and buoyed the spirits of Unionists, ultimately sealing the northern electorate's decision to return Lincoln to the presidency for a second term and thus to see the war through to final victory. Detailing the "Western" clashes that proved so significant, Woodworth contends that it was there alone that the Civil War could be--and was--decided.

Author Information:

STEVEN E. WOODWORTH is Professor of History at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in history from Rice University in 1987 and has taught at colleges in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He has authored, co-authored, or compiled twenty-six books, including Nothing but Victory; While God is Marching On; and Jefferson Davis and His Generals.

To order visit: www.greenwood.com or call 1-800-225-5800

Price $39.95    Pages 208     Publication 04/30/2008

 

 

Hope to see you September 23, 2008 at the Civil War Roundtable Meeting!

 

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