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Newsletter Archive - We leave 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.   
Jan Sarna, President 

Rick Meadows, Editor /   
Dues $20 Per Year 
U. S. Regulars 


Colonel Mark Vlahos

About our Speaker

Colonel Mark C. Vlahos, Vice Commander, 314th Airlift Wing, at the Little Rock AFB will bring our program Tuesday night entitled, “U.S. Regulars.”  Colonel Vlahos grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where he gained his passion about Civil War History. A graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Col Vlahos entered the Air Force in 1983. He has gained his Master of Art in Businesses Administration from Webster University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  Colonel Vlahos has served in five operational flying assignments. His staff assignments include commanding the 763rd Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, Seeb Air Base, in Oman, which supported Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM.  The 763rd played a major role inserting combat forces and supplies during the early stages of the war in Afghanistan.  

Colonel Vlahos is a self-taught amateur historian. He maintains an extensive Civil War library and has placed several original Civil War artifacts on loan at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History. Colonel Vlahos sits on the Board at the Museum and is an active participant in the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society in Jacksonville. 

“Few people beyond the serious buff and the scholar, who study the American Civil War, are familiar with the role the U.S. regulars played in this conflict.  The tragic story of these well-trained and disciplined troops remained a mystery for a number of reasons.  As professional soldiers, they hailed from all over and had no “one” state that benefited from their regimental histories or accomplishments.  Unable to recruit due to shorter enlistments, looser discipline, faster promotions, enticing bounties and “hometown units” that volunteer service offered, by 1864, U.S. regular infantry regiments were fought to near extinction.  In other words, the standing professional army of the United States almost became nonexistent.  I always wondered what caused this situation.  Later in life, I found a few sentences in historical works stating that this situation arose from a decision Lieutenant General Winfield Scott made in 1861.  Scott’s decision to keep the regular army intact impacted mobilization more than any other policy.  The purpose of my talk will be to get inside the mind of Winfield Scott and what influenced him to make this decision.”  


U.S. Regulars 

At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, one might ask: “What U.S. Regulars?” Fourteen thousand troops, scattered in small detachments along two coasts and outposts vastly removed from civilization; hardly enough men to guard the borders and put down a rebellion. Ten infantry regiments and four regiments of cavalry, which found themselves in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, and California, were far removed from Fort Sumter.  

Aging Major General Winfield Scott was supported by his General Staff Officers, who would play prominent roles during the war. Included in this list were: Major Generals George McClellan, John Fremont, and Henry Halleck. Additional support was afforded by Brigadier Generals:  John Wool, William Harney, Edwin Sumner, Jos. Mansfield, Irvin McDowell, Robert Anderson, and William Rosecrans.  

After President Lincoln called for the states to supply troops, nine additional U.S. infantry regiments were organized in May of 1861. (11th Regiment–19th  Regiment). While most of the troops remained loyal to Union, many of the Southern born officers, who felt a greater allegiance to the State than to the Union, answered the call from their homeland. Obviously, this left a tremendous void in leadership. Captain Charles Morton of the 3rd Regiment Cavalry stated: “The rank and file remained loyal to a man.  Those who quit at this juncture were Loring, Crittenden, Lindsay, Walker, Claiborne, Maury, Baker, W.H. Jackson, “Joe” Wheeler, McNeill, Kerr, Henry, and Watts.  The last three had never joined for duty, and were of the regiment only on paper.”  Not a bad list of officers to begin a fight!  
Captain Morton continues by tracing the movements of the 3rd Regiment Cavalry from “Huntsville, Ala., December 29th, 1863, where it remained on duty until March, 1864, when it proceeded by rail to St. Louis, Mo., arriving at Camp Davidson the 7th, to leave May 20th on steamers for Duvall’s Bluffs, where it arrived the 26th, left June 4th and reached Little Rock the 9th. (probably by rail-editors note

Captain Howland commanded the regiment from the departure of Colonel Howe in May, 1863, until his return, July 20, 1865, all the field officers—Stoneman, Roberts, Duncan, Newby and Garrard, as well as the ranking captains being absent, most of them as general officers of volunteers.

The duty in Arkansas was principally to prevent the organization of commands and to suppress guerrilla bands, escort trains, et cetera. The large territory covered necessitated constant scouting in small detachments, which involved hard riding, much risk, but no engagements of magnitude to attract attention, while Sheridan was winning glory for his cavalry with probably no harder work.

The enemy would make no stand without having presumably a great advantage, and they were superior to the Indians and practised about the same tactics. Lieut. George Harrington was killed in action at Memphis, August 21, 1864. Captain Howland, with 150 men, was ambushed by a much superior force near Benton, September 4th, and his command badly demoralized for a time, but rallied to find no enemy. Though eleven men were lost, this first reverse in the history of the regiment was treated with some levity, and the officers interested ever heard from their fellows of “the Benton Races.”

November 8, Lieutenant Wilson’s picket station was surprised with an attack from these prowlers and lost some men and horses. Tarlton and Campbell with forty dismounted men had an engagement until dark, January 14, 1865, with a force in position near Dardanelles, but at daybreak found it had vanished. Though the Rebellion was on its last legs, a party attacked Carroll’s patrol January 22d, not far from Little Rock. Such was their persistence and daring.

In January, 1866, A, D, E, H, L and M, were manned at Carlisle Barracks and sent to Little Rock, where they were, mounted and stationed at various posts in the State. While E was en route, near the mouth of the Arkansas, the 28th, the boilers of the steamer Miami burst, killing 13, wounding nine, and probably drowning 12 who were missing.

In April, 1866, the regiment was ordered to New Mexico again. Its service in the States was probably the easiest it had ever experienced in the same period of time, though during the war it had no doubt marched many times the number of miles marched by any other regiment.”  (Morton, Captain Charles, The Third Regiment of Cavalry)


Champion Hill


      The Champion Heritage Foundation is planning an all-day event at Champion Hill on May 16, 2009, to commemorate the 146 Anniversary of the Battle of Champion Hill. Put the date on your calendar and plan to attend.

   The gate to the church will be open at 8:00 a.m. to allow time for parking, tee-shirt sales and book signings by Dr. Timothy Smith, Grady Howell Jr. and Rebecca B. Drake. The first event of the day featuring Dr. Timothy Smith, speaker, will take place at 9:00 a.m. Dr. Smith is the author of Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg. Smith will speak on the battle that took place on May 16, 1863, and the importance of the historic Old Jackson Road, which leads through the heart of the Champion Hill battlefield.

   Following Smith’s talk, the Champion Heritage Foundation will unveil a historic marker THE HILL OF DEATH. This will be the second marker of its kind to be placed on the battlefield by the Champion Heritage Foundation. The first marker CHAMPION HOUSE SITE was placed on the site of the original Champion House which was burned by the Yankees in 1863. Following the unveiling, the historic marker will be transported to the Hill of Death and made ready for viewing as the strollers approach the hallowed site.

   The Preservation Stroll to the Hill of Death will begin around 9:45 - 10:00 o’clock following the opening event on the church grounds. The entrance to the Old Jackson Road can be seen just a few yards to the west of the Champion Hill Baptist Church. For those of you who stroll or ride to the Hill of Death, you will have the unique experience of seeing one of the south’s most famous battlefield roadbeds. Along the sunken road there will be re-enactors presenting a living history to make the experience come alive. The sound of artillery fire will be heard in the background.

   The Preservation Stroll, approximately one mile in length, will end on the Hill of Death where those attending can view the historic marker at its permanent location. After observing a moment of silence, Dr. Smith will make a few remarks pertaining to the Hill of Death and the battle that changed not only the course of the Vicksburg Campaign but also the entire war.

   The event is now only two months away. Be sure and wear comfortable shoes for the stroll and bring insect repellent. Don't forget your camera.

   The Champion Heritage Foundation would like to ask that each person donate $5.00 for the morning event.  All proceeds will used to plan another battlefield event for the coming year including the dedication of another historic marker. 

    Next month Terry Winschel, from the Vicksburg National Battlefield, will be our speaker. Champion Hill played a pivotal role in the Campaign for Vicksburg. Terry will discuss General Joseph E. Johnston and his efforts (or lack of effort) to relieve Vicksburg.  I am sure there will be discussion concerning Champion Hill.

Visitor Information 


Lodging Information (within 10 miles)
Eagle Ridge Conference Center 
Hinds Community College 
P.O. Box 1100 
Raymond, Mississippi 39154-1100 
(601) 857-7100 
Fax: (601) 857-3729
Mamie's Cottage at the Dupree House 
Charles & Brenda Davis 
2809 Dupree Road 
(601) 857-6051 
1-877-629-6051 toll free
Oak Hill 
at the Gibbs-Von Seutter House 
Earl & Shirlee Lawson 
104 Dupree Street 
Tel/Fax (601) 857-4268
McGee's Castle 
Dale McGee 
1479 Pine Hill Drive 
(601) 857-8997 
(601) 857-0769 Fax
Holiday Inn Express 
103 Johnson Place, Clinton 
I-20 Exit 36 
(601) 924-0024
Days Inn 
482 Springridge Road, Clinton 
I-20 exit 36 
(601) 925-5065
Best Western Ridgeland Inn  
102 Clinton Loop Road  
Clinton, MS 39056  
(601) 926-4323 1-800-528-1234 Toll Free
Hampton Inn Clinton  
493 Springridge Road  
Clinton, MS 39056  
(601) 925-9393 1-800-HAMPTON Toll Free
Ramada Limited Clinton 
201 Johnston Place 
Clinton, MS 39056 
(601) 925-4040
Comfort Inn 
103 Clinton Center, Clinton 
I-20 Exit 36 
(601) 924-9364 
1-800-228-5150 toll


Scheduled Speakers in 2009  

Jan Tom Wing, History Prof, U of A Ft. Smith “A Rough Introduction to This Sunny Land”:

      The Civil War Diary of Private Henry A. Strong, Co K, 12thKansas Infantry 

Feb Mark Kalkbrenner, Chair SECWHT: General William J. Hardee 

Mar Col. Mark Vlahos, Vice Commander 134th LRAFB: “U.S. Regulars” 

Apr Terry Winschel, NPS Vicksburg: “I am too late” Joseph E. Johnston and the Fall of Vicksburg 

May Brian Brown: Fort Hudson  

Jun Don Nall, Local historian: “Confederate Cavalier, Nathan Bedford Forest” 

July Drew Hodges, UALR History Professor: The Women of Robert E. Lee  

Aug Ken Barnes, UCA History Professor: Brooks – Baxter War  

Sept C. Fred Williams, UALR History Professor: Albert Pike 

Oct Mark Christ, Ark Dept of Historic Preservation: TBA 

Nov Bill Shea, Professor, UAM: TBA


2009 Officers, The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.


President  Jan Sarna

Vice President  David Gruenewald

Secretary/Treasurer Brian Brown

Web Master  Pris Weathers

Newsletter Editor Rick Meadows

At Large Board  Don Hamilton



Grand Opening of the Arkansas Studies Institute!

An invitation has been extended from the Butler Center:


Please join us on

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. remarks at 7:00 p.m., tours to follow

401 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock


Come view the etch glass panels that have been given in memory of Jerry Russell, one of the founders of the CWRT of Arkansas.


Arkansas soldiers honored on the panels are:

Major General Patrick Cleburne, C.S.A.

William Villines, 1st Ark Infantry, U.S.


Book Review – Deserter Country 

Your browser may not support display of this image.Deserter Country 
Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians 
Robert M. Sandow 

ISBN: 9780823230518 
Book (Hardcover) 
Fordham Press 
288 pages 
24 black and white illustrations 
6 color illustrations 

April 2009


Deserter Country provides an important and unexpected window on the Civil War North.”—Daniel Crofts, The College of New Jersey 

During the Civil War, there were throughout the Union explosions of resistance to the war—from the deadly Draft Riots in New York City to other, less well-known outbreaks. In Deserter Country, Robert Sandow explores one of these least-known “inner civil wars,” the widespread, sometimes violent opposition in the Appalachian lumber country of Pennsylvania.

Sparsely settled, these mountains were home to divided communities that provided safe haven for opponents of the war. The dissent of mountain folk reflected their own marginality in the face of rapidly increasing exploitation of timber resources by big firms, as well as partisan debates over loyalty.

One of the few studies of the northern Appalachians, this book draws revealing parallels to the war in the southern mountains, exploring the roots of rural protest in frontier development, the market economy, military policy, partisan debate, and everyday resistance. Sandow also sheds new light on the party politics of rural resistance, rejecting easy depictions of war opponents as traitors and malcontents for a more nuanced and complicated study of class, economic upheaval, and localism.

ROBERT M. SANDOW is Associate Professor of History at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Available thru Fordham Press. Visit or call 718-817-4795



      History in Danger

      According to a recent survey, fewer than half of American high school students know when the Civil War occurred.  Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough weighs in about why the ignorance is a problem.  

      How important is history in the United States? For at least 25 years, we’ve been raising young Americans who are, by and large, historically illiterate. 

      Why does history matter?  Amnesia is as detrimental to society as to an individual.  Historian Daniel Boorstin puts it this way: “Trying to plan for the future without a sense of the past is like trying to plant cut flowers.”Credit: Parade, June 22, 2008


Battle of Westport Visitor’s Center and Museum 

   Mike Calvert, President of The Civil War Roundtable of Western Missouri, congratulates the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City and the Monnett Battle of Westport on the opening of the new facility at 6601 Swope Parkway, Kansas City, MO, just inside Swope Park. The center will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To view more photos go to: . The center opened this winter. General Sterling Price abandoned his Missouri Expedition after this battle in modern Kansas City on October 23, 1864. Included is a 32 mile, 25-stop driving tour of the battlefield.  

The Battle of Westport Visitor Center
6601 Swope Parkway, Kansas City MO 64132


Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc

2009 Membership Dues 

Membership dues for 2009 are to be paid now. These monies help to pay for the transportation and lodging costs of our speakers. Printing costs for our newsletter and brochures we have at various locations in Central Arkansas are also supported by your dues. In addition, monies are used for the wayside signs for the Campaign for Little Rock that the CWRT of Arkansas purchases and maintains.  

Additional monetary gifts that you make will be used for preservation efforts for Civil War battlefields and places of historical importance related to the Civil War. 

2009 Membership Dues Statement

$20 per year, Make Checks payable to:

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.

(Please disregard this notice if dues have already been paid) 



Address :

City :

State :

Zip Code:


-Email address



Membership dues ……………………………….. $20

Additional $$ for preservation………………………______ 


Total                               _______

Mail to:

Brian Brown, Treasurer

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.

P.O. Box 25501

Little Rock, AR 72221

Or pay online at our website:

Questions? Call Brain at 501-376-2981