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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

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Our 45th Year  
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, September 22, 2009 
Meets Fourth Tuesday; January-November 
Founded 1964

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Second Presbyterian Church

600 Pleasant Valley Drive

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

Albert Pike


C. Fred Williams 

C. Fred Williams is Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  He has been at UALR for almost forty years. Beginning as an Assistant Professor in 1969, he progressed through the academic ranks and was made a full professor in 1978.  

He is a graduate of East Central State College, Ada, Oklahoma, (BAE - 1965).  He received his MA in History from Wichita State University in 1966 and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma in 1970 with Gilbert C. Fite as his dissertation director. 

In addition to his faculty appointment at UALR, Williams has also served in a number of administrative posts -- including Chairman of the Department of History, Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs. 

A specialist in Arkansas History with an emphasis on agriculture, he has authored, co-authored, or edited nine books, published more than a dozen articles, and directed more than a dozen grant projects for sponsored research. His last book “Historic Little Rock: An Illustrated History” was published in April, 2008. 

Dr. Williams will bring our program on Albert Pike. Pike was appointed Indian commissioner, negotiated treaties with Indians, tried to recruit Indians in the war, was a brigadier general in the war, and fought at Pea Ridge.  
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Albert Pike 

Our friend Carl Moneyhon writes of Pike:

“Albert Pike was a lawyer who played a major role in the development of the early courts of Arkansas and played an active role in the state’s politics prior to the Civil War. He also was a central figure in the development of Masonry in the state and later became a national leader of that organization. During the Civil War, he commanded the Confederacy’s Indian Territory, raising troops there and exercising field command in one battle. He also was a talented poet and writer”.

Albert Pike was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1809. In 1831 he left for Sante Fe and went on an exhibition to the head waters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers. He eventually settled in Ft. Smith where he taught school. His writing skills were noticed and he became involved in Arkansas politics. Due to his writing skills he was invited to become the editor of the Arkansas Advocate in 1833 and moved to the capital city.

Jay Monaghan, in his book, Civil War on the Western Border, states that “Pike became eloquent, as only he could, about aggression against Southern rights. He had moved West, was now wealthy and respected, with an international literary reputation. A  versatile man, Pike has perfected himself in the law, had recently won a $140,000 suit for the Creek Indians, and therefore had great influence with them.  In case of war he might be able to guide the Five Nations on a new kind of warpath into Kansas.” They didn’t have to wait long.

Moneyhon continues: “In 1861, the Arkansas state convention named Pike its commissioner to Indian Territory and authorized him to negotiate treaties with the various tribes. As a result of his experience there, the Confederate War Department appointed him a brigadier general in the Confederate army in August 1861 and assigned him to the Department of the Indian Territory. Pike assisted the tribes that supported the Confederacy in raising regiments. He believed that these units would be critical to protecting the territory from Union incursions, but his belief that the Indian units should be kept in Indian Territory brought him into early conflict with his superiors. In the spring of 1862, General Earl Van Dorn ordered him to bring his 2,500 Indian troops into northwestern Arkansas. Despite his opposition to the move, Pike obeyed, and his Indian force of about 900 men joined Confederate forces in northwest Arkansas. On March 7–8, 1862, they participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge(a.k.a. Elkhorn Tavern), led by Pike. Pike proved a poor leader, and he failed to keep his force engaged with the enemy or in check. Charges circulated widely that the men had stopped their advance to take scalps. After the battle, Pike and his men returned to Indian Territory.” Dr. Williams will tell us the rest of the story of Albert Pike. ________________________________________________________________________

Ideas and Input Welcomed

Jan Sarna, President, has announced the Roundtable officers will meet in a special session in the near future to discuss various polices and ideas. Included are:

  • Future development of the Civil War Roundtable (CWRT)

  • Increasing membership

  • Participation in the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015)

  • How to make the CWRT experience more meaningful and enjoyable

    Please bring your suggestions to our September meeting or e-mail your suggestion to the e-mail address found at the beginning of the newsletter. If you have any questions, contact Jan at



Civil War Gun and Artifact Show

Saturday, September 27   9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

Shoppach House – Benton

Eddie Landreth invites everyone to attend the annual gun and artifact show. Exhibits will be on display in the Pilgrim Rest Church building at the park, and the Shoppach House will be open for tours.  Entry in free…you can’t beat that price! The Shoppach House Historic Park is located at the corner of Main & Military Road in downtown Benton. The event is being hosted by members of the David O. Dodd Chapter of the SCV.

In the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette on September 16, I (the editor) saw a picture of a New York Army National Guardsman at Antietam National Cemetery. I searched the original source and have presented this moving story written by Paul Post for The Record in Troy, New York.

From The Record, Monday, September 14, 2009

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Sunken Bloody Lane and Bloody Cornfield, Sharpsburg, photo courtesy Mark Eberle

SARATOGA SPRINGS — An honor guard leaves today to bring home the remains of a Union Civil War soldier killed 147 years ago at the Battle of Antietam. 
The unknown New York soldier’s remains will be brought to Saratoga Springs where his coffin and an historical display will be available for public viewing from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at the New York State Military Museum on Lake Avenue. 
This will be followed by interment with full military honors at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery at 10 a.m. Thursday. Major Gen. Joseph Taluto, adjutant general of New York National Guard, will be among the officials on hand for burial services. 
The soldier’s remains were discovered late last October by a hiker at Antietam National Battlefield, where more than 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded during 12 hours of fighting on Sept. 17, 1862. Thursday’s burial will on the battle’s 147th anniversary. 
From Friday to Sunday, Sept. 18-20, a major Civil War encampment featuring camp life, military drill and numerous re-enactors will be held at Congress Park in Saratoga Springs. Re-enactors will portray President Lincoln, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his wife, Julia, and Gen. Robert E. Lee. 
Most soldiers were re-interred at Antietam National Cemetery shortly after the war. Somehow, the unidentified New York soldier’s remains were overlooked. Excelsior-style uniform buttons found with his remains identify him as being from New York. 
The original sighting revealed four bones, a jaw fragment containing four teeth and a piece of leather at the mouth of a ground hog burrow. 
Shortly after being discovered, National Park Service archeologists conducted excavations at the site, led by Stephen R. Potter, regional archeologist, national capital region. He has prepared a briefing statement about the excavation that provides insightful detail about the soldier, believed to be 17 to 19 years old. 
“Open, well-defined suture lines of cranial (or skull) bones, the partial eruption of the third molar (wisdom tooth) and an unfused distal head to the right femur (thigh bone) provide the basis for estimating his age at time of death,” Potter wrote. “He was buried in a very shallow grave, probably no deeper than 16 to 18 inches. Over time, agricultural activity, combined with recent ground hog activity, severely disturbed his gravesite and skeletal remains.” 
Archeologists recovered 401 fragments from 24 different bones out of a total of 206 in the adult human skeleton, most from the skull and both legs and feet. 
“It is hoped that ongoing forensic research may, yet, provide more details about this young soldier,” Potter wrote. 
The soldier died in an area of the battlefield known as Miller’s Cornfield, where fighting was concentrated from 5:45 to 9 a.m. 
In addition to the soldier’s human remains, archeologists recovered seven coat buttons (3 New York State Excelsior buttons, 4 U.S. general service buttons) and two New York State cuff buttons from the left sleeve. “The two New York cuff buttons tells us that this was a New York State-issued coat or jacket and not a federal issue,” Potter wrote. 
The fact that four New York Excelsior buttons had been replaced by four U.S. general service buttons leads researchers to believe the soldier was part of a veteran regiment that had seen hard campaigning. 
Archeologists also found six tin-washed, 4-hole iron trouser buttons – used to attach suspender straps. 
“The dark stain of the lower portion of a leather suspender strap and a badly corroded iron suspender adjuster were recorded in the field,” Potter wrote. “A U.S. waist belt plate, with oval studs on the back (the so-called puppy-paw back, an early war issue) was still attached to a portion of the leather belt, which the brass front of the buckle helped to preserve by precipitating cupric salts into the soil surrounding it.” 
All artifacts will be buried with the soldier’s remains. 
“Those are things he was wearing, they should buried with him,” Antietam Park Superintendent John Howard said.


I would like to report that the Convention at the State House Convention Center for the Federation of Genealogical Societies was well received by the public and the exhibitors. The CWRT had a booth. Many folks stopped to visit. Information about our Roundtable was handed out as well as brochures about area attractions such as Reed’s Bridge, Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery, The Arkansas Sesquicentennial Commission, Arkansas Battlefield Update, and The Campaign for Little Rock. A DVD of some of our places of historical importance was shown too.

Members of our Roundtable: Jan Davenport, Gloria Futrell,  Desmond Allen, and Pris Weathers were busy all week at the Conference assisting participants. In addition, Clem Papineau, had a very interesting talk over lunch on Thursday about the Battle of Brownsville and The Campaign for Little Rock. I heard many favorable comments of his talk. Southern hospitality was extended to all. _______________________________________________________________________

Battle of Reed’s Bridge

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Last Saturday, September 12th, between 200 and 300 folks attended the annual battle re-enactment. Visitors witnessed camp life, military formations and drills. Living historians cooked at the newly constructed log cabin. In the afternoon, federal troops attempted to capture the bridge over the Bayou Meto, but were driven back again. Following the skirmish, re-enactors discussed tactics and answered questions about weapons, clothing, and living conditions. Members of the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society hosted the event. _____________________________________________________________________

Lee and Grant Meet Again

November 12, 2009
Reception- 5:00-7:00
Debate- 7:30-8:30
Location: MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History
Cost: call for more information

Painting of Lee and Grant shaking hands.

On November 12, 2009, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will host the exhibit opening reception for the Museum's newest exhibit, “Lee and Grant,” a traveling exhibit provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Historical Society. Special guests attending the reception will be Al Stone and Barry Meadows, noted Civil War re-enactors who portray Generals Lee and Grant. Following the reception, the two will engage in a debate over the Civil War. Tickets for this fundraising event are $250 per couple and includes admission to the exhibit opening at the museum followed by the Lee/Grant debate at the adjacent Arkansas Arts Center. The debate is free and open to the public but seating is limited. Proceeds support the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History. For more information or to reserve seating contact the Museum, 501.376.4602 or or

Lee and Grant Exhibit

Open to the Public
November 13, 2009 to January 9, 2010
Times: During normal business hours
Cost: Free
Limited engagement.

The MacArthur Museum would like to announce the presenting sponsors for the upcoming exhibit "Lee and Grant." The presenting sponsors are Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. and Entergy Arkansas Inc.

On April 9, 1865 after four years of conflict, approximately 630,000 deaths and over one million casualties, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, signaling the end of the Civil War. The terms agreed to by the two became the model for other surrenders that soon followed. By the end of the Civil War, most Americans considered Lee and Grant to be heroes. This exhibit looks at the lasting impact that Lee and Grant have had on our society, not only through the war years but directly after the war during the Reconstruction Era, into the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibit funded and provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Virginia Historical Society will feature artifacts, interactive displays, and engaging text. For more information call 501.376.4602 , e-mail or Tours, school programs, and lesson plans are available. Contact Heather Bettinardi at the above phone number or e-mail address.


Future Speakers

October Mark Christ  Battle of Helena

November  Dr. Bill Shea  Battle of Prairie Grove

Hope to see you Tuesday with Dr. Williams and Albert Pike!