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Civil War Round Table of Arkansas

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 Our 46th Year 
FOR THE MEETING TUESDAY, February 23, 2010

Meets Fourth Tuesday; January-November
Founded 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


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Michael Dougan and

“General Nicholas Bartlett Pearce,

Arkansas’s Forgotten General”  

Our good friend, Dr. Michael B. Dougan from Jonesboro, will bring our program on Tuesday. A frequent speaker at our Roundtable, Dr. Dougan most recently spoke to us in August, 2008, about a diary of a Methodist Episcopal South Minister and events during and after the Civil War.  

Dougan grew up in Neosho, Missouri and gained his Bachelor’s degree at Southwest Missouri State College (now Missouri State University), with a major in history and a minor in Philosophy. His dissertation on Confederate Arkansas came in 1970, when he joined the faculty at Arkansas State University. He retired from full time teaching in 2006. Dr. Dougan and his wife Carol live in the J.V. Bell House in Jonesboro which was built in 1895 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Dougan is the author of several books. For a complete list, please refer to the August 2008 newsletter. For the serious reader of the Civil War, the editor suggests that you place on your shelf Dougan’s work: Confederate Arkansas, The People and Policies of a Frontier State in Wartime, The University of Alabama Press, 1976. (reprint 1990)  

Dr. Dougan will discuss the life of General Nicholas Bartlett Pearce, who was born in Kentucky and graduated twenty-sixth in the 1850 class of West Point. He was commission a lieutenant in the 7th Infantry, serving mainly in Western Arkansas and Oklahoma during his career. William Piston in Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War; and the Men Who Fought It writes: “He resigned in 1858 to follow business interests with his father-in-law at Osage Mills in northwestern Arkansas. As a brigadier general of Arkansas State Troops, Bart Pearce began recruiting men for the defense of the state, not the confederacy.  The state’s leading Secessionists were outraged.  But whatever his own views, Pearce was well aware of the shift in public opinion.  Back in April (1861) he had been listening to a political speech at a pro-Union public meeting in Bentonville when a stage coach brought the news of Lincoln’s call for volunteers to put down the rebellion. “The effect was wonderful – all was changed in a moment,” he recalled. “What! Call on the southern people to shoot down their neighbors….No, never.”  

Pearce initially made his headquarters at Fort Smith but set up a training facility much farther north on Beatie’s Prairie, a high point between Maysville and Harmony Springs, (extreme northwest Arkansas). This site was christened Camp Walker.  Together with Fort Smith and the state capital, it became a rallying point for volunteers, who arrived in large numbers, in varying degrees of preparation, some seeking service with the state and others eager to join the Confederate forces. (Pg 15) 

At Wilson’s Creek, Pearce commanded a brigade of militia, 2200 strong. Jay Monaghan states that “Pearce’s newly mustered Arkansans were half drilled and only partly armed. Some carried their own shotguns but no cartridge boxes or other equipment.” (Civil War on the Western Border 1854-1865, Pg 172) After the battle, Arkansas authorities attempted to transfer his brigade to Confederate service.  Pearce resisted the transfer and furloughed the men to their homes. The unit was disbanded, and Pearce’s combat role in the war was over. Is there conflict between the regular army and national guard today?

Gen. N. Bart Pearce 
Pearce would spend the balance of the war as a commissary officer, first in Western Arkansas and finally in the District of Texas. In his humorous manner, Dr. Dougan will complete the story of General Pearce: his politics and how a General at the beginning of the war is paroled as a Major at the end of the war on June 21, 1865.  

Everyone is invited to join the Civil War Preservation Trust, along with some of the nation’s elite historians for four days of fellowship and touring Civil War Battlefields in Kentucky.   

___________________________________ Tours____________________________________________ 

Battle of Perryville – Historian Chris Kolakowski

Battle of Mill Springs – Historian Richard McMurry

Battle of Richmond – Historian Phil Seyfrit

Morgan’s Raids – Historian Kent Brown

Battle & Seige of Mundfordville – Historian Tres Seymore 

Cost $585 plus hotel  
Hilton Lexington Downtown

369 West Vine

Lexington, Ky              Special Rate …..$129 per night 

For additional information call:

Bonnie Repasi at 1-800-298-7878 ext 7229 

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Help to Complete the Preservation of the Gettysburg Battlefield! 

Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Preservation Trust, announced on January 28 that the CWPT is in the process of saving 2 crucial acres along the Emmitsburg Road, where Union forces double-quick into Gettysburg during the opening of the battle and literally just a few dozen yards east of the Confederate lines on July 2 and July 3, 1863.  This would be near where  Robertson’s Brigade, which the 3rd Arkansas and our Texas friends were a part, was located. Little Round Top is clearly visible in the distance.

The CWPT has secured a contract for $375,000 from the seller with the understanding that Gettysburg Park would put in $300,000. This leaves the trust with $75,000 to raise.

   For more information visit for detailed historic information, photos, maps, and to contribute.

Thank You Jo Ellen Maack

 Last month Jo Ellen, curator at The Old State House Museum, made a wonderful presentation to us about the Civil War flags in their collection. To visit the entire collection go to:  Two new flags have been acquired from Missouri. The cost of conserving them is $25,881. 

6th and 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiment

“This battle flag is unique in that it is the only second national pattern in existence with Arkansas provenance that displays “battle honors.”  We currently have three other flags in our collection associated with the 6thand/or 7th Arkansas Infantry Regiments.  To our knowledge, no other museum in the nation has examples of all the major patterns of flags distributed to a specific unit from the Army of Tennessee.  These regiments were the most celebrated Confederate units from Arkansas as they participated in every major battle west of the Mississippi River in which the Army of Tennessee was involved” she stated. 

Harts’ Battery

Organized in August 1861, Hart’s Battery fought at Elk Horn Tavern and was captured at Arkansas Post on January 10, 1863.  We currently have in our collection only one other flag attributed to an Arkansas artillery unit, that is “Key’s Arkansas Battery.”

Marker unveiled at MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History

The first historical marker commemorating the crisis at Little Rock’s arsenal was dedicated on Wednesday, November 10th.. The goal of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is to have at least one marker in each county. The markers are being funded by a Preserve American grant that will pay for about 30 markers with other funding being sought. The marker reads: “The Civil War could have begun at this U.S. Arsenal.  As other states seceded, rumors that reinforcements were heading for the Arsenal led around 1,000 militia from south and east Arkansas to demand the surrender of the garrison.  On Feb. 12, 1861, Capt. James Totten, with no orders from his superiors, abandoned the Arsenal “to avoid the cause of Civil War.” Little Rock’s ladies gave him a sword to show their appreciation for his action.  Two months later Ft. Sumter was attacked.”

For Your Reading Enjoyment

 Sherryl Miller, director of the Lonoke County Museum, has compiled a book entitled, Civil War Connections With Lonoke County. The contents have been gathered from various newspapers, books and countless hours of research at the Arkansas History Commission going through “Muster Rolls”.  Most everything that involved soldiers from Lonoke County is found in this source. Cost of the booklet is $30 and is available from the Lonoke County Museum, P.O. Box 873, Lonoke, AR 72086.

Emmett Powers has mentioned to me (your editor) that his book that he co-authored with Scott Akridge on the battle of Whitney’s Lane has just been reprinted. A Severe and Bloody Fight, The Battle of Whitney’s Lane & Military Occupation of White County, Arkansas, May & June, 1862 will be available soon from The White County Historical Society. Their address is P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145. Cost….not sure…less than $20? Funds will be used to purchase Civil War Markers in Searcy.

Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc

2010 Membership Dues

Membership dues for 2010 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.

2010 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 


Phone     e-mail 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

Questions? Call Brain at 501-376-2981

Hope to see you Tuesday night with Dr. Dougan and General Pearce!