Our 47th Year
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
Jan Sarna, President

Rick Meadows, Editor

RMeadows@aaamissouri.com / arcivilwarbuff@gmail.com
Dues $20 Per Year


The Arsenal Crisis of 1861

With Tom Ezell

As our Roundtable celebrates its 47th year, we are privileged to have local historian Tom Ezell from Scott, Arkansas to bring our program Tuesday night. Each year we are rewarded with Tom’s knowledge of history. His interest in the Civil War began while he was serving the military in Louisiana and when he made a visit to the Vicksburg National Battlefield. He was hooked! That is one reason that we say “visit the battlefields when you can… while you can.” Perhaps your life will change too!

During the week Tom works for the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. On weekends you will find him conducting bicycle safety classes or wearing the blue or gray as a Civil War re-enactor.  His discussion will center on the Arsenal Crisis in Little Rock in 1861 and how the Civil War almost started in Arkansas. He may wear his blue uniform Tuesday!

Prior to the Civil War, the arsenal served as a weapons depot for the military. It was maintained by a limited staff, sometimes only one person on the grounds. Late in 1860 a company of sixty-five men from the Second United States Artillery under the command of Captain James Totten, were ordered to Little Rock.

Capt. James Totten

Tension developed between the local government and the Federal troops stationed at the arsenal. Ezell will discuss the proceedings that led up to this crisis. Included will be dispatches sent and received from the recently completed telegraph line from Little Rock to Memphis. How was Totten, who had family in Little Rock, and his men received? What role did Governor Henry Rector play? Who actually owned the arsenal? Could a conflict be avoided in Little Rock? Two months later Ft. Sumter was attacked. Come Tuesday to hear how the Civil War almost started in Little Rock!


David O Dodd With Phillip McMath

Phillip McMath, Little Rock attorney, novelist, and playwright brings to the stage his two act drama of The Hanging of David O. Dodd. Performances will be held 7:30 P.M. on Friday and Saturday nights through March 26 at Little Rock’s Weekend Theater located at Chester and W. Seventh Streets.

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas is a financial supporter of the Civil War Trust becoming a Color Bearer in 2010.

We have been invited to attend several events planned for this year.

April 8-14     Week long events at Charleston,  S.C.

  • May 19-22    Annual conference in Chantilly, Va
  • Sept 16-18    Grand Review in Chattanooga, Tn

Lincoln Prize Competition

Lorien Foote

Congratulations to Dr. Lorien Foote, an associate professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas for her book, The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Violence, Honor, and Manhood in the Union Army, published by New York University Press.  The Lincoln Prize is awarded annually for scholarly work on Abraham Lincoln, the American Civil War soldier, or a subject related to the Civil War. Foote will be recognized in May at the Union League Club in New York. Foote was one of seven finalists in the 2011 competition. Foote spoke to our

Roundtable in 2008. Her topic was “If you go with me outside the lines: Honor and Military Justice in the Union Army.”  Again, congratulations!

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Arkansas Passport Program

Travelers in Arkansas can visit sites around the state to learn about Civil War history in Arkansas while earning prizes through the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Passport Program, according to Tommy Dupree, Chairman of the Commission. “The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission welcomes everyone to visit the state’s many Civil War sites by participating in the program. Visitors can get their passports stamped at 23 different places around Arkansas and can visit other Civil War-related properties while they are in the area.  Once all 23 stamps are acquired, visitors can send in the back cover of their passport to receive an official Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial coin or patch.



For a complete list of sites &  information visit: www.arkansascivilwar150.com

Civil War Bullets from Rick

Save these dates!

  • April 23 – DeValls Bluff Sesquicentennial Event at the Prairie County Community Center. Series of programs commemorating the crucial role DeValls Bluff played in the Civil War. The dedication of five wayside markers will begin at 9:00. Welcome will be given by Bill Arnold and Judge James Rhodes. Other dignitaries include Mark Christ, State Senator Eddie Joe Williams, State Representative Tiffany Rogers, Vanessa McKuin – Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, and Hank Browne. Included in the days events are: 1864 Chapel service with Rev. Francis Springer, of the 10th Illinois Cavalry. Ellen Lewis will share a program on the roles women played during the war. 1st Sgt. Mike Lewis will present “Flags of the Civil War”. After lunch Richard Spilman will discuss  “Lifestyles of the Civil War Soldier”. Artillery display will be led by Roger Harvell with Barret’s Battery. Information about the Underground Railroad will be available as well.                                                                                            Support from the Bill and Sharon Arnold Family Foundation.
  • April 30 – Kick-Off Event at the Old State House Museum 10-4  Visitors will see a special screening of the new AETN documentary about the Civil War; special documents on exhibit from the Arkansas History Commission, such as the 1861 Arkansas Constitution and the original secession document; and the first of five exhibits put on by the Old State House Museum about the Civil War, titled An Enduring Union.

For those who like to travel out of state, there are several upcoming events:

  • April 8-10  Journey to northwest Louisiana for the Battle of Pleasant Hill. Civil War Camps will be open each day with the re-enactment of the battle to be held at 2:00 on the 9th and 10th. Members of General Thomas Churchill Arkansas Infantry participated in the battle. For additional information contact Sabine Parish Tourist Commission at 1-800-358-7802.
  • May 13-15 Our friends from the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City have invited us to attend the Sesquicentennial Battle of Carthage, Mo. Events on Saturday include street to street fighting in downtown Carthage, a Saturday night dance, and the re-enactment Sunday on a 1000 acre pristine battlefield site.
  • August 12-14 – 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek in Springfield, Missouri. In 1961, on the 100th anniversary of the battle, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield was dedicated becoming one of the best preserved and most pristine Civil War sites in the National Park System. The re-enactment will be held just north of the park. In addition to the battle re-enactment, events include: period civilian activities, crafts, educational activities, and historical information booths. From The Civil War Courier, March 2011

The Arkansas Historical Association

17th Annual Conference, April 14-16 Little Rock

“A Gathering Storm: Arkansas Goes to War”

Friday Morning

Choices: Soldiers & a Community: Discussion with Carl Moneyhon, Ronnie Nichols, Josh Williams: moderated by Bobby Roberts, Central Arkansas Library System

Communities: Two Urban Centers & Plantations: Discussion with Fred Williams, Tom DeBlack, Judy Byrd Brittenum; moderated by John Kirk, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Health & Geography: Discussion with John Svendsen, David Sesser, Scott Akridge; moderated by Bryan McDade, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Friday Luncheon Keynote Address

Paul Shackel, University of Maryland: Is It Déjà Vu All Over Again? Commemoration and the Civil War

Friday Afternoon Workshop

Russell Baker, Little Rock: In Search of the Blue and Gray

Central Arkansas Civil War Site Bus Tour led by Mark Christ. We will visit Brownsville, Bayou Meto, and the old Arsenal.  Limited to 55 people.

Saturday Morning

Complexities: Soldiers, Ideas and Debate: Discussion with Rebecca Howard, Thomas G. Henry, Gracjan Kraszewski, and Michael Pierce; moderated by Charles Romney of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Archives Session: Civil War Collections: Discussion with Brian Robertson, Mary Dunn, Tim Nutt, and Kaye Lundgren; moderated by David Stricklin of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

Registration fee is only $5 per person. Membership in AHA is $20. Meals are extra. For additional information and other sessions call, Donna Ludlow, at 479-575-5844

National Trust for Historic Preservation

D.C.’s Old Naval Hospital-Credit: Karl K. Kindel

Good News in the Capital! In 1864, to treat the growing numbers of sailors and marines wounded during the Civil War, President Lincoln approved the construction of a naval Hospital on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. By the time the four-story building was completed two years later, the war was over. But the infirmary gave Civil War Veterans and other wounded soldiers a place to recover.

Years of neglect took its toll. In 1999, the D.C. Preservation League named the site to its most endangered places list. The Friends of the Old Naval Hospital and the Old Naval Hospital Foundation pursed a rehabilitation program and secured funding for the $10 million project. Expected to be completed in June, the site, reborn as the Hill Center, will host educational programs, lectures, workshops, and exhibits. Courtesy Preservation, March/April 2011

2011 Membership Dues Statement

$20 per year, Make Checks payable to:

Brian Brown, Treasurer

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.

P.O. Box 25501, Little Rock, AR 72221

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

Civil War Roundtable Speakers 2011

  • April – Dr. Michael DouganRetired History Professor Arkansas State University “Apostrophes to the Stars and Stripes: The Arkansas Secession Convention”
  • May – Dr. Carl Moneyhon – History Professor at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock – “Lincoln and the Constitution”
  • June – TBA
  • July – TBA
  • August – Mark Christ –Community Outreach Director, Department of Arkansas Heritage –  “Spence Brothers from Arkadelphia and 1861”

Thanks go out to Dr. Richard McCaslin for the program last month: “A Soldier’s Letter to Charming Nellie.” We hope to see you Tuesday night with Tom Ezell!

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