Our 47th Year

Meets Fourth Tuesdays; 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

Lincoln and the Constitution

With Dr. Carl Moneyhon

Tuesday night Dr. Carl Moneyhon, history professor from UALR, will bring our program about how Abraham Lincoln was viewed during his presidency and of his understanding of the constitution.

For the past few months those interested in the constitution have had the opportunity to hear lectures relating to the critical issues that faced our nation in 1861.

In our March meeting, Tom Ezell discussed the Arsenal Crisis in Little Rock during February 1861. Why didn’t President Buchanan and his administration respond to Captain Totten in Little Rock? Did the President or Congress have the authority to declare war?  Since he was a “lame duck” president, did Buchanan have to wait until Lincoln took office to address the seriousness of the times?

The Old State House Museum on April 30th did an outstanding job in depicting issues that affected delegates to the 1861 Arkansas Secession Convention. Do the individual states have the right to govern themselves?  Good questions!

Dr. Moneyhon will bring us his insights into the constitutional issues that faced Lincoln and the country during the 1860’s and issues that still shapes us as a country today.

Dr. Moneyhon received degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and his doctorate from the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty at UALR in 1973.  He serves on the editorial boards of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.

His most recent work is

Edmund J. Davis of Texas published in 2010 by TCU Press, follows a member of the political elite during the Civil War who was opposed to secession. “He refused to follow most of Texas’ leaders. He attempted to bring Texas back to the Union. After the war, Davis was a leader in reconstructing the state based on true free labor and pursued progressive and egalitarian policies as governor of Texas.” TCU Press  He remained unpopular until his death. This work is volume two of Dr. Moneyhon’s Texas Biography Series.


Cemetery Decoration

Mike Polston, of the Museum of American History in Cabot writes: “Each year in April, since the restoration of Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery in 1982, students at Cabot High have placed flags on individual graves at the cemetery.  This is done each year around the third weekend on April.  The Sunday nearest the 26th is considered Confederate Memorial Day.  This year museum interns Andrea Hughes and Vikikumar Patel assisted in honoring these Civil War dead by placing the flags.” Thanks Mike.


1911 Reunion in Little Rock

Remembering Arkansas Confederates and the 1911 Little Rock Veterans Reunion

By Ray Hanley and Steven G. Hanley, pg 97

“From any vantage point, the spectator could see nothing for ten blocks but a solid mass of humanity.  Men, women and children were packed on the pavements, in the windows, in the doorways, on the ledges and copings of the business buildings and even on the roof,” reported theArkansas Gazette the day after the parade.  The crowd here is watching a band passing the Marion Hotel.” Courtesy  Arkansas Democrat.

100 years ago this month, Little Rock hosted almost 107,000 Confederate Veterans. Articles in the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette have been written including the “Other days” section. Brian Irby made a presentation on May 17th at the Old State House Museum about the reunion.

Tom Dillard, head of special collections at the University of Arkansas, wrote on April 10th in the Arkansas Democrat/Gazette about “A (big) family reunion.” For three days, May 16-18, Little Rock would see its population triple in size. This event was just 50 years after the end of the war. “The Thinning Line of Gray” crowded the streets of Little Rock. Dillard stated that the population of Arkansas at the time was about 45,000. Judge W.M. Kavanaugh, chairman of the reunion’s executive committee, prepared for 50,000 guests. The highlight of the reunion was the parade. Dillard continued, “Crowds filled the sidewalks, and balconies were crowded to the danger point.  At precisely 10 a.m. a bugle fanfare kicked off the parade.  Among the preliminary entries in the parade was a float pulled by four gray horses, on which sat the reunion queen, Kathleen Barkman.  Several bands marched with the veterans, one numbering 350 members.  The 12,500 veterans themselves marched in four large groups, led by those from Virginia. It took almost two hours for the parade to pass the reviewing stand at the Marion Hotel.”

The soldiers from Fort Roots erected 1,333 canvas tents within City Park.  The city ran a sewer line to the camp, while the public works superintendent worried about the capacity of the town’s systems, publicly stating, “I wish to caution all property owners to get after their cooks and instruct them not to allow slops, vegetable peelings, old bread and many things to get into the sanitary sewer next week.  With thousands of visitors in our city, our sewers will be greatly overtaxed.

One valuable source of more information is Ray and Steven Hanley’s book: Remembering Arkansas Confederates and the 1911 Little Rock Veterans Reunion, published in 2006 by Arcadia Publishing. Included on each of the 127 pages are 2-3 photos. Cost is only $20.00 (federal currency).

In their book, the Hanleys stated “thirteen of the city’s public schools were outfitted with cots for veterans and other visitors who could not obtain one of the town’s estimated 5,000 hotel rooms or space in the City Park encampment, christened ‘Camp Shaver.’ Bargain lodging choices for visitors during the reunion on well-decorated Louisiana Street included the Merchants Hotel and Gleason Hotel.  Each advertised rooms at rates running from $1.50 to $2 a night.  For those with means who also had reservations made well in advance, the finest lodging during reunion week was at the Marion Hotel, which had opened in 1906. Lodging ranged from $2 to $5 for a room with a private bath.

The old soldiers taxed the city’s reunion committee pledged to feed them at no charge.  The provisions consumed included 16,000 loaves of bread, 8,000 pounds of steak, 3,000 pounds of roast beef, 110 cases of eggs, and 1,700 pounds of coffee.  The old soldiers also enjoyed 350 bushels of potatoes, 124 gallons of canned corn, and 600 pounds of navy beans.

A highlight of the reunion was a dedication to the memory of the Capital Guards, Company A of the 6th Arkansas Regiment.  Honored were the 67 young men who helped capture the arsenal in 1861 and then marched off to war.  Only a handful survived the conflict to return home, and only three survivors of the regiment were present in 1911 for the monument’s dedication.  One of these was Judge W.C. Ratcliffe, a first lieutenant in the guard. Dr. Charles Hyde offered a prayer for the unveiling: ‘We are proud of the legacy of the heroic deeds of those who died for us, and with loving hearts dedicate this monument today.’”


An Enduring Union

When in Little Rock, be sure to visit The Old State House Museum for the exhibit: An Enduring Union. Artifacts documenting the post-war Confederate and Union veteran reunions in the state are depicted. This is the first of 5 exhibits at the museum.  The exhibit answers the question why commemorate the Civil War?

The war divided the country, states, and even households. At the end slavery was abolished and the country was reconciled. Before the war the United States was considered a collection of individual states. After the war we became The United States.

Encourage the school teachers in your school district to attend the 10th Annual Teachers Institute sponsored by the Civil War Trust. The training will be held July 14-17 in Nashville, Tennessee. The 4-day professional development is for K-12 educators and is focused exclusively on the American Civil War. Participants can visit Franklin and Stones River Battlefields. Visit the trust at www.civilwar.org


Civil War Bullets from Rick

  • June 20       Herzfeld Library, Benton, AR “The Civil War in Hot Springs” by historian, Dr. Wendy Richter. Program 6:30 – 7:30                              for additional information call 501-778-4766
  • August 12-14  Battle of Wilson’s Creek Re-enactment, Springfield
  • August 27-28   Battle of Reed’s Bridge Re-enactment, Jacksonville

Hope to see you Tuesday night with Dr. Moneyhon with Lincoln and the Constitution.

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