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

“Spence Brothers from Arkadelphia and 1861”


Mark Christ

Mark Christ

Each year we are fortunate to have Mark Christ bring us a program. His  knowledge of the Civil War in Arkansas and his passion to preserve and interpret all aspects of this time in the history of our country is exceeded by no one. Mark serves as the Community Outreach Director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. Much of his time today is spent overseeing the Arkansas Sesquicentennial Commission. Mark and his family live in historic Stiff’s Station in Little Rock. Before work you may find him jogging the rolling hills along Markham.

His presentation Tuesday will be on the Spence Brothers from Arkadelphia. In 2002 Mark edited the book, Getting Used to Being Shot At: The Spence Family Civil War Letters. Mark gathered the letters from a collection at the Old State House Museum from the Spence family and their friends. His work has been published by the University of Arkansas Press.

Alex Spence

The Spence family was very prominent. Solomon Spence, Sr owned the Spence Hotel in Arkadelphia. Alex Spence, age 22 worked as a clerk. His brother Tom, age 25 was the sheriff of Clark County. Tom served in the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles and was elected Captain of Company E in 1862. Alex served as Captain in Company B, First Arkansas Infantry with Patrick Cleburne.

Come Tuesday night to hear from Mark where these young men served, how they lived, and how they died.

Shoppach House Historic Park

SCV Gun & Relic Show

Our friend Eddie Landreth announced recently the annual show will be held in Benton on Saturday, September 17 from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. The park is located on the old Military Road at the corner of Main Street. Federal officers were stationed at the Shoppach House following the fall of Little Rock in 1863. The Shoppach House and the Pilgrims Rest Church will be open. The show is put on by the SCV David O. Dodd Camp.

Reed’s Bridge Re-Enactment

Beginning Friday, August 26, Federal and Confederate forces will once again clash at Reed’s Bridge Battlefield in Jacksonville. Confederate troops were trying to delay the overwhelming Federals by holding the bridge over the Bayou Meto and preventing the Federals from marching down the Military Road to N. Little Rock. The climax of the engagement resulted in a gallant charge by the 1st Iowa across the bridge in the face of enemy fire. Following the failed attempt to take the bridge, the artillery units of each side fired shot and shell at one another. Soldiers and horses who tried to quench their dry throats along the Bayo were under constant fire from enemy troops.

At the end of the day, Federal forces retreated to the safety of Brownsville (just north of present day Lonoke on Hwy 31) and the Confederates to N. Little Rock. Before the Confederates retreated, they attempted to burn the bridge. The re-enactment of the charge and the burning of the bridge will be portrayed Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Camps will open Friday at 9:00 a.m. for the public and for school groups. Free parking is available across the bridge throughout the weekend and shuttle vans will transport spectators to the battlefield. Before and after the battle everyone is welcome to visit the camp sites to see how the soldiers lived. Throughout the day there will be demonstrations on flags, cannons & muskets, drill & marching, camp life, cooking, and horse care. In addition, guests are encouraged to view soap making, witness a Civil War physician care for the sick & wounded, and witness the work of the blacksmith at the barn.

Venders will be on hand with food and refreshments. For additional information or questions contact Ann Hooper, President of the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society at 501-831-8427

Book Show in Jacksonville

Each August at the Community Center in Jacksonville a book sale is held. Included are many dealers from the mid south. Your editor attended the sale this year and purchased two volumes.  Knowing the high regard members of our roundtable hold Patrick Cleburne, I could not resist in purchasing a signed copy of Invisible Hero: Patrick R. Cleburne. Published in 2009 by Mercer University Press, this work appears to be worth the dollars spent. The author, Bruce Stewart, serves on the executive committee of the Civil War Roundtable of Atlanta and is a member of the Patrick Cleburne Society.

“To the critical student of the war, Invisible Hero presents a level of detail that is unsurpassed in the study of this significant figure. Along with the introduction of pertinent maps, this approach allows the reader to actually visualize the battlefield with a clear understanding of the movements of Cleburne’s command.  In addition, the book examines the relationships that governed Cleburne’s action, particularly those with Braxton Bragg, William Hardee, and John B. Hood. The result has been an analysis of a man unappreciated by his own government, yet widely regarded as the finest infantry officer in the Western Theatre.” – The publisher.

The second book I purchased was Portraits of Conflict by our own Dr. Bobby Roberts and Dr. Carl Moneyhon.  This work was published 1987 by the University of Arkansas Press. It has over 200 photographs and documents to view. I am displaying this book proudly at my office!

Civil War Film of Arkansas

At our last meeting Bobby Roberts reported that Jack Hill is producing a Civil War Film about Arkansas. The length of the documentary will be one hour and will be titled “War in the Sixties”. Hill has previously produced ½ hour documentaries on Helena, Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, and the Red River Campaign. Discussion will continue at our meeting Tuesday about our Roundtable assisting in the production cost. Hill hopes to raise another $5000 before production and to engage people who currently do not care about the Civil War.

Huge Confederate Flag in Tampa Replaced

Tammie Fields on August 17 wrote: “For the first time in three years, the huge controversial confederate flag near I-4 and I-75 in Tampa is gone.  It’s been replaced with a much smaller flag.  It’s so small, you may not have even noticed it yet.”

Mike Herring with the Sons of Confederate Veterans says the battle flag is 30 ft by ft and weighs 100 pounds. Herring says, “This is the sesquicentennial year which 150 years ago Florida seceded from the Union on January 10th and then, of course, the war commenced a few months later, so there are a number of events going on all over the south and in recognition of that we decided to put the 3rd National flag up for an indefinite time.”

Fields, is a news anchor for WTSP Channel 10 in Tampa.

Civil War Bullets from Rick

  • Rhodes College in Memphis recently cquired Shelby Foote’s personal library and papers which includes 2,350 volumes. All of the items will be housed in the Paul Barret, Jr. Library on the Rhodes campus.
  • September 13, 2001 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tracing the Settlement of Arkansas. This lecture will demonstrate the archive of high-resolution images of historical maps of Arkansas currently being developed by UCA. Time period is from the colonial period through the start of the Civil War. Presented by the College of Liberal Arts at UCA in Conway.

Civil War Roundtable Speakers for 2011

  • September – Mark Ballard, Jacksonport State Park – “Jackson Guards”
  • October – Russell Baker, historian and genealogist – “In Search of the Blue & Gray, Locating Civil War Ancestors”
  • November – TBA

Thanks to Dr. Michael Dougan and his program last month. Hope to see you Tuesday with Mark Christ.

Comments are closed.