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


Russell Baker


In Search of the Blue & Gray, Locating Civil War Ancestors

Join us Tuesday night as Russell Baker from Mabelvale, AR brings our program. Baker is the former Arkansas Senior Archivist with the Arkansas History Commission. Currently, Baker serves as a Board Member and Contributing Editor for the Arkansas Genealogical Society. Baker states that “the American Civil War had a profound historical, economical, and psychological impact on America and Americans, especially those living in the states of the Old South.  Brother did fight against brother. Records of this vast conflict constitute a vast treasure trove of often underutilized or misunderstood local history, genealogy, and family history information.”

Baker’s talk includes using internet sources, historic periodical files, the National Archives, Confederate Military Records, and various Veteran organizations.

Danny Honnell & Charles Durnett

Arkansas Historical Association – Charles O. Durnett Award

The AHA has announced an award for best manuscript article on Arkansas’s Civil War History. Named in memory of Durnett, who served as a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Chair of the Central Arkansas Civil Heritage Trail, and secretary/editor of our Roundtable, manuscripts must be received by February 1, 2012. Work should be no more than 35 pages and must be documented.  Send entries to:

AHA, Dept of History, Old Main 416, University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR 72701

Funded by the Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails Foundation, Inc.

President Lincoln’s Cottage Shaken Up By August Earthquake

Gwendolyn Purdom reported for the National Trust for Historic Preservation on September 15, 2001 “that President Lincoln’s Cottage and historic buildings near the National Trust Historic Site sustained significant damage by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Washington, D.C. on August 23.

The 1842 Gothic Revival cottage, which served as a place of respite for Abraham Lincoln and his family during his presidency sustained interior damage estimated in the thousands of dollars. No one was injured when the earthquake hit, but it left cracks in the plaster and underlying bricks, damaged woodwork and window casings, and loosened debris that fell through chimneys in many of the cottage’s rooms.”

Nomination for Officers 2012

At our meeting Tuesday, we will nominate a slate of officers for the coming year. We will vote on all positions at our November meeting. If you are interested in serving, contact Jan Sarna, our President. (his e-mail is found on page one)

Vice President & Program Chair
Secretary & Newsletter Editor
Web Master
At Large Board Member
Red River Ramble with The Alliance

Thirty-three members and guests of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas “rambled” on a tour bus on Saturday, October 15, following Gen. Frederick Steele’s route to Camden. Support came from the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and The Empress Bed and Breakfast in Little Rock.

Hester Lenz House in Benton

After departing from Curran Hall in Little Rock, our first stop was in Benton where we viewed the threatened Hester Lenz House, a dog trot house on Hwy 5, which is the oldest standing home in Saline County. Over the years additions have been made to the home. Colonel Smith was owner of the house many years after the war.

Shoppach House in Benton

After departing from Curran Hall in Little Rock, our first stop was in Benton where we viewed the threatened Hester Lenz House, a dog trot house on Hwy 5, which is the oldest standing home in Saline County. Over the years additions have been made to the home. Colonel Smith was owner of the house many years after the war.

We then continued our “ramble” to Arkadelphia where we ate lunch at the Barkman House across from Henderson State University. Dr. Chris Mortenson, history professor at Ouachita Baptist University gave our group an overview of Steele’s plan to meet General Banks in Shreveport and move on to Texas. Mortenson referenced Andrew Sperry’s account of the 33rd Iowa Infantry and the Spence Brothers of Arkadelphia.

James Barkman House – Arkadelphia

Construction was not completed when the war began. Legend states that lumber was taken from the house to build Confederate fortifications. Henderson State now owns and operates this home built by Madison Griffin.

Just down the Military Road stands Magnolia Manor, once on The Alliance’s Most Endangered List, now it is the beautiful home of Bill and Sherri Phelps. Federal forces marched in front of the home and did plenty of foraging in the area. This home was also built by Madison Griffin for John B. McDaniel.  Three of his sons went off to the war. One was killed and two returned. Your editor is sorry he could not locate a good photo of Magnolia Manor.

After our stay at Magnolia Manor we “saddled up” and continued our ramble through the pine forests of Southwest Arkansas to Poison Spring.

Jay Miller at Poison Spring Battlefield State Park

Miller is chief of interpretation for Arkansas Parks. He gave a moving talk on the Battle of Poison Spring where Confederate forces attacked a US forage train returning to Camden on the Upper Washington Rd. Of the 181 US killed, 117 were from the

1st Kansas Colored Infantry. Confederate losses were only 16 killed, 88 wounded, and 7 missing.

As the day was winding down, our ramble arrived in Camden to tour the McCollum-Chidester House built in 1847 for Col. John Chidester. Although called Colonel, Chidester never was in the army! He was a stagecoach owner who had a contract to deliver mail for the Federal government. Some of the mails fell into Confederate hands. Chidester was a wanted man. Perhaps being called “Colonel” was not a good idea.

The McCollum – Chidester House – Camden

Our ramblers enjoyed a steak dinner, fried pies, and good ole southern hospitality offered by the Ouachita County Historical Society. While we did not visit any other battlefields associated with the Camden Expedition or view any earthworks in Camden, all of those on the tour came back to Little Rock with a greater understanding of the hardships of the war and a renewed appreciation of the preservations efforts of so many of our historical homes and battlefields.

An excellent source for details of the campaign can be found in Ed Bearss book, Steele’s Retreat from Camden & The Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Update

November 6 – Civil War Weekend at Historic Washington State Park

Tours of the many historic homes and buildings of the town as well as surrey rides will be available.

December 3 & 4,Christmas Open House at Prairie Grove Battlefield

Tours of the Latta and Morrow houses.  Members of the local Wool and Wheel Handspinners Guild will demonstrate spinning, weaving, and lace making.  Military drill, camp life and other living history activities will be included. Admission is FREE.

For additional information please call 479-846-2990.

March 9, 2012 – March 11, 2012 Commemoration of the Battle of Pea Ridge

Featured events include: Concert of Civil War Era Music, tour of the park with luminaries, Re-enactor camps, reunion of descendants of Civil War soldiers, Pea Ridge Battle Flag History Exhibit

For additional information please call 479-451-8122

For a complete list of events visit: www.arkansascivilwar150.com

The Civil War Trust is proud to announce a new campaign to save 5 acres of the Franklin Battlefield – acres that are closely associated with the Confederate attack upon the Federal eastern flank.

Also The Trust is also raising funds to protect 52 acres at Parker’s Crossroads in Tennessee. “Charge ‘em both ways!” shouted Nathan Bedford Forest when he faced certain encirclement. With this addition, a total of 350 acres of preserved Western Theatre historic ground will be saved. To make a donation or for additional reading visit: www.civilwar.org.

We hope to see you Tuesday night with Russell Baker.

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