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

Brian Brown


The Battle of Champion Hill

Brian Brown

About our Speaker

Brian has returned from his annual tour with the Blue and Gray Education Society where he made an in depth visit to Champion Hill Battlefield in Mississippi. Brian has been a member of our roundtable since as young boy. He currently serves as our Treasurer. A partner with the Laser Law Firm of Little Rock, Brian is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis and the University of Arkansas School of Law.

His most recent programs to our roundtable have been on Port Hudson and the Battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson.

Champion Hill

Our friends Terry Winschel and William Shea have written that “Vicksburg is the Key.” If Vicksburg was the key, then Champion Hill was the door that when it closed the fate of the Confederacy was sealed. Michael Ballard in Pemberton: A Biography stated that “The results at Champion Hill sealed the fate of Vicksburg, though not necessarily of Pemberton’s army. The army could have escaped.” (PG 164)

Map courtesy of Brian Risher

General John Pemberton, commander of the forces in Vicksburg in May 1863, was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and entered West Point in 1833. He graduated 25th out of 50 in his class with 163 demerits. Many of these were received when he and some of his classmates were arrested for breaking academy regulations involving possession of liquor in their quarters. This was in stark contrast with his strict Quaker upbringing.

1863 would bring a new challenge: Grant. Federal forces had crossed the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg and now have pushed all the way to Jackson. Confederate forces would move out of their fortress at Vicksburg and strike Grant before his forces could unite.

Ed Bearss in his recent work, Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War, described Pemberton’s Plan. “Pemberton wants to take position behind the Big Black with a bridgehead on the east side, and let the enemy assail him. We will repulse them, and counterattack out of the bridgehead. His two senior generals- William W. Loring and Carter L. Stevenson – are unimpressed, and recommend that the army take the field in the morning, march southeast, and attack Union supply trains and reinforcements known to be en route to the enemy from Grand Gulf. Pemberton, despite misgivings, buys into his generals’ proposal. Orders are issued alerting the army to be ready to move out next morning, May 15.

Grant now turns west to confront Pemberton, who has come out toward him a force of 23,000 men. The two armies meet at Champion Hill, seven miles east of the Big Black River.” (PG 222-223)

Topics Brian Brown will discuss in the Battle of Champion Hill include:
• Use of Confederate Cavalry in reconnaissance
• Communication in the field
• Gen Joseph Johnston’s arrival to the theater in Jackson on May 13
• Command and Control
• The questioned “loyalty” of Pemberton by the people of the south

One result of the surrender of the Confederate Army to Grant on July 4, 1863 was General Sterling Price’s attitude to give up the capital but to save his small army just 2 months later in Little Rock. Join us Tuesday as Brian brings Champion Hill to life.

Recommended Reading
From the University of Arkansas Press

Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight
The Civil War Diary of Brigadier General Daniel Harris Reynolds, 1861–1865
Edited by Robert Patrick Bender

343 pages, $ 34.95 (paperback)  ISBN 978-1-55728-971-1  To order call 1-800-626-0090

“Historians increasingly argue that the Civil War was won/lost in the West. They will, thus, be pleased to have in print yet another source of information on this theater of war: D. H. Reynolds’s diary. It is a welcome and important publication that will find a ready audience among historians and buffs.”
—John F. Marszalek, executive director and managing editor of the Ulysses S. Grant Association, Mississippi State University.

As Reynolds fought through the battles of Chickamauga, Atlanta, Nashville, and Bentonville, he consistently kept a diary in which he described the harsh realities of battle, the shifting fortunes of war, and the personal and political conflicts that characterized and sometimes divided the soldiers. The result is a significant testimonial offering valuable insights into the nature of command from the company to brigade levels, expressed by a committed Southerner coming to grips with the realities of defeat and the ultimate demoralization of surrender.

Robert Patrick Bender is a history instructor at Eastern New Mexico University–Roswell. He is the author of Like Grass before the Scythe: The Life and Death of Sgt. William Remmel, 121st New York Infantry.

Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc

2012 Membership Dues

Membership dues for 2012 are to be paid January 1. 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. In the past we made a donation to The Old State House Museum for the Flags Preservation Project and to the Civil War Trust.

2012 Membership Dues Statement
$20 per year, Make Checks payable to:
The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.


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 Brian at 501-376-2981

Calling All Color Bearers!

Tuesday we will discuss our continuance of being Color Bearers for the Civil War Trust. Last year, 10 members of our Roundtable made financial contributions of just over $1000 to support land acquisition. Thanks.

Election of Officers for 2012

Tuesday night we will vote on our slate of officers willing to serve for 2012. If you would like to serve, contact our President, Jan Sarna. Positions include:


Vice President


Web Master

Newsletter Editor

At Large Member to the Executive Committee

Civil War Bullets from Rick

  • Visit www.arkansascivilwar150.com for information about the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission
  • December 3 & 4      Christmas Open House, Prairie Grove, Arkansas 9:00 – 3:00 Presented by volunteer re-enactors from the NW 15th Arkansas Infantry and Cannon Demonstration with Walker’s Light Artillery.  FREE
  • Speakers for our programs in 2012 are being contacted. If you have a suggestion for a speaker or a topic, please contact your editor. We are blessed in Arkansas to have so many excellent speakers!
  • Thanks to Brian Brown who brings our books to raffle. Monies raised help reimburse our speakers for their traveling expenses. Thanks to all who participate!
  • No meeting in December! Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and Christmas! Gobble Gobble! Hope to see you Tuesday with Brian Brown and Champion Hill.

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