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

Daniel Littlefield


The Role of Native Americans in the Civil War

Join us Tuesday night, when Dr. Littlefield brings our program. His talk Tuesday will be about the role of Native Americans in the Civil War. Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., holds a Ph.D. degree from Oklahoma State University and was a classroom teacher for forty-five years.  He has been a faculty member at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock since 1970, and from 1983 to 2005 he was director of the American Native Press Archives, the world’s largest archival repository of Native American newspapers and periodicals.  In 2005, he left teaching and became Director of the Sequoyah National Research Center, which houses the Archives and the Dr. J. W. Wiggins Collection of Native American Art.  In addition, he has taught as a visiting professor of history at the University of Arizona, a visiting professor of English at the University of Alabama, and distinguished visiting professor of ethno-history at Colgate University.

His most recent research concerns the Dawes Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes and Indian removal.  He has served as a member of the Cherokee Nation’s Great State of Sequoyah Commission and a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Humanities Council.  In 2001, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians Hall of Fame.

One of his first works is “Roost Robbers” and “Netters” Pigeoners in the Indian Territory, which was published in The Chronicles of Oklahoma in the summer of 1969 while working on his doctorate. The Wild Pigeon – an interesting story of a grayish-blue bird that was hunted in the Indian Territory form 1870 to 1900. Perhaps Dr. Littlefield will discuss the profitable occupation of these so called “pigeoners”.

Some of his other works include:

An Encyclopedia of Indian Removal (2011), J. W. Parins co-editor

Seminole Burning:  A Story of Racial Vengeance (1996)

Alex Posey:  Creek Poet, Journalist, and Humorist (1992)

The Chickasaw Freedmen (1980)

Africans and Creeks (1979

The Cherokee Freedmen (1978)

One of the earliest battles of the Civil War was at Pea Ridge, which occurred March 6-8, 1862. In their book, Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West, William Shea and Earl Hess write that the battle at Pea Ridge was the only major Civil War battle involving Indians. The atrocities that occurred at Leetown horrified the North.  Rumors circulated freely that the natives had been “dosed with whiskey in advance” and had gone “utterly wild and shot and scalped both sides indiscriminately.”  Controversy developed between the Cherokees as to their roles in the battle. For decades after Pea Ridge, partisans of each of the two Cherokee regiments blamed the other for the indecent.

General Curtis expressed his hope to General Van Dorn that this action would not result in savage warfare. Later in Washington a committee on conduct investigated the atrocities at Pea Ridge.  General Albert Pike did not learn of the scalpings, mutilations, and murders until he returned to the Indian Territory. (Page 320) This was Albert Pike’s last engagement of the war.

The Order of Battle lists the following Native American Units at Pea Ridge:

Confederate General Albert Pike’s Brigade

  • 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles, Col John Drew, Commanding
  • 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles, Col Stand Watie, Commanding
  • 1st Creek Mounted Rifles, Col Daniel  McIntosh, Commanding
  • 1st Choctaw and Chickasaw, Col Douglas Cooper, Commanding

Seventy individuals attended the lecture by Dr. Robert Patrick Bender from New Mexico at the Lakeport Plantation near Lake Village on Saturday afternoon, March the 17th. His topic was about the diary of Brigadier General Daniel Harris Reynolds which the University of Arkansas Press has published. Reynolds was from Chicot County. He entered service in Company A of the First Arkansas Mounted Rifles and saw action at Wilsons’ Creek and Pea Ridge before moving across the Mississippi River. Dr. Bender stated that Reynolds best service was during the Atlanta Campaign at Lovejoy Station. Reynolds would serve throughout the war, surrendering in North Carolina with Joseph Johnson.  We raffled off a copy of the diary at our meeting last month. Funds raised will go to preservation efforts in Arkansas.

Dr. Blake Wintory welcomed everyone to the restored house which remained open to tour. It is the only remaining Arkansas plantation home on the Mississippi River. In 2001, the Sam Epstein Angel family made the home a gift to Arkansas State University. The home celebrated its Grand Opening in 2007.

Today the downstairs has been beautifully restored. Visitors are welcomed while work continues. Restoration focuses on the lifestyles and relationships between the people who lived and worked at Lakeport. Included is the pivotal role of African Americans in the agricultural development of the region, early craftsmanship, modern techniques for preservation, and archeological work on the grounds.

To order the diary, Worthy of the Cause For Which They Fight, contact the University of Arkansas Press at 1-800-626-0090. One person who had read the diary stated at the lecture that the footnotes are the best part of the book. Dr. Bender has edited this diary with fine detail.


WHEN: March 31, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) – More than 150 years after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, another wave of volunteers is about to descend on America’s storied battlegrounds.  But this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags and weed whackers — not muskets — ready to help preserve these tangible links to our past for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Civil War.

On Saturday, March 31st, 2012, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America’s priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines.  The nationwide effort – dubbed Park Day – is underwritten with a grant from History™ and has been endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Park Day, now in its 16th year, is an annual hands-on preservation event created by the Trust to assist local groups with the maintenance of Civil War sites.  This year, more than 100 sites in 25 states – from Connecticut to California – are expected to take part in the effort, with activities ranging from trash removal to trail building. .

Participating sites select activities tailored to their individual maintenance and improvement needs.  Find a site near you and learn about specific projects at www.civilwar.org/parkday .  Volunteers of all ages and ability levels are welcome, and many activities are appropriate for groups, like scout troops.

Our members are asked to pick up trash and clean up areas where our wayside makers are located on the Campaign for Little Rock driving tour.

For more information, contact:
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231 at The Civil War Trust.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Update

Monday is the Last Day – Old State House Museum in Little Rock

“An Enduring Union” Exhibit, thru March 26, 2012

This exhibit focuses on why Arkansas commemorates its Civil War veterans and features artifacts documenting the post-war Confederate and Union veteran reunions in the state.  Artifacts, including reunion related photographs, medal, memorabilia and uniforms, will help visitors understand the significant of the American Civil War. FREE

Monday, April 9, 6:30-7:30 pm.

Folk Group Harmony Performs – Saline County Library

The folk group Harmony from Mountain View, Arkansas will present a program of mountain music and some civil war songs in the program.  This program is sponsored by the Genealogy and Local History Department of the Saline County library and will be held at the Bob Herzfeld Memorial Library, 1800 Smithers Drive in Benton, Arkansas.  Call the library at (501) 778-4766 for more information. FREE

Saturday, April 14, 2012 War Super – Historic Washington State Park

Catch a glimpse of a time when brother fought against brother.  Visitors will be served a meal Civil War style, and enjoy the fare of the common soldier, who may eat well one day and go without the next.  After the meal, visitors will participate as refugees from Camden, Arkansas in 1864 as they visit town sites and a Confederate picket line. You never know what might happen on this tour!

Time 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Williams’ Tavern Restaurant

Historic Washington State Park

Admission: $25 adults, $20 for children under 14

Reservations are required. Contact the Park at 870-983-2684

April 28, 2012 – Fort Lincoln Festival in DeValls Bluff

Second annual festival focusing on the rich Civil War history of the area. There will be troop and cannon fire demonstrations, re-enactments, interactive displays, expert speakers, indoor and outdoor activities for the kids, vendors with food and more. The event is free and will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For additional information contact Stacy Sawyer, Prairie County Community Center at 760-659-5652. FREE
For a complete list of events visit: www.arkansascivilwar150.com

Battlefield Preservation

At our last meeting and in the last issue of our newsletter, we discussed the need to support preservation efforts in Arkansas. Here is your reminder!

“I am asking each member and friend of our Roundtable to consider writing a hand written note to your state senator and representative asking for their support in approving funding next year. The fund could be called a Battlefield Preservation Fund. I have asked that a $200,000 minimum amount be funded each year. Dollars should be used to help preserve our historic buildings and battlefields. $200,000 is just a start. Other states use a matching grant process to support their efforts.

Will you contact your legislators?” your editor

Thank you Pris

Also at our most recent meeting we announced that our web mistress, Pris Weathers, needs assistance handling our incoming e-mails. She has done an outstanding job the past 4 years improving our web site! Contact our President, Jan Sarna, if you can monitor our messages. Thank you again Pris!

Civil War Roundtable Speakers 2012

  • January – Mark Kalkbrenner – Pine Bluff in the Civil War
  • February – Roy Wilson of Sheridan – The Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry
  • March – Dr. Daniel Littlefield – Sequoyah Research Center at UALR, Role of Native American Indians in the Civil War
  • April –  George Lankford of Batesville Army of the Southwest in Batesville
  • May – Dr. Roger Pauley, History Professor at UCA – Armies of the Western and Eastern Theater and Their Differences
  • June – TBA
  • July – Mark Christ –Community Outreach Director, Department of Arkansas Heritage – Civil War Arkansas: 1863 The Battle for a State
  • August Jerry Potter Attorney from Memphis, The Sultana
  • September – Dr. Bill Shea -History Professor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello –  Samuel Curtis: The Man Who Conquered Arkansas
  • October – Dave Bastain from Maryland – Grant’s Canal: the Unions’ Attempt to  Bypass Vicksburg
  • November – Dr. Bill Gurley – Professor at UAMS – Arkansas at Shiloh

Thanks go out to Roy Wilson and his program last month on Jenkins’s Ferry.

We hope to see you Tuesday night with Dan Littlefield!

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