Our 48th 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


“Pumpkin Bend: The 8th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry and a Forgotten Skirmish Near Augusta”


Dave Casto

Join us Tuesday when Dave Casto from Maumelle brings our program. He is the recent winner of the Charles Durnett Award given by the Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails Foundation. Durnett served as Chairman of the Central Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails, and the secretary and newsletter editor of our roundtable for a number of years. Durnett also worked to establish our first web site.  Durnett died on July 4th 2008.

Casto is a native of Pope County and a graduate of Atkins High School. Casto serves as the Secretary/Treasurer of the General James McPherson Camp, Sons of Union Veterans, in Little Rock. His program will be about the skirmish that took place east of Augusta, Arkansas on April 22, 1864. His great-grandfather was a private in the Federal 8th Missouri Cavalry.  We hope you can attend.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Update

December 1 -2, 2012 – 150th Anniversary Battle of Prairie Grove

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park

The park will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove. The original battle, fought on December 7, 1862, saw about 22,000 soldiers fighting most of the day, with about 2,700 killed, wounded, or missing. Every even-numbered year, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park hosts a battle reenactment. During the weekend there will be many lead and self-guided activities including tours through the Union, Confederate, and civilian camps, various military drills, cooking, spinning, and lace making demonstrations along with other living history programs. “Sutlers Row” features a number of vendors selling 19th century reproduction, books, and souvenirs. The battle demonstration begins at 1 p.m. each day, featuring charges and counterattacks by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry. The reenactment is held on the actual battlefield near the historic Borden House. Contact the park (closer to event time) for a detailed schedule. Call 479-846-2990 or contact holly.houser@arkansas.gov.

December 6, 2012 – Old State House Museum in Little Rock

The Spence Family and the Civil War in 1862

Brown Bag Lunch from noon to 1:00 with Mark Christ.

Tom and Alex Spence of Arkadelphia were among the first from Arkansas to enlist in the Confederate Army in 1861. Mark brings his program based on the letters written by the brothers during the war. Bring your lunch but beverages will be provided.

Monday, December 10, 2012 – “The Battle of Prairie Grove” with Dr. Bill Shea

Saline Count Library, 1800 Smithers Drive, Benton, AR 6:30 P.M.

In case you are not able to attend the re-enactment or you wish to learn more about the Battle of Prairie Grove which occurred on December 7th 1862, our friend Bill Shea will bring a lecture on this battle. For additional information call the library at 501-778-4766.

January 19 – 20, 2013 – 150th Anniversary Battle of Arkansas Post

This event will be held at the Arkansas Post National Memorial and the Arkansas Post State Museum which is 6 miles south of Gillett on Hwy 165. Tentative Schedule:

Saturday, January 19                                                Sunday, January 20

10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Interpretive Stations          10:00 A.M. Church Service

11:00 A.M. Talk by Mark Christ                                 1:00 P.M.  Battle Reenactment

2:00 P.M. Battle Reenactment

4:00 P.M. Memorial to fallen soldiers

6:30 P.M. Period Dance at State Park

Jim Lightizer, President of The Civil War Trust has announced that “thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we are very close to reaching our goal of saving 1,139 acres at the Appomattox, Sailor’s Creek, and Kelly’ Ford battlefields. To donate or for questions, visit www.civilwar.org.

Our Roundtable has given financial support for the last two years to The Civil War Trust for battlefield preservation.

Election of Roundtable Officers

At our meeting Tuesday, we will elect officers to serve for the 2013 campaign. At our meeting last month, we nominated the following slate to lead us in our charge for the coming year.

President – Jan Sarna

Vice President- Dick Brannon

Secretary – Rick Meadows

Treasurer – Brian Brown

Web Master – Pris Weathers

Newsletter Editor – Rick Meadows

At Large Member of Board – Don Hamilton

We also discussed the need to continue to promote our meetings in the various forms of media. Art Maune has agreed to help in this area. Ted Jones from Hot Springs will also help as needed.

Our Roundtable also voted at our last meeting to look at placing a Civil War Sesquicentennial Marker in downtown Little Rock near where Fort Steele was located. Don Hamilton and Brian Brown will be working on this project. The Arkansas Sesquicentennial Commission hopes to place at least one marker in each county. Our Roundtable will be responsible for about $1000. The Commission offers a matching grant that will cover the balance.

We also voted to keep our annual dues at $20. They are due by January.

William E Woodruff House

1017 East 8th Street, Little Rock

On Wednesday, November 7th over 60 concerns members of the Quapaw Quarter Association, The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, and other friends of preservation were able to go inside the historic Woodruff House. William Woodruff was founder and editor of the Arkansas Gazette.

After the tour, members met at Curran Hall for a program which included 3 presentations. First was the History of the Woodruff House presented by Rachel Silva of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. According to Silva: “In the spring of 1852 Woodruff hired local builder John Robins to construct a large, 2 ½ story house facing south on East Ninth Street. The house was built with locally –made bricks and likely had a one-story Greek Revival –style front porch.  The Woodruff family moved into the new home in March 1853. The home was a urban farmstead, complete with an orchard, gardens, stables, servants’ houses, and open pasture. The orchard was on the west side of the house, and a 2-acre vegetable, fruit, and flower garden was on the east side. The horse lot was just north of the garden, along with the barn and stables, pig pens, and tool shed.  A carriage house, poultry yard, and other outbuildings were located in the back yard as well.  The servants’ houses were located on the north side of the house and faced south, each equipped with a large fireplace.

After Little Rock fell to Union forces on September 10, 1863, Federal troops took possession of the land surrounding William Woodruff’s house. During the Federal occupation Woodruff, who supported the Confederacy, wrote a letter to a friend that was intercepted by the Union army.  On March 10, 1864, General Frederick Steele banished Woodruff from Little Rock and took charge of his home.  While in possession of the Union army the Woodruff House served as officers’ headquarters as well a military hospital.  Woodruff was allowed to return to his home in September 1865. Woodruff lived in the house with his wife, Jane Eliza, until his death on June 19, 1885.

In 1921 the Woodruff House became the Cottage Home for Business Girls. It remained a boarding house or apartments until 2005, when the house sustained fire damage.”

Thank you, Rachel for your history lesson.

Thank you, Rhea Roberts, of the Quapaw Quarter Association, for facilitating the event.

Thank you, Vanessa McKuin, of The Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas, for your support and listing the home on your Most Endangered List.

Keep your ears open for the time when all of us will be asked to help in the restoration of this treasure. The house is currently for sale.

Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc

2013 Membership Dues

Membership dues for 2013 are to be paid now.  These monies help to pay for the transportation and lodging cost of our speakers.  Printing cost 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.

2013 Membership Dues Statement

$20 per year, Please make checks payable to:

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc

(Please disregard this notice if dues have already been paid)


Address                                               City                             State                Zip Code

Phone                                                  e-mail address

Membership dues………………………………….$20

Additional $$ for preservation……………………..

Total                                                                   _______

Mail to:

Brain Brown, Treasurer

The Civil War Roundtable of Arkansas, Inc.

P.O. Box 25501

Little Rock, AR 72221

Or pay online at our website: www.civilwar buff.org

Questions: call Brian at 501-376-2981

Civil War Bullets from Rick

  • December 15 – Plantation Agriculture Museum’s Christmas Open House 9-4. Bring the family to Scott, AR. Activities include: graham cracker house contest, holiday treats, hot drinks, holiday music, homemade Christmas tree decorations, corn husk dolls, candle making, and building old time toys. 20% off items in the gift shop. Part of The Battle at Ashley’s Mills occurred on the grounds of the Plantation.
  • December 22 – Stones River National Battlefield Tour in Tennessee. This tour, led by a park ranger, will encompass the Union approaches to the battlefield. Cost is $25. Call 615-893-9501 to register.
  • January 5, 2013 – David O Dodd Memorial, Mount Holly Cemetery
  • February 2013 – Freedom Park Dedication, Helena-West Helena. Date and time to be announced. Five exhibits will explore the experiences of refugee slaves who came to Helena in search of freedom and a life of self-determination.

Tour the Confederate Heartland

Our friend Greg Biggs from Clarksville, Tennessee invites individuals and groups to plan a trip and take a tour of one of their customized tours. Sites to visit are:

Stones River Campaign, Forts Henry and Donelson and Civil War Clarksville, Shiloh and Corinth, Nathan Bedford Forest in West Tennessee, Tullahoma and Chattanooga Campaign, and the 1864 Tennessee Campaign including Franklin, Nashville, and Hood’s Retreat.

For tour information, contact Greg at 931-217-4265 or biggs@charter.net

Civil War Roundtable Speakers 2013

  • January – William Shea – History Professor at the University of Arkansas at Monticello – Samuel Curtis: The Man Who Conquered Arkansas
  • February – Stuart Towns – Retired professor and author from Forrest City – Enduring legacy: Rhetoric and Ritual of the Lost Cause

Thank you to Dave Bastian from Maryland who brought us an outstanding program last month on Grant’s Canal! We hope to see you with Dave Casto and the 8th MO at Pumpkin Bend.

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