Arkansas Civil War

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Arkansas in the Civil War: New Federal Commander Named for the 7th Corps in Arkansas

December 22, 2014 By: admin Category: 150th Anniversary Project, Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarOne hundred and fifty years ago, Arkansas had a change of Union leadership. Following the Battle of Vicksburg and the Battle of Helena in July 1863, General Fredrick Steele made his way to Arkansas through the Delta and onto Little Rock where he led the 7th Corp of Union troops in the state. Among the multitude of military actions in which Steele was engaged, the Red River Campaign/Camden Expedition was the most dramatic for the Union commander.

Following the election of 1864 and the rewriting of a new state constitution, General Fredrick Steele had completed his mission as commander of the 7th Corps and by late December, he was reassigned to help with military actions against Mobile, Alabama. Up to the task of commanding the 7th Corp was Major-General J.J. Reynolds.

In a dispatch written by Reynolds to Lieutenant-Colonel Christensen, the new commander notes that he arrived in Devall’s Bluff en route to Little Rock. He continued, “Telegram from Little Rock reports rise of six feet in the Arkansas River. Have ordered several boats now here to load at once for Little Rock. Am in hopes the rise will continue until we evacuate Fort Smith. Met General Steele near mouth of White River.”

There were few military actions during the Christmas season in 1864, including a skirmish at Fort Smith on Christmas Eve and a scout was sent from Pine Bluff to Simpson’s Plantation from December 27-28. For a complete list of military actions that took place one hundred and fifty years ago, go to

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Arkansas in the Civil War: Confederate Deal with Deserters

December 16, 2014 By: admin Category: 150th Anniversary Project, Arkansas in the Civil War, Research, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarOne hundred and fifty years ago, both the Union and Confederate armies had great difficulties holding their men in the ranks following four long and hard years of fighting. By December of 1864, following General Orice’s raid into Missouri, specifically, the Confederates were dealing with troops abandoning their posts.

According to a dispatch sent by Confederate Major-General J.B. Magruder, the Rebs were in dire straits and had to conserve their forage as well. The plan was to, “save corn by dismounting those who are to be dismounted as soon as possible”. Regarding the troops leaving the army before the war ended, the general noted, “I am informed that many of these furloughed men will not return at all. A plot was reported last night in which officers and soldiers were engaged to desert their commands and go north of the Arkansas River.” Magruder’s plan was to, “have stationed troops to intercept the conspirators, with orders to shoot them down.”

Military actions that took place in Arkansas one hundred and fifty years ago this week include an expedition sent from Devall’s Bluff up the White River from the 13th-15th; a skirmish on December 16 near Dudley’s Lake; and a skirmish on the 19th at Rector’s Farm. For a complete list of military actions that took place in Arkansas during the Civil War, go to

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December 15, 2014 By: admin Category: Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has approved an application for an Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker in Lonoke County, ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree announced today.

The markers, sponsored by the Bill and Sharon Arnold Family Foundation, will commemorate the August 24, 1864, battle of Ashley’s and Jones’s Stations and will be located at Carlisle City Hall.

Through the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Historical Marker Program, the ACWSC works with local partners to help tell the stories of how the Civil War affected communities around the state. The Commission hopes that there will be at least one marker in each of the state’s 75 counties by the end of the commemoration in 2015. Counties that currently do not have Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Markers are Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Conway, Craighead, Crawford, Drew, Franklin, Fulton, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, Montgomery, Newton, Polk, Pope, Randolph, Sevier and Sharp.

To date, 92 markers in 53 counties have been approved. Marker applications are available at

For more information on sesquicentennial plans, visit or e-mail

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is housed within the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

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Order the new book “Songs and Poems of Arkansas in the Civil War” and get it by Christmas

December 14, 2014 By: admin Category: Arkansas in the Civil War, Literature, Songs and Poems of Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil War The editor of the Arkansas Toothpick has just released his second book just in time for Christmas. This new book includes poems and songs written in Arkansas during the Civil War and includes never before seen sketches/drawings during the war. This book is available through and if you order soon, you will get it by Christmas. It is the perfect gift for the Arkansas Civil War buff in your life! To order your copy, click HERE!

If you order your copy within the next few days, you can have it sent as a gift from and it will arrive by Christmas! You can even have it gift wrapped by amazon and shipped directly to that special Civil War buff in your life.

Below is a poem found on page 13 of “Songs and Poems of Arkansas in the Civil War.”

Campaign Song.
Air: “Star-Spangled Banner.”

Oh! do you not hear, as it leaps thro’ the air,
A shout whose sound reaches from ocean to ocean?

‘Tis the ‘larum note clear of the free, far and near,
Striking home to the heart ‘midst the din and commotion.

And no longer we pause,
Traitors scoff at the laws,
Constitution and Union,
Which we’ve made our cause;

Then fling broad the banner, the Union we’ll save
To the sons of the Free, in the land of the Brave. 
The foemen now dare to advance from the lair

Where have lucked their vile aims ‘gainst the peace of the Nation;
Unblushing they ask, as each throws off the mask
Success to their cause, or Disunion!  Secession!

You’ll heed well the cry,
To the ballot-box fly,
And conquer all faction,

Conquer nobly or die!

So the flag of our Nation not a star less may wave
O’er the land of the Free and the home of the Brave. 
Oh! do you not see (down in fair Tennessee)
A Chieftain whose record we may all confide in?

Another whose fame, link’d with Washington’s name,

Has spread thro’ the land we’re all proud to reside in?
Then, with statesmen so just,
Whom the people will trust,
To conquer is easy
And conquer we must.

“BELL AND EVERETT” our champions,
the Union they’ll save,

And long, long, wave our Flag
o’er the Free and the Brave! 
Washington, [Arkansas]
August 20th, 1860.

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Historic Profiles: General James Yell (Part 5)

December 14, 2014 By: admin Category: Arkansas in the Civil War, General James Yell, Research, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarJames Yell After the War

After the war’s end, Yell and his family moved back to Pine Bluff. He was deep in debt, his slaves were freed and his large land interest was of no marketable value. He had become wealthy before the war, but he had spent many thousands of dollars to pay and equip the brigade of troops he had raised and apparently he signed bonds for other funds.

When the carpetbag courts opened, General Yell was sued on his bond and a large judgment was obtained against him. With the sellable remnants of his fortune he paid $20,000 dollars leaving a large unpaid balance which he could not pay. The court’s terms were, “Your money or the jail.”

According to Yells’s file, in the National Achvies, he applied for a pardon, July 12, 1865, to the local Union authorities. Being under indictment he was refused so he wrote to President, Johnson. In his letter Yell claimed, “He was always publicly opposed to Jefferson Davis, Tom Hindman, Robert H. Johnson. T. Homes and E. Kirby Smith (respectively the Confederate President, Arkansas politician and commander of the Trans-Mississippi Army in Arkansas); and that, as a lawyer, he defended arrested Unionist, and that he returned to Pine Bluff from Texas after the war.” All his efforts to get a pardon failed.

Colonel, W.P. Grace, said this distressed General Yell more than all the noble battles he fought during the five years campaign; and no braver solider ever wore a plume or led men to battle. To relieve the General from this distress, colonel Grace went to him and told him that himself and others had agreed to raise the money for him.

“No!,” said the General, “I’ll will not imperil the fortunes of my friends anymore. I will leave an estate which will discharge every dollar of this debt and leave a surplus. I have lived without dishonoring my name. I have survived my usefulness. Having lived like a man I intend to die like one. Come to my house tomorrow morning, Porter, between the hours of nine and ten, and I will show you how a man can die.”

Porter, as the intimate friends of Colonel Grace called him, tried to disuade the General, but to no purpose. At the appointed time he went sorrowfully to Yell’s residence and found the General in bed, in apparently perfect health.

After conversing a few minutes about his business and telling Grace how he would like to be burried, he turned over and said “Now, Porter, look and see how a man can die.” In a few minutes he passed away. The date was September 4, 1867.

Colonel, W. Porter Grace, historian, writer, fellow lawyer, and friend, described General James Yell’s death by penning the words, “Thus was hounded to death by men who were not worthy to ‘loose the latch of his shoes,’ a Roman among men, and exemplar in virtue, a Colussus in the legal forum, a chivalrous knight in the field, a hero who knew how to live, a martyr who knew how to die.”

James Yell was laid to rest in the family plot in Bellwood Cementry, in a above ground brick tomb. In the 1990s the bricks in the tomb was detorating to a point that there was a hole large enough that one could shine a light in and see the cast iron casket. Several members of the Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne Camp, of Sons of Confederate Veterans patched the hole with new bricks. Lynn N Gaines, a member of the camp, aquired to government memorial markers, one for General Yell and one for his son, who was killed during the war, and they were placed on the Yell family plot.

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Civil War Hub of Arkansas

2015 Battle of Helena

Civil War in Helena

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Click HERE to download the Registration Packet

Donate Now

Civil War in Helena

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The Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Helena, Arkansas needs your help in funding several historic projects. The camp plays an integral part in the maintenance of battle field sites and preservation of historic properties. A donation in any amount would be greatly appreciated and put to good use!

A list of the sites maintained by the Seven Generals Camp:
1) The Confederate Cemetery, where over 120 Confederates are buried, including General Patrick R. Cleburne, General James C. Tappan, and General Thomas C. Hindman.

2) Civil War Helena interpretative markers- we maintain over 50 historical interpretative panels throughout the city, including the battlefield, Confederate Cemetery, General Tappan's home, Battery C, and many other historic sites.

3) Confederate Memorial Park- We purchased and donated to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. in Columbia, TN approximately an acre of battlefield property that serves as a memorial to the Confederates that fought in and died in the Battle of Helena. Many soldiers are still unaccounted for and this park serves as their "marker". We maintain the park and the costs are mounting in maintenance, an electric bill to keep a light on the 1st National Confederate Flag that flies on a nice 25 foot pole overlooking Fort Curtis across the street.

4) We do living histories often and have a growing number of recruits that want to start re-enacting and doing living histories and interpretative programs. The costs of purchasing new and used Civil War re-enacting supplies are staggering. Any monetary or re-enacting supplies that can be donated would be appreciated.

If you would like to donate used or new re-enacting gear and supplies, we will take any items, even if they need to be fixed or mended. Re-enacting clothing items of all sizes and types needed, including hats. We have a youth program as well, so smaller sizes are welcomed as well. If you would like to donate supplies or equipment, mail it to Seven Generals Camp, PO Box 409, Helena, AR 72342.

The best part is that all items donated to the Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Camp #135's living history program are tax deductible! Upon the arrival of your donation, we will respond with our tax ID# for tax purposes.

Below are a couple choices in donating to the maintenance and preservation of Helena's battlefield:

-Make a one-time donation in any amount

-Make a donation on a regular basis. Those that donate $1000 over time will have their names on a sign of donors on Confederate Memorial Park and you will receive the Lt. William Rector Award, which includes a certificate and a medal. Over time we will start an endowment that will ensure the perpetual upkeep of historic Confederate sites in Helena.

Confederate Memorial Park- Helena, AR

Arkansas In The Civil War

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Because of the valiant support of dedicated individuals across the globe, the money has been raised for the purchase of Confederate Memorial Park in Helena, Arkansas.

We have taken a rare opportunity for the Sons of Confederate Veterans to own a core piece of battlefield and made it a reality! Located in Helena, Arkansas directly across from Fort Curtis and to the side of a Civil War era home (Moore-Hornor Home), both properties of which are maintained by the State of Arkansas (Delta Cultural Center) is approximately an acre of core battlefield that backs up to the site where General Price's troops made an attack on Fort Curtis on July 4, 1863.

On March 15, 2013 the General Executive Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met in Biloxi, MS. At this meeting it was decided that the property will be donated to the SCV- This is a much-needed heritage victory in the Delta!

Your support is greatly needed!
Mail a check or money order today to:

Seven Generals Camp #135
PO Box 409
Helena, AR 72342

Your donation is tax-deductable!

ALL donations are tax-deductible!

The Arkansas Toothpick is the largest repository of Arkansas Civil War history and heritage. Observing the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States is a task that the Toothpick does not take lightly, as we have posted original and exclusive articles on events in Arkansas on a weekly and chronological basis since 2010 (150 years after 1860). The purpose of the "150 Years Ago..." articles, written and researched by Ron Kelley and Don Roth, is to give a true reflection of the political, martial, and other aspects of Arkansas history leading up to and through the American Civil War.

Boasting of over ONE MILLION visitors, the Arkansas Toothpick has serves as a Civil War hub for historians and the general public. Our FACEBOOK page has nearly 1,000 FB Friends and counting, complete with live updates of

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If you are looking for information on your ancestors or want to locate a lost relative and need a professional geneologist, the Arkansastoothpick reccomends:
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