Arkansas Civil War

Search the Civil War Hub

Arkansas in the Civil War: Christmas Across the South

December 23, 2014 By: admin Category: The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil War
Before the holiday season Little Rock merchants had made arrangements to get toys and special food items for the yuletide trade. But restrictions on the civilians use of the railroad between Little Rock and DevValls Bluff almost kept the freight from reaching Little Rock in time. The editor of the National Democrat, Dr. C. V. Meador, expressed sympathy for the children who would be disappointed the toys could not arrive before Christmas.
Since Meador was a merchant, he likely shared great sympathy also for the many businessmen who would suffer a financial loss. During the first week of December he rode to the Bluff to arrange transportation for the holiday freight which included “Kris Klingle” merchandise.
Christmas trees had become popular in America before the War, but this beloved symbol of the American family Christmas—the decorated Christmas tree—-came into its own during the Civil War period.
During the final Christmas of the conflict, some notable Richmond citizens put on a merry demeanor for a gathering of children at St. Paul’s Episcopal church. President Davis himself hosted the party with his wife Varina and children. An eleven year later wrote that they had been invited to see “a Christmas tree given to President Davis’ children.” She further wrote; “The tree was a lovely holly laden with homemade candles and dolls made out of hickory nuts and Canton flannel; then there were cotton and Canton flannel rabbit, dog and cats, and numerous other presents all home-made, as was everything on the supper table—-home-made coffee, tea, sugar and everything. I never saw anything that looked so pretty to me.”
Decades later Mrs. Davis recalled; “When we reached the basement of St. Paul’s church the tree burst into view like the realization of Aladdins’s subterranean orchard, and the children were awed by the grandeur.” Also her husband submitted to the cheerful holiday spirit: “The orphans sat mute with astonishment until the opening hymn and prayer and the last Amen had been said, and they at a signal warily and slowly gathered around the tree to receive from a lovely young girl their alloted present.
The President became so enthusiastic that he undertook to help with the distribution, but worked such wild confusion giving everything asked for into outstretched hands, that we called a halt, so he contented himself with unwinding one or two tots from a network of stringed popcorn in which they had become entangled and taking off all apples when he could when unobserved, and presenting them to smaller children….” (Kevin Rawlings, Christmas in the Civil War, Civil War Times, James P. Weeks, editor, December, 1998)

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Arkansas Toothpick:

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

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Arkansas Toothpick:

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

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Arkansas Toothpick:


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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Arkansas Toothpick:

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.

Enter your email address to subscribe to the Arkansas Toothpick:

Civil War Hub of Arkansas

2015 Battle of Helena

Civil War in Helena

(Click on image for full size)

Click HERE to download the Registration Packet

Donate Now

Civil War in Helena

(click on picture for full size)

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

(click on picture for full size)

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

Arkansas Toothpick on Facebook

Professional Geneologist

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


  • Register
  • Log in
  • WordPress

customer service software technical support
Live Chat by Comm100