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Diary of a State: 1860 is now available on Kindle

October 28, 2014 By: admin Category: Arkansas in the Civil War, Diary of a State: 1860, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarThe editor of the Arkansas Toothpick recently released Diary of a State: 1860 in paperback format. The book is now available on Amazon Kindle!

The paperback version and the Kindle version include a few updates and additions. This volume is the only place you will find the following:

* over a dozen photographs and sketches

* the entire revised 1860 Arkansas militia code

* an index of militia units in Arkansas, their commanders, and county from which they hailed

* an index of Historical Places in Arkansas, many of which do not exist anymore

This volume is an absolute MUST for anyone interesting in the Civil War in Arkansas.

To order this volume on Kindle, Click HERE

To order this volume in paperback, Click HERE

The paperback edition will make an excellent Christmas gift for that Civil War buff in your life!

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New Arkansas Reenacting Unit Forming This Weekend

October 28, 2014 By: admin Category: Arkansas in the Civil War, Living Histories, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

A new reenacting unit (The Delta Rifles) is forming this weekend in Searcy, Arkansas at the annual Pioneer Days. Anyone interesting in taking on Civil War reenacting as a hobby is welcomed to don the Blue or the Gray. Reenactors and living historians will be on hand to answer your questions about the hobby, about the Civil War in Arkansas, and about the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The editor of the Arkansas Toothpick will be on site with the living historians doing educational programming. We will have ongoing programs for all ages and you never know- we may even have a small skirmish. Come on out Saturday!

For more info on reenacting or living history, email

From I-167 exit on Beebe Capps xway (36) to Bus 67 (South Main St) and turn left. Drive to Lincoln Ave & turn left. Drive to Higginson St and turn right to the event on the left. Pioneer Village is located behind the White County Medical Center.

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Arkansas in the Civil War: Missouri Invasion Terminated

October 28, 2014 By: admin Category: 150th Anniversary Project by Don Roth, Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarThe distressing retreat from Missouri by the cavalry corp of Gen. Sterling Price descended into Kansas on the evening of October 23. The unrelenting Federal cavalry zealots, Gens. James G. Blunt and Alfred Pleasonton had routed Marmaduke’s Division following the three day running battle of Westport. The other two divisions were unsettled by the enemy’s ferocious attacks while trying to buy time for the gargantuan wagon train.
On the morning of the 25th, Gen. Price ordered Gen. J, O. Shelby, who now was both the front and rear of the weary and reduced Army of Missouri, to seize Fort Scott 20 miles farther on. That major supply depot also served Fort Smith Arkansas and adjoining military posts.
Meanwhile the train was crossing Mine Creek, a deep narrow tributary of the Osage River. The brigade under Pleasonton commanded by Col John H. Phillips and Lt. Col. Fred W. Benteen, about 2700 men, pressed within 600 yards of the rear guard. Both Fagan and Marmaduke chose to make a stand 300 yards north of the creek while still mounted to protect the train.
The Confederate lines of one-half mile length faced north-northeast with two cannon on each flank and four in the center. Col. A. S. Dobbin of Fagan’s Division held the extreme left, while Missouri Col. Colton Greene, anchored the right. The Fort Scott Road separated the defensive positions held by Fagan and Marmaduke.
At 10:00 AM the two Union Brigades began the attack across a half mile of open prairie. Benteen’s Brigade was five regiments deep and occupied 400 yards east of the road. Phillips Brigade extended westward about 800 yards. Inexplicably Benteen’s own 10th Missouri cavalry suddenly halted and refused to advance. Col Phillips entire brigade did likewise.
This would have been a great time for their opponents to charge since they were mounted and outnumbered their enemy by more then two to one. In fact the Confederates should have been moving forward when the Union charge began. But they didn’t have Shelby directing them!
After a time Major Abiel Pierce commanding the Fourth Iowa led his unit around and through the stalled 10th Missouri to make a charge of his own. The remainder of the brigades followed suit and regained the initiative. Then Phillips men remounted and the two struck the enemy almost simultaneously.
The Confederates were armed with some of the best infantry rifles but they were difficult to load on horseback. A dismounted number fired with their weapons resting across the saddle Though they outnumbered the Feds, they were badly outgunned by the repeater wielding horsemen who also came equipped with revolvers and swords.
The onslaught of battle was ferocious and savage as small groups moved back and forth charging and countercharging. After a brief melee the grey coats fled in wild disorder, most of them throwing away their rifles. Many managed to scramble across the creek. Price at once ordered Shelby back to save the army. One witness reported him returning while standing in the stirrups and cursing with every step taken by his horse. With assistance from Col. Dobbin, Gen. Shelby succeeded in slowing the pursuit until the Federals halted at Fort Scot for rest and food.
On the 28th, the remains of the Army of Missouri encamped at Newtonia, 25 miles from the
Arkansas border. Shelby advised Price to remain there three day or four days, but such would not be the case. (Albert Castel, General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West, Louisiana State University Press, 1968)

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Arkansas in the Civil War: Battle of Westport Missouri

October 28, 2014 By: admin Category: 150th Anniversary Project by Don Roth, Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Arkansas In The Civil WarGen. Price continued his westward march on the south side of the Missouri river and forced a disputed passage across the Little Blue. This marked the first of three days of fighting during which the converging columns of Maj. Gen. Blunt, Major Gen. Alfred Pleasonton and Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith slowly reversed the tide of the invasion.
Following the contest at Little Blue, the Federals took up a new position behind Big Blue, a steep banked narrow stream flowing something like south to north six miles east of Kansas City. On the 22nd Price forced a crossing defeating Blunt’s Feds and militia who blocked the way to Kansas City. But later that day, the rearguard under Marmaduke was struck hard with heavy losses by Pleasonton’s cavalry division. Now a successful withdrawal from Missouri with his train, something his senior officers had been urging for days became Price’s sole objective.
On the cold and clear morning of October 23, Price sent Shelby supported by the two brigades from Arkansas Gen. Fagan’s division to attack the enemy at Westport. For the next two hours the wooded country south of that town raged and swirled with some of the hardest fighting of the campaign. This delaying tactic was necessary to buy time for the wagon train to move down the road. Both sides charged and counter charged repeatedly while taking heavy losses. All the while fresh masses of Kansas Militia threatened the Confederate flanks. Despite the odds Shelby drove the enemy back and occupied their positions. He then reformed his broken ranks and waited for ammunition to be brought up.
Several miles eastward the other wing of Price’s army under Marmaduke had been fighting desperately desperately. While attacking westward, Pleasonton hurled one savage assault after another against Marmaduke while he endeavored to hold Byram’s Ford. Having suffered heavy losses with all their ammunition spent, Marmaduke’s men fled in a utter rout across the prairie. For the time being his division ceased to exist as a fighting organization.
Before attacking Marmaduke the killer-instinct driven Pleasonton sent a brigade on a flanking march south on a road paralel with that of the wagon train, now accompanied by refugees and 5000 cattle. To his credit Price rose to the moment by taking his escort with the remnants of Cabells brigade and formed Col. Charles H. Tyler’s 5000 unarmed recruits into a line to oppose the threat. The enemy mistook Tyler’s command for the main body of the Confederate army. After light skirmishing the flanking force withdrew and headed back much to the furious disgust of Gen. Pleasonton. As a result the train safely passed by, followed by Cabell, Tyler and later Marmaduke.
Much was demanded of Gen. Shelby who was unsupported while enduring overwhelming pressure from Blunt and Pleasonton. He later fell victim to an unrelenting pursuit that was finally abandoned at Little Santa Fe.
Numerically Westport was the greatest battle west of the Mississippi, with about 45000 troops either directly or indirectly involved. Tactically Price took a beating. Strategically he achieved his objectives of saving his train and escaping south. (William Garrett Piston, Thomas P. Sweeney, MD, University of Arkansas Press 2009. Albert Castel, General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West, Louisiana State University Press, 1968)

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Arkansas in the Civil War: White River Low and Yankees Prepare for General Price

October 27, 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, Union Major J.J. Reynolds drafted a dispatch to Major General E.R.S. Canby noting that the White River had, ” three and a half feet on bars, and boats cannot run at night.” Reynolds continued, “I left at Devall’s Bluff Colonel Dye’s brigade and two sections of Seventh Massachusetts Battery, Captain Storer; at Saint Charles, the Fifty-third Colored Infantry, about 500 aggregate, also one section Seventh Massachusetts Battery, and two companies Eighty-seventh Illinois Mounted Infantry, about eighty-five effective.”

Such was the order of the day: keep the areas under Union control staffed with enough troops and supplied to ward off any Confederate attack that might come. He noted that General Steele in Little Rock would be sending a wagon train to Fort Smith to resupply the north Arkansas Union garrison. Amid concerns of Confederate General Price’s whereabouts, standing orders were given to protect the Union interests in north Arkansas.

If General Price were to attack the Union garrison in Fayetteville, the force was ordered, “to fall back on Fort Smith if attacked in heavy force. The distance is about fifty miles. If Price should pass west [of] Fort Smith General Steele cannot touch him.”

Other military actions that took place in Arkansas one hundred and fifty years ago include a skirmish in Fayetteville on the 28th; a skirmish in Brownsville on the 30th; an affair at Hogan’s Farm near Devalls Bluff on November 2; and an expedition from Little Rock to Benton on November 2-3. For a complete list of military actions that took place during the Civil War in Arkansas, go to

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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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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


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