Arkansas Battlefield Update

Summer 2015 Arkansas Battlefield Update

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Friday, August 21, 2015

The Summer 2015 issue of the Arkansas Battlefield Update newsletter (Volume 23, No. 2) is now available on the AHPP’s web site. The newsletter includes articles on the campaign to save the Elkins’ Ferry Battlefield, the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission’s upcoming symposium on the legacy of the Civil War in Arkansas, the activities of the regional Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trail organizations, and other information on the Civil War in Arkansas.

Elkins' Ferry effort nears goal as deadline looms

As the deadline nears for the purchase of 448 acres of hallowed ground at the Elkins’ Ferry Battlefield on the Little Missouri River, less than $30,000 of the nearly $1 million project is needed to complete the deal, which will protect the battle site and enable its future development as a heritage tourism destination.

The purchase price, including closing cost, is $992,995, and as this issue of the Arkansas Battlefield Update was going to press only $28,812 still needed to be raised. The Civil War Trust has an option from Hancock Land Management to purchase the property and that option lasts through the end of the third quarter of 2015, or the end of September.

Funds for the project have been pledged and/or donated by the American Battlefield Protection Program, National Park Service; The Civil War Trust; Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council; Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Department of Arkansas Heritage; Prescott-Nevada County Economic Charitable Foundation; Hendrix Foundation; state Senators Bruce Malloch and Larry Teague; the Arkansas General Assembly; the Ross Foundation, and donors to the fund-raising drive of the Friends of Elkins’ Ferry Battlefield.

Tax-deductible donations – and no donation is too small – toward the battlefield purchase can be made online at or checks can be sent to the Nevada County Depot Museum, P.O. Box 592, Prescott, AR 71857 with the notation “Elkins Ferry.” The Nevada County Depot Museum will hold the deed to the battlefield property after the purchase.

ACWSC, Old State House to host seminar on war's legacy

The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Old State House Museum will co-host a day-long seminar on the legacy of the Civil War in Arkansas on Saturday, October 10, at the museum.

Speakers at the seminar will include Dr. Elliott West and Dr. Jeannie Whayne of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Dr. Carl Moneyhon of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Dr. Tom DeBlack of Arkansas Tech University, Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch of Arkansas State University, Dr. Kelly Houston Jones of Austin Peay State University and Mary Jane Warde, author of “When the Wolf Came”: The Civil War and the Indian Territory. The seminar will include lunch.

Additional information is available at or [email protected].

The ACWSC is tantalizingly near its goal of having at least one Civil War 150 historical markers in each of Arkansas’s 75 counties. As this issue of the Arkansas Battlefield Update went to press, only Lawrence, Sharp, Polk and Howard counties lacked markers either in the ground or in process, and applications for the first two were reportedly in the works.

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Markers approved since the last issue include:

No. 106: Road to Marks’ Mills/Battle of Marks’ Mills, Fordyce, Dallas County

No. 107: Mudtown, Lowell, Benton County

No. 108: Action at Moscow/Moscow Church and Cemetery, Prescott, Nevada County

No. 109: William Ayers Crawford/George M. Holt, Benton, Saline County

No. 110: General Samuel Rice/Confederate Cannons Captured, Leola, Grant County

No. 111: Newton County in the Civil War/Newton County Civil War Troops, Jasper, Newton County

No. 112: Confederate Headquarters/Confederate Flank Attack, Leola, Grant County

No. 113: Jenkins’ Ferry/Pontoon Bridge, Leola, Grant County

No. 114: Supplies Destroyed/Refugee Children, Leola, Grant County

No. 115: Officers Killed/Union Wounded, Leola, Grant County

No. 116: Clash at Whitten’s Mill, Prattsville, Grant County

No. 117: Skirmish at Guesses Creek, Leola vic., Dallas County

No. 118: Marmaduke-Walker Duel, Jacksonville, Pulaski County

No. 119: Dooley’s Ferry/Dooley’s Hill Cemetery, Spring Hill vic., Hempstead County

No. 120: Skirmishes at Roseville, Ozark, Franklin County

No. 121: Potts Family in the Civil War, Pottsville, Pope County

No. 122: Bridging the Ouachita River, Malvern, Hot Spring County

No. 123: Calhoun County in the Civil War, Hampton, Calhoun County.

The ACWSC awarded $7,338 in grants for five projects to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War.

Recipients of Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Grants were:

* Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture/Central Arkansas Library System, Little Rock, $2,000 for Civil War Arkansas entries in the online encyclopedia

* Ouachita County Historical Society, Camden, $1,701 for equipment for the First Kansas Colored Infantry re-enactor group

* Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation, Washington, $1,875 for the 9th annual Red River Heritage Symposium, “The World Turned Upside Down”

* Nevada County Depot and Museum, Prescott, $1,012 for a tour program of Camden Expedition sites in Nevada County

* Albert Glenn Glover, El Dorado, $750 for Seminar, AR: The Under-Told Story project focusing on the Civil War-era history of a Union County town.

These were the final grants to be awarded by the commission. Over the course of the Arkansas Civil War Historical Marker program’s five years, 84 grants totaling $137,912.76 were awarded.

Marks' Mills assisted by SEACWHT

By Doyle Taylor


Well, summer has certainly arrived. With the warmer temperatures, many outdoor activities have halted. At least that is the case in Southeast Arkansas.

On May 15 -16, the 151st Anniversary re-enactment of the Battle of Marks' Mills was held just south of Fordyce. While not technically within the operational area of the Southeast Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails group, many of our members were involved in the planning of this event. The event was a success in that it achieved its purpose of demonstrating an idea of the Civil War experience. The monies raised by the event benefited the Dallas County Museum, which sponsored the event. With seven pieces of artillery and more than 150 re-enactors from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi, and even one, a descendent of a soldier of the 43rd Indiana Infantry, from Australia attended.

On Saturday the 16th, the battle was well attended with more than 600 spectators. The engagement lasted for about an hour with the rare sight of a battery of horse-drawn artillery being positioned upon the field. And while the threat of rain was very present, none occurred. However, because of heavy rains that night and the following Sunday morning the Sunday afternoon event was cancelled because ground conditions were becoming unfavorable for vehicles to move in the campgrounds.

All in all, event sponsors and officials of Fordyce city government, the mayor’s office and county judge were highly complimentary of the event. Planning has already begun to repeat the event in 2017.

On Sunday the 17th, a dedication service was held at the Marks’ Cemetery in conjunction with the Marks Family annual reunion to mark the placement of a Civil War Sesquicentennial marker of the Battle of Marks' Mills. The keynote speaker was Doyle Taylor with Edgar Colvin acting as host and moderator. A rifle squad of re-enactors provided the honor guard duties and salutes. Dyan Bohnert of Dumas and the Ladies in Black placed flowers in honor of those who died in the battle.

On Saturday, June 13, members of this group were at two different locations. Four ladies and three gentlemen assembled at the Skull Cemetery on the Old Post Road at Arkansas Post to attempt to clean the cemetery and remove a dangerous fallen tree. We were able to fell the tree to the ground where it could be cleaned later without being a hazard. The area was cleaned of sticks and limbs and mowed of high grasses among the main stones.

The Skull Cemetery is one of the older cemeteries in the state and historically is connected to some of the first families of Arkansas, such as the Skull Family. Some of the members of this family migrated to Pine Bluff where streets are named after them. According to the biography of Henry Merrell, James Skull of Pine Bluff spoke of being a classmate of Confederate President Jefferson Davis while at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

Another work date is being planned for cooler weather to mark three graves in the cemetery and place a historical marker within it as well as place a new cemetery sign at the entrance. These markers are being provided by Edgar Colvin of Watson Chapel.

The cemetery is in need of someone who will take charge and see to its upkeep. The local historical society has been doing so as best they could. However, members’ ages and health have prevented them from doing so in recent years.

On the same day, Chicot County Captain Bill Turney and his company took part in the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival by providing a historical display at the Bradley County museum. I have not received a report on the activities of this event.

Future planned activities for the group will be the annual living history observance on Saturday, October 10, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., at the Camp White Sulphur Springs Confederate Cemetery on Luckwood Road in the Sulphur Springs Community south of Pine Bluff, and a memorial service on Sunday, October 11, at 2 p.m. for those who died at Sulphur Springs during the war. The memorial service will be hosted by The United Daughters of the Confederacy, David O. Dodd Chapter 212 of Pine Bluff.

NEACWHT dedicates new markers

By Danny Honnoll


Hot is the word this summer! We have been busy with various projects during the spring and summer so far this year. I want to thank all of our members of the NEACWHTC for helping in placing, dedicating, marching, and preserving the history of Arkansas during the Civil War.

On May 1h we dedicated an ACWSC Historical Marker for Pvt. William M. Loudermilk, the last of the Confederate soldiers to die in Arkansas. He was buried at Keller’s Chapel, south of Jonesboro (Craighead County). This was in conjunction with the Keller Chapel Cemetery Association’s annual meeting. Jerry Lewis, secretary/treasurer of the Keller’s Chapel, was the emcee. Russell Hendrix greeted the gathering and thanked those who were in attendance for coming. W. Danny Honnoll was the keynote speaker for the event.

Immediately after the service those in attendance gathered around the Pvt. William Loudermilk ACWSC Historical Marker for the dedication. Honnoll emceed the event and Bobbie F. Barnett portrayed the widow of Pvt. Loudermilk. The 30th Arkansas Light Artillery re-enactors manned by Gary Whitney and Adam Whitney with the assistance of Jimmy Stevens fired a three-volley salute to Loudermilk and other Civil War veterans buried in Keller’s Chapel Cemetery. They are Pvt. James H. Cobb- Co A, 17th Kentucky Infantry CSA, and Pvt. Thomas Jefferson Mattix, Aug 17, 1836 — Sep 26, 1912 - Co K, 23rd Arkansas Infantry CSA.

About 75-100 were in attendance. We had the local newspaper and TV station cover the event. Tara and David Bellomy placed the post for the monument and Honnoll and Jason Williams mounted the new marker on the post.

The new marker reads:

Last Confederate Veteran

The last Confederate veteran living in

Arkansas, William Murphy Loudermilk, is buried here in Keller’s Chapel Cemetery. Private Loudermilk, who was born Oct. 17, 1847,

joined a North Carolina regiment in the

Army of Tennessee at age 16 and fought at Chattanooga, the Atlanta Campaign, and Nashville, serving as a water boy, bugler and finally as a sharpshooter. He was still with the army when it surrendered in May 1865. In 1886, he married Elizabeth Bruce and the couple moved to Craighead County and started a farm. He died Sept. 18, 1952, aged 104.

No. 95

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp #1655, Sons of Confederate Veterans

W. Danny Honnoll and M. Ray Jones, ACWSC Commissioners

Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council


On June 9, long-time NEACWHTC member Jim Kincaid of Pocahontas died. He was buried on June 1, in the Masonic Cemetery with military honors. Seventy Civil War re-enactors were in attendance. Kincaid always was very helpful with the Chalk Bluff re-enactments and with the Randolph County marker placed in Pocahontas in 2006. He was a re-enactor for more than three decades and will be dearly missed by all that knew him.

On June 17, we had our summer NEACWHTC meeting with about 20 in attendance. We made plans for the “Troops Raised in Craighead County” ACWSC marker and discussed other markers that we’re working on, including L’Anguille Ferry crossing/battle site in Lee County. We are looking for a marker site around Felton, north of Marianna. If we can get approval we have some funding in place. We’re still researching the facts for a possible one in Helena for Sen. William King Sebastian, the senator from Arkansas from 1848 until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. We are going to get with the Helena folks to help decide if we place it in town close to where Sebastian is buried north of Helena. We are also looking at a site near Cole Hill west of Jonesboro to place one more Craighead County ACWSC marker.

Craighead County placed its second Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission Historical Marker on Saturday, June 20, 2015, at 10 a.m. The dedication took place at the Southern Confederate Heritage Park located at 117 SW Dr., in Jonesboro.

Honnoll emceed the event.

The Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp #1655 and the Arkansas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, James Wiseman Honnoll Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Mitchell A. Adair Chapter of the Children of the Confederacy, North East Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails Committee, and the Gen. James F. Fagan Chapter #280, Military Order of Stars and Bars conducted the historical marker unveiling ceremony.

The new marker reads:

Troops Raised in Craighead County

Several companies were raised in Craighead County for the Confederate army. Co. I of the 13th Arkansas Infantry – the “Confederate Grays” – formed in 1861. A company of the 23rd Arkansas Infantry and Co. I of the 30th Arkansas Infantry enlisted in 1862. “Wood’s Rifles,” Co. E of the 8th Arkansas Infantry Battalion, joined on March 11, 1862. After being captured at Port Hudson, La., Capt. Joel Wood returned to Craighead County and recruited Co. A, 7th Arkansas Cavalry Battalion. About one-fourth of Co. I, 45th Arkansas Infantry, were from here.

No. 96

Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission

Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp #1655, Sons of Confederate Veterans

W. Danny Honnoll and M. Ray Jones, ACWSC Commissioners

Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council


Bobbie Barnett of Ravenden was dressed in period widow mourning dress and laid fresh flowers at the base of the new marker. She will be in character portraying a widow of a Confederate soldier. Barnett was escorted by M. Ray Jones, III, Shaver Camp member and 30th Arkansas Infantry re-eenactor.

The event was sanctioned by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. The marker was funded by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp #1655, Sons of Confederate Veterans of Jonesboro, James W. Honnoll Chapter UDC, and the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.

On July 4, Honnoll along with Will Silas and Aaron Vaupel, marched in the Leachville City Centennial parade. They carried the Arkansas flag as well as the U.S. and First National Confederate flag. Honnoll and Silas are direct descendants of Rev. James W. Honnoll, one of the founders of Leachville. 2nd Lt. J. W. Honnoll was also a Civil War soldier that fought under Gen. N. B. Forrest with the 11th Mississippi Cavalry.

On Aug 2, members Will Silas, Ashton Silas, Emily Silas and Honnoll visited Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum at the Top of the Rock Resort south of Branson. It is a 35,000 sq. ft. museum dedicated to the American Indian but it also has numerous Civil War artifacts including flags, cannons, and various other weaponry. Honnoll gives it two thumbs up so you need to visit the museum when you are in the area.

You can email Honnoll at [email protected], call him at 870-926-2985 or write him at 216 Hillpoint Cove, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401-5992 if you have any information on any Civil War happening that you would like the NEACWHTC to help with.

SWACWHT members active in Elkins' Ferry effort

By Peggy Lloyd


The movement to acquire Elkins’ Ferry has made good progress. Funds from the Civil War Trust, the Department of Arkansas Heritage, the State of Arkansas, Arkansas legislators, the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, local groups and individuals are moving ahead to acquire 448 acres along the Little Missouri River.

The Friends of Elkins’ Ferry, made up of interested persons from Prescott, Hope and Washington, have sponsored a letter-writing campaign and have done interviews on local KXAR radio and local KTSS TV in Hope to request donations from people with connections to Prescott and the region. Donations can also be made online at or sent directly to the Nevada County Depot Museum, P.O. Box 592, Prescott, AR 71857 with the notation “Elkins Ferry.”

Josh Williams, curator of Historic Washington State Park, applied for an Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission grant to fund a series of bus tours with speakers and dinners to make the public aware of the Elkins’ Ferry site, its history and the value of heritage tourism. The first tour took place on July 11 with a visit to the Missionary Grove Baptist Church on NCR 37 near Elkins’ Ferry and to nearby Prairie D’Ane, also a National Historic Landmark. Billy Nations, chief interpreter of Historic Washington State Park, spoke on the troop movements during the Camden Expedition, and Peggy Lloyd of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives/Arkansas History Commission commented on the Cornelius family, the Cornelius farm and the Civil War Sesquicentennial markers at the church and for Prairie D’Ane at the T/A truck stop near I-30 and Prescott. Dinner at the First Methodist Church followed with a talk by Steve McDaniel on the development of the Parkers’ Crossroads Civil War site in Tennessee.

On August 1, Mark Christ of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program led the tour to Elkins’ Ferry followed by a dinner in Prescott. The concluding tour will be on August 22 and will go to Moscow Church and Cemetery, the site of a rearguard action as the Union Army moved toward Camden. The site will get an Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial marker sometime in late August or early September. Dr. Jamie Brandon of the Arkansas Archeological Survey will speak on the archeology of Civil War sites and what it can reveal at the dinner following the tour.

The Friends of Elkins’ Ferry host and serve the dinners. The food is prepared by Jeremy Dickerson, a restaurant owner in Prescott and chairman of the board of the Nevada County Depot Museum as well as a member of the Elkins’ Ferry Friends group.

The Camden Expedition continued to be the focus of events in Southwest Arkansas. About 150 re-enactors camped at Historic Washington State Park from June 5-13. They included infantry, artillery and cavalry, both Union and Confederate, from Texas, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Arkansas and California. They conducted marches in some very hot weather in the vicinity of the park, camped out and ate period rations distributed by their commanders.

The 9th Annual Red River Symposium also took place at Washington on July 25 with the theme of “The World Turned Upside Down” on the end of the Civil War and the beginnings of Reconstruction. Dr. Tom DeBlack of Arkansas Tech University spoke on “Arkansas and Reconstruction.” Paul Ridenour, an independent historian from Dallas, TX, spoke on “Stand Watie—Confederate Brigadier General.” Josh Williams of Historic Washington State Park spoke on “Washington at the End of the Civil War.” Dr. Ted Tunnell, retired professor of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, spoke on “Showdown on the Red River: Marshall H. Twitchell and Reconstruction in Red River Parish, Louisiana.”

The symposium also included a Friday and Saturday workshop for teachers and Saturday morning tour of the Civil War entrenchments at Dooley’s Ferry in southern Hempstead County. The Dooley’s Hill Cemetery near the site of Dooley’s Ferry will have an Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial marker installed to commemorate the fortifications at this important crossing site on the Red River and the African-American church and cemetery that emerged near the fortifications in the years after the Civil War.

Civil War Weekend will be held at Historic Washington State Park on November 7 to 8.

WCACWHT sets Frontier Days

By Curtis Varnell


By 1865, little remained of the once-proud Confederate forces once found in the Arkansas River Valley. Confederate forces across the country were staggering after repeated defeat at the hands of Northern forces.

The last major campaign of any kind for Confederates in Arkansas led to the disastrous Missouri Campaign conducted by General Sterling Price during the fall of 1864. Still, the South struggled onward and remnants of the Confederate army continued in battle, hoping against hope that the North would negotiate a peace with honor. In January of 1865, Colonel William Brooks and 1,500 Confederate cavalrymen attacked the Union flotilla located on the Arkansas River at Dardanelle. After being repulsed, they set up an ambush at Ivey’s Ferry and inflicted 109 casualities and destroyed several Union steamboats.

Thus ended the war in the River Valley but guerilla warfare and occasional raids continued for several months. Finally, on May 11, 1865, the last Arkansas engagement took place in Monticello, Arkansas.

During the past five years, the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission has assisted in efforts to preserve the history and the culture of Arkansas during this harsh period. In the River Valley, historical monuments were placed at battle sites in Dardanelle, Paris, Waldron, Massard Prairie, Devil's Backbone (Greenwood), and at other locations. Re-enactment of battles have offered the opportunity for people to observe, not only the war, but the life and culture of the people of the era and created a real and continuing interest in the history of our state.

One of the largest celebrations is the annual Frontier Days in Paris, held on the site of the Battle of Haguewood Prairie. The 2013 event attracted more than three thousand people and featured a cannon and rifle display, re-enactment of the battle by students from five area schools, and music from the era. Older citizens taught school-age students how to play marbles, jacks, tops, and how to make corn-husk dolls.

The annual event will be conducted this year on October 3 and will be held at the fair ground east of Paris. It will again feature a cannon display by Tom Wing of UA Fort Smith, presentation of the flags, and a re-enactment of Jo Shelby’s Missouri Raid.

Helena continues tourism development

By Ron Kelley

Delta Cultural Center

The 150th has come and gone and Helena has increased its Civil War interpretation and preservation more over the past five years than at any other time in her colorful and eventful history. With the addition of a reproduction of Fort Curtis, the development of Freedom Park, and the addition of Battery C, more is still on the way.

Efforts in the Delta community have not ceased just because the 150th has ended. Fourteen dilapidated structures are being razed near historic Civil War sites and more tourism offerings downtown have created an atmosphere ripe for heritage tourism, including more restaurants and even a coffee shop. The American Queen steamboat has added Helena on 42 stops between March 6, 2016, and December 24, 2017. Helena is on the rebound.

The Delta Cultural Center, since the last printing of the Battlefield Update, has secured for its education department a 2-pound Woodruff ball and a 6-pounder Borman shell and a drone to help catalogue Civil War assets from above, including trenches and other earthworks. Thus far the drone has shed light on parts of the battlefield never before seen by historians and it continues to play a large role in studying the occupation of the Union army and the July 4, 1863, Battle of Helena.

As noted in previous articles, Helena is preparing for a complete makeover from Fort Curtis on Columbia Street southward back to the Arkansas Welcome Center with the addition of two new Civil War Helena sites, new sidewalks, and a clean corridor coming in to the historic district from off the Highway 49 bypass.

Helena is also gearing up with a new living history program to help interpret Civil War sites, including Battery C, Freedom Park, Fort Curtis, and the 1859 Moore-Hornor House located directly across from Fort Curtis. If you are interesting in interpreting Civil War history or becoming a living historian, contact Ron Kelley at the Delta Cultural Center at 870-338-4350 or email [email protected]. The living history program is open to males and females from 14 years of age and up.

Reed's Bridge battlefield awash in markers

By Mike Kish

RBBPS President

Tommy Dupree continues a seemingly relentless effort to mark everything of historical significance in the greater Jacksonville area. Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society (RBBPS) received Arkansas Humanities Council approval for two more historical markers. Queried about how many he has acquired, he laughed and said, “I can’t remember that high.” Records reflect possibly 17 now.

Bayou Meto Cemetery’s marker identifies all Civil War veterans. Hidden on a nondescript and easy to miss dirt road, the tree-shrouded McCraw Cemetery will gain a little more awareness. On the National Register of Historic Places, the McCraw house served as Union headquarters for the final, but unsuccessful, attempt to capture Reed’s Bridge on August 27, 1863. Of additional significance, this cemetery is one of Pulaski County’s oldest.

The essence of every battlefield is its now-quiet, bloodied ground. Acquiring it often is difficult and expensive, more so after being ensconced in modern development. Five more acres are nearing complete turnover to Jacksonville’s Park and Recreation Department. The Thornton property is believed to be the approximate location of Marmaduke’s primary artillery position, critical to repelling Union dismounted cavalry intent on capturing the bridge while campaigning to take Little Rock. Two and a half acres, within city control, help anchor the battlefield’s southwest border. If pledged assistance from local legislators materializes, the remaining acreage will follow in the not too distant future—another example of Tommy Dupree’s handiwork.

Battlefield preservation cannot be done without public interest and support. As we age, we must cultivate and nurture interest in our “replacements.” Always looking to the future, RBBPS volunteers highlighted the battlefield’s contribution to who and what we are today as a nation by hosting trips from North Little Rock’s LISA Academy and a Little Rock elementary school class. Surprisingly, three things in particular seemed to captivate a generation associated with an inability to detach from personal electronic devices.

Horehound candy’s unique flavor grabbed everyone’s attention and quickly divided the group. Perhaps shockingly, about half the group liked or didn’t mind the flavor. Some asked for additional pieces. Necco chocolate wafers were a universal hit—most asked for more. Some of us may remember the assorted flavored, powder covered wafers stacked in white paper from our youths. Did you know they date to 1847? Finally, simple wooden stilts—again, we didn’t have enough of them. With encouragement, all were able to walk at least a few steps within 15 minutes, chaperones too!

A Texas Boy Scout troop en route to and from a northern Jamboree used the site as a welcome and convenient stopping point two July Saturdays, something that gladdened President Mike Kish. Among stated society goals, he’d like to see weekend events 52 weeks a year. As RBBPS guests, the cost-conscious guests appreciated the price—free camping.

Northwest Arkansas sees marker projects

By Alan Thompson


A number of Civil War Centennial markers in Benton County have received face lifts thanks to the efforts of the Benton County Historical Preservation Commission. Weather and rifles have taken a toll on the signs over the last 54 years. They have been repaired, repainted and are ready to be installed. The markers are for Camp Stephens, Dunigan’s Farm and Pott’s Hill.

An Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial marker for Mudtown (modern Lowell) has been approved and should be ready for installation this fall. The sesquicentennial marker for Holcomb’s Spring has been installed and has already witnessed a number of visitors as they pass by on the Razorback Greenway walking and cycling trail. Located along the Razorback Greenway at the corner of Mill Street and Johnson Avenue in Springdale, the marker sits just west of where the Holcomb farm sat during the war.

Pea Ridge National Military Park is hosting artillery programs every other Saturday from now until October 10. Times are at 11,12,1,2 and 3. Dates of the remaining programs are August 29, September 12, September 26 and October 10.

There will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Pea Ridge on September 24-27 on the Webb Farm four miles north of Pea Ridge. The cost will be $8 for participants and $10/day or $22/3 days for spectators. For information visit:

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