Wednesday, November 2, 2011
So I'll keep the blog visible for those who want to see some of the research, travels and book reviews, but realistically I don't think I'll be able to blog much anymore. I still review books for Civil War News and will post those reviews here as well, but that is also an area I'll be cutting back on.
Maybe when I'm done with my MBA in 18 months I'll be able to restart the blog, but I can make no promises there. I'd love to use my MBA in a history related field so maybe that will eventually become a good topic for the blog.
Goodbye for now, I hope to be around again, maybe at the end of the MBA program or maybe sooner. I'll still be around reading others' blogs and keeping up on what's new, just won't have the time to be an active contributor here.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
This has to be one of the simplest monuments I've ever seen, a plaque on a large boulder.
In the cemetery though is this impressive monument.
Here is the final veteran who lived here.
This grave actually has some of Quantrill's bones. I met a worker near the chapel who said they thought it was his arm. I don't know if there was any proof there or just a guess. If you search on find a grave you'll see that Quantrill's body was buried in Kentucky, dug up for the family (just to view), then spirited off to Ohio (where he was born), but somehow the skull and other bones made their way to Kansas. The skull eventually went to Ohio and the other bones were buried in Higginsville. A very strange story.
If you had a Confederate relative who lived in Missouri after the war they may have ended up living here at one time. On the park's website is a link to a list of applicants to the home, including their regimental info. You didn't need to have served in a Missouri unit, just have served in a Confederate unit and now being elderly in Missouri.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
At the time the battle itself was a pretty big deal but quickly faded as larger battles came along. In September 1861 Sterling Price led his army into Missouri hoping to reclaim the state for the Confederacy. The town of Lexington on the Missouri River had Confederate sympathies and was garrisoned by a Union brigade. One of the key features of the battle was Anderson House, which has been preserved as part of the park and can be toured. The fighting swirled back and forth to hold the house, primarily because it offered a protected position for infantry fire against the main Union position at the top of the hill.
The other memorable aspect of the battle is that on the third day the Confederates formed a moving defensive position by rolling large hemp bales towards the Union position at the top of the hill. Bit by bit they moved along until close enough to charge the main lines. They weren't able to capture the Union lines there but it was obvious to their commander, Colonel James Mulligan, that their capture was only a matter of time. The Union was surrounded and running low on supplies, particularly water. So they surrendered. The Union lost about 160 of its nearly 3000 men while Confederate losses were only 100 of its 7000 man force.
Price's victory did not amount to too much as Fremont made a big push to drive Price out of Missouri. The weight of numbers forced Price to retreat to southwest Missouri and the Union then regained control of the Missouri River.
Here is a nice modern monument just outside of the visitor's center.
The previously mentioned Anderson House. The damage in the walls would have come from the Union lines. In this picture its best seen on the second floor on the far left.
Here is a close up view showing some of the damage.
Now we're on top of the hill looking at the Union entrenchments. There is a nice walking trail around the loop of entrenchments.
A small graveyard on the edge of the Union trenches.
Friday, September 16, 2011
He now has a very nice monument that lists some of his better battles. His old headstone was also moved at the time.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
He was a friend of Cleburne and the two got into many politically motivated brawls in Helena before the war. Hindman's enemies would start a fight with him and Cleburne would often be there to defend his friend.
Hindman saw service at Shiloh, Prairie Grove, Chickamauga and through the Atlanta campign. After the war he fled to Mexico but returned in 1867. On September 27, 1868 he was assassinated, most likely from an old political grudge but the murderer was never caught. He lived 8 hours after he was shot during which time he forgave all his old enemies including whoever had just shot him.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
The battle of July 4, 1863 was intended to relieve pressure on Vicksburg, but they did not know that Pemberton had surrendered that very day. A Confederate victory at Helena would have meant very little along the Mississippi River as Grant would have quickly sent men to retake the city. The Confederates also wanted to recapture Helena as it would be a logical base for a campaign against Little Rock, which ended up happening a few months later.
Touring Helena is a little difficult. There was a nice museum downtown that had some Civil War exhibits but there really was no driving tour. I got a map that the staff member drew some directions on, which took us to a marker for Battery C but there seemed to be no way to get on the ridge where the battery actually was. I've since seen some pictures of people by markers on the ridge so apparently things have improved. Maybe back then they did not expect someone wanting to see all of the entrenchments.
During the war Helena was a big deal. Seven Confederate generals came from Helena, the most well known being Patrick Cleburne. My next posts will show the beautiful cemetery in Helena and some of the graves of those generals.
Friday, September 2, 2011
These changes of control are shown in the flag display at the park's visitor's center.
Of course it was always a bit more than just a trading post, it also served a military function.
As a trading post it grew and from 1819-1821 it was the site of the first Arkansas territorial capital. Thus it was a bit of a town. Here is a well, that due to being so close to the river still has water in it.
There are also a few markers telling where some important buildings were during the territorial period. Of course some locations have been reclaimed by the Arkansas River.
It was also at Arkansas Post that the first Christian services were held in Arkansas. This picture also shows the bayou nearby. The Arkansas River used to flow there, now this is more of a backwater area.
Fort Hindman has been reclaimed by the Arkansas River. Here is a drawing of the fort.
I believe the park staffer in the visitor's center said the fort is likely where the tree is growing in the water in the left center of the picture. That might be right, or wrong, but is probably close if it is wrong.