Research Topics

At the request of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, a group of 20 historians, preservationists, and others with an interest in Civil War history met on May 19, 2007, to discuss and identify areas of Arkansas Civil War history that would benefit from additional study. The results of that meeting are listed below.

Topics relating to Arkansas Civil War history that need additional focused research:

Experiences of civilians (displacement and destruction, demographic and social effects); Arkansas in the Civil War as opposed to the Civil War in Arkansas

African-American soldiers in Arkansas

The Naval war in Arkansas

Arkansas Unionism and Arkansas’s Union soldiers

Study the motivations that led Arkansawyers to choose sides: It’s more complicated than Secessionists vs. Unionists

The legacy of the Civil War in Arkansas: How it shaped us as a people and how it is viewed today.

Projects that should be actively pursued up to and during the Sesquicentennial:

  • Collate the Arkansas Slave Narratives to emphasize the Civil War years
  • Republish the Arkansas Adjutant General’s Report
  • Compile Civil War articles from the Arkansas Historical Quarterly
  • Gather and publish maps and illustrations of Civil War Arkansas
  • Reprint Margaret Ross’s Chronicles of Arkansas
  • Compile letters from soldiers that appeared in newspapers, including letters from Union soldiers to their hometowns in the North; the latter can provide an outsider’s view of the state
  • Annotate and publish Civil War-period letters.

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