Competing Memories


The Legacy of Arkansas's Civil War
Edited by Mark K. Christ
280 pages, 58 images
6″ x 9″
978-1-935106-96-8 (cloth)
September 2016


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Between 2011 and 2015, Arkansas commemorated the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with re-enactments, lectures, placement of historical markers, and a wide variety of other events that were collectively attended by more than 375,000 people. While the sesquicentennial commemoration highlighted the Civil War events that occurred in the state and honored the people who experienced the war in Arkansas, the question of the war’s significance to modern Arkansas remained.

Competing Memories: The Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War collects the proceedings of the final seminar sponsored by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, which sought to define the lasting impact that the nation’s deadliest conflict had on the state by bringing together some of the state’s leading historians.

In these essays, Thomas A. DeBlack explores the post-war lives of both Union and Confederate soldiers who played prominent roles in Civil War Arkansas. Cherisse Jones-Branch delves into the lives of black Arkansans during the war and Reconstruction. Jeannie Whayne discusses the many ways the Civil War affected the state’s economic development, while Kelly Houston Jones investigates the Civil War’s impact on Arkansas women. Mary Jane Warde examines the devastating effects of the Civil War on Native Americans in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. Elliott West scrutinizes Civil War Arkansas from a continental perspective, and Carl Moneyhon considers the evolution of how we remember the Civil War.

Together, the essays in Competing Memories: The Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War provide a compelling account of how America’s bloodiest war continues to affect Arkansas and its people today.

Mark K. Christ is the community outreach director for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and served on the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission from 2007 to 2015. He is the editor of four other titles from Butler Center Books: Ready, Booted, and Spurred: Arkansas in the U.S.-Mexican War; The Die Is Cast: Arkansas Goes to War, 1861; “This Day We Marched Again”: A Union Soldier’s Account of War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi; and “All Cut to Pieces and Gone to Hell”: The Civil War, Race Relations, and the Battle of Poison Spring.

“Civil War Arkansas–related participant accounts seeking editors can do no better than getting Mark Christ on board.”
Andrew J. Wagenhoffer, reviewer, Civil War Books and Authors

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS), was created in 1997 through an endowment by the late Richard C. Butler Sr. for the purpose of promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of Arkansas history, literature, art, and culture.

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