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The Press Covers the Invasion of Arkansas, 1862
Vol. 1 January-June
H L Hanna
During the first year of the War Between the States, Arkansas had been on the sidelines as the main actions had taken place in Virginia, Missouri and Kentucky. This was to change as the Federals gained control of Missouri and set their eyes on control of the lower Mississippi River toward the close of 1861.
In these selections from period newspapers are both Confederate and Yankee Reports on the Invasion of Arkansas by the Union Army of the South-West under General Samuel R. Curtis in early 1862. Reports on the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, the occupation of parts of northern Arkansas and the attempts to take Little Rock by the Yankee army, the resistance to the invaders by the people of the State, and Curtis retreat to Helena as his army nearly starves, are here seen through the eyes of witnesses to the events.
But, we have to be careful when using these reports, as demonstrated by this article from the July 11th, 1862 edition of the Richmond, Va. Daily Dispatch, sometimes the reports and editorials that purport to be reprints from newspapers published by the opposing side may not be all they seem:
A soldier from Georgia picked up on the battlefield, a Yankee "Richmond Dispatch," which had been dropped by some dead Yankee. We have not yet seen it, but persons who have, say it is a cari(?)elry. It is exactly like this paper. The size, paper, advertisements and all are precisely the same. The only difference is in the editorials. The Yankee concern is full of desponding and despairing editorials, which pronounce our cause desperate and say that McClellan is obliged to take the city. These counterfeits are no doubt sent North, and used in keeping up the popular delusion there. --Possibly, other Southern papers may be counterfeited too. Was there ever a nation so thoroughly base?
Newspaper reports are not the best of primary sources. Egos, partisanship and hatred can colour the stories, but a true sense of the events as they happened can be gained from these narratives.
- Publication Date:
- 1466250887 / 9781466250888
- Page Count:
- Binding Type:
- US Trade Paper
- Trim Size:
- 6" x 9"
- Black and White
- Related Categories:
- History / United States / Civil War