The Arkansas History Commission, the state’s official archives, recently released Documenting Arkansas: The Civil War 1861-1865, a 138-page full-color soft-cover book that contains over 200 documents from eighty different collections at the History Commission.
“The History Commission houses the largest Civil War collection in the state and Documenting Arkansas uses these primary source materials to tell the story of Arkansas during the Civil War,” stated Dr. Wendy Richter, Director of the Commission. “This publication will be an invaluable resource to researchers, educators, and students of Arkansas history, especially now during the Civil War Sesquicentennial observance,” she continued.
During its 107 year existence the State Archives has actively collected materials from this crucial era in our nation and our state. Diaries written by soldiers and citizens; letters to mothers, fathers, wives, sweethearts, brothers, and sisters; military orders, newspaper accounts, photographs, broadsides, and even party invitations recount the day-to-day lives of people caught up in the most significant event in nineteenth century America. Telling the story of the Civil War from an Arkansas perspective, the variety of materials represents the breadth of the Commission’s Civil War resources, while thousands more documents are available to researchers. The limited narrative accompanying the material provides just enough context to allow the documents to speak for themselves.
Grant funds awarded by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council were used by the History Commission to distribute copies of the book free-of-charge to Arkansas public and school libraries. Other institutions and the general public can order the volume for $29 plus shipping from the History Commission’s website, www.ark-ives.com.