Arkansas author Mark Christ will speak about his book, “This Day We Marched Again: A Union Soldier’s Account of the War in Arkansas and the Trans-Mississippi,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the Department of Arkansas Heritage at 1100 North St.
The free lecture is part of the Arkansas State Archives’ “Pen to Podium: Arkansas Historical Writers’ Lecture Series.” A reception sponsored by The Friends of the Arkansas State Archives will start at 5:30 p.m.
Christ’s book focuses on Jacob Haas, a 22-year-old enlisted soldier in the Sheboygan Tigers, a company of German immigrants that became Company A of the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry Regiment. Christ’s discussion will include Haas’s harrowing account of combat during the Camden Expedition of 1864, which is considered a Union defeat that killed about 2,750 Union soldiers.
“The Jacob Haas diary is one of the most comprehensive first-person accounts of a common soldier's experience in the Trans-Mississippi, including military activities in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and the Indian Territory, which is now modern-day Oklahoma,” Christ said. Haas and his regiment marched thousands of miles through scorching summers and brutal winters to fight in some of the most savage combats in the west. Yet, his diary doesn’t focus solely on military matters. Haas makes observations on social and cultural activities and describes natural wonders he finds, Christ said. “Haas’s account of nature and culture as he travels through four different states adds depth to the history of the Civil War period and would be of interest to any Arkansan,” Christ said.
Christ studied journalism and liberal arts and graduated from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock in 1982 and earned a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2000. He worked as a journalist in Memphis and Little Rock before going to work for the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program for nearly 29 years. He is now the head of adult programming for the Central Arkansas Library System and helps create programs for the 14 CALS branches. Christ has written and edited several historical works on the Civil War, including “Civil War Arkansas, 1863: The Battle for a State,” “The Earth Reeled and the Trees Trembled, Civil War Arkansas 1863-1864,” and “Rugged and Sublime: The Civil War in Arkansas.” “This Day We Marched Again” will be available for sale before and after the lecture.