Monday, January 17, 2011

Little Rock Arsenal Crisis Remembered: 12 February 2011

From The Arkansas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans:

Jan 17, 2011 (17 hours ago)Little Rock Arsenal Crisis Remembered February 12, 2011from Arkansas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans by Web MasterIn February of 1861, two months before the start of the Civil War, a confrontation with federal authorities at theLittle Rock Arsenal brought Arkansas to the brink of armed conflict. After years in which the Federal Army had maintained a minimal presence at the arsenal, the arrival of seventy-five U.S. soldiers, commanded by Capt. James Totten, along with news of South Carolina’s secession and the formation of the Confederate States of America, caused concern and speculation statewide.

As Arkansans anxiously prepared for a special election to decide the state’s future, Little Rock residents faced a more immediate crisis. On the morning of February 5, approximately one thousand armed men from southern and eastern Arkansas arrived in Little Rock to demand the arsenal’s surrender along with its weaponry. Sensing an opportunity to push the state toward secession, Governor Henry Rector formally called for the removal of Federal troops. One week later, Capt. Totten withdrew his soldiers from Little Rock “to prevent the effusion of blood.” Arkansas had narrowly averted armed conflict with the Federal government.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Arsenal Crisis, the museum will host a symposium on the impact the crisis had on the Little Rock Arsenal, the secession convention and Governor Rector.


10:00—10:45- “Arsenal Arms” Ian Beard

11:00—12:00- “To Prevent the Effusion of Blood . . . The Little Rock

Arsenal Crisis of 1861” Tom Ezell

12:00—1:00- Lunch On Your Own

1:00—2:00- “A Contrary Effect: The Arsenal Crisis and the Calling of the Secession Convention” Dr. Michael Dougan

2:15—3:15- “Oh Hell! The Arsenal Crisis and Downfall of Governor Henry

Massie Rector” Dr. Michael Dougan

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