Sunday, February 5, 2012
One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago: War Fever Hit Arkansas Newspapers
From The Arkansas Toothpick:
“The time has come, when every Arkansian who loves his country, should prepare himself for the great day of conflict.” One hundred and fifty years ago, these written orations full of political and military fervor were filling Southern newspapers in the first week of February 1862. Thus far there have been two major conflicts in the War: 1st Manassas in Virginia and Wilson’s Creek in Missouri. Arkansas will not be bereft of her share of misery, though.
The same newspaper continued, “Thousands of our citizens have promised themselves and others that, when the hour of danger and trial came, they would shoulder their guns and proceed to the post of danger. That hour has arrived.” Arkansawyers brace themselves for the inevitable conflict bearing down from the north.
Regarding troop movements in the country this week one hundred and fifty years ago, the Little Rock newspaper continued, “Lane and his band of 90,000 land pirates, are ready to descend upon the West: Osterhaus, with 10,000men, is marching upon Price. Buell, with 113,000 troops, is crossing Green River and about attacking the patriot army in Kentucky.”
In a call for support from Arkansawyers, the notice continued, “The South is in danger of being overrun by numbers. Our generals are calling for men to meet the invaders and if their calls are not promptly responded to, the enemy will be upon us, robbing, murdering, and laying waste our fair land.”
Little did the author realize the prophetic realization only a few years later that left Arkansas in a shape of utter devastation, the likes of which the state has yet to recover one hundred and fifty years later.