Tuesday, September 5, 2006

"The Battle of Fayetteville, Arkansas"

[THE BATTLE OF FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS, APRIL 18, 1863 by Russell L. Mahan. Centerville, UT: Historical Enterprises, 1995. 1 map, illus, biblio, softbound wraps, 55pp. $10]

As a small battle of little military importance, the battle of Fayetteville is interesting primarily because of the clash of Arkansans from both sides. According to author Russel Mahan, Fayetteville marked the moment when Union Arkansas units gained respectability among their comrades (the 1st Arkansas Cavalry performed poorly in the earlier battle at Prairie Grove) and their enemies.

Drawing upon material from both military and civilian sources, Mahan has written a balanced and informative account of the battle. Readers of North & South magazine will also recall that the author contributed a fine Fayetteville battle history article to that publication. Owning a copy of both isn't essential--the softcover book adds mainly background material and unlike the article does not include notes--but CW Arkansas enthusiasts will probably want to. [Mahan is also the author of FAYETTEVILLE ARKANSAS IN THE CIVIL WAR. Bountiful, UT: Historical Byways, 2003. Illustrated, notes, bibliography, index, paperback, 143pp. $19.95 (see link above)].

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