Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Book News: Mountain Feds

Continuing on our theme of anti-Confederate southerners...

Most Civil War readers know that Arkansas was one of the more conflicted states on secession and that the northern part of the state had the highest concentration of dissenters. The great majority of white volunteers for Union Arkansas regiments would later come from this region. Before it was suppressed by local citizens and authorities in late 1861, the Arkansas Peace Society, a conglomeration of like-minded groups, was the most vocal anti-Confederate organization in the state. Arrested members were often given the choice of trial and imprisonment or joining the Confederate Army. Predictably, those that went the latter route very often availed themselves of the first opportunity to desert and enlist in units like the First Arkansas Cavalry (Union).

There have been journal articles written about the society and parts of books have been devoted to it, but, to this date, no full-length study of the Peace Society has been published. The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and author James J. Johnston aim to rectify this soon with Mountain Feds: Arkansas Unionists and the Peace Society (September 2018). Unfortunately, I can't find any more information about it. The publisher doesn't have a page up for it on their website yet, and it missed making the current catalog from the distributor, University of Arkansas Press.

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