The Weekly Vista

April CWRT program on Marmaduke’s first raid


The next program of the Bella Vista Civil War Round Table, scheduled for Thursday, April 6, will feature a presentati­on by Dr. William Piston titled We Gave Them Thunder: Marmaduke’s Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas.

Piston is a native of Johnson City, Tenn. He received a B.A. and an M.A. from Vanderbilt University and a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. In 1988 he joined the History

Department at Missouri State University, teaching courses in the Civil War and American military history until retiring in 2017.

He is the current president of the Civil War Round Table of the Ozarks and Vice President of the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefiel­d Foundation. He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous books and articles, including Lee’s Tarnished Lieutenant: James Longstreet and His Place in Southern History (1987); Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It (2000); Portraits of Conflict: A Photograph­ic History of Missouri in the Civil War (2009); and “We Gave Them Thunder”: Marmaduke’s Raid and the Civil War in Missouri and Arkansas (2021).

Defeat at the Battle of Prairie Grove on Dec. 7, 1862, left Confederat­e fortunes in the Trans-Mississipp­i in dire straits. To counter the Federal victory, General Thomas C. Hindman sent General John Sappington Marmaduke raiding deep into Missouri. After traversing rugged terrain in severe winter weather, Marmaduke’s cavalrymen struck the vulnerable Union line of communicat­ions, fighting engagement­s at Springfiel­d (Jan. 8, 1863) and Hartville (Jan. 11, 1863) before returning to Arkansas. Marmaduke claimed success, with some justificat­ion, but the campaign demonstrat­ed the limitation­s of a raiding strategy to counter the Federals’ superior resources.

The program will be presented at the Bella Vista Museum at 7 p.m. The meeting is free and open to the public. Donations are accepted to help with speaker expenses.

The purpose of the Bella Vista CWRT is to educate and stimulate interest in the period of history of the United States known as the “The Civil War,” to promote historical, educationa­l and literary study and activities related to the

Civil War, including events and circumstan­ces related to the cause and effects of the war. The round table normally meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Bella Vista Museum located at 1885 Bella Vista Way in Bella Vista. The Museum is located at the intersecti­on of Highway 71 and Kingsland Road.

For further informatio­n contact BVCWRT President Dale Phillips at 812-899-2049 or email at

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