Round Table to focus on Battle of Massard Prairie

The Bella Vista Civil War Round Table is pleased to announce the April 4 program will be titled "The Battle of Massard Prairie." It will be presented by National Park Ranger Cody Faber.

The Battle of Massard Prairie took place on July 27, 1864 on the outskirts of Fort Smith, Ark. The attack was led by Brigadier General Richard Gano, who had served with John Hunt Morgan and Nathan Bedford Forrest, with some 600 Confederate troops made up of Texan, Chickasaw and Choctaw soldiers. They swept down on a camp of four companies of the 6th Kansas Cavalry.

It was called a "brilliant and dashing affair" in Confederate reports and when the short, but intense, fight was over, Gano had achieved a very one-sided victory. A morning raid and the charge of horses, Union cavalry surrounded and brawling on foot, a desperate fire fight, failed rescue attempts and even scalping of the dead ... it reads like a story book. But there is more to the story of Massard Prairie than a simple tale of a small, but albeit highly successful, Confederate victory in Arkansas.

Cody Faber is a native Arkansan and has been a park ranger with the National Park Service for 16 years at Fort Smith National Historic Site. There, he is the Volunteer, Living History and Historic Weapons Coordinator. He is also an instructor with the Historic Weapons program with the NPS. On academic scholarship, he obtained a B.A. in Historical Interpretation at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith and a M.A. in Historical Interpretation at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., where he was a graduate assistant.

The purpose of the Bella Vista Civil War Round Table is to educate and stimulate interest in the period of United States history known as the "Civil War," and to promote historical, educational, and literary study and activities related to the Civil War, including events and circumstances related to the cause and effect of the war.

The Round Table normally meets at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at the Bella Vista Historical Museum, 1885 Bella Vista Way. The museum is located at the intersection of Highway 71 and Kingsland Road. Admission is free but donations are accepted to cover the expenses of the guest speakers.

For more information email [email protected] or call the museum at 479-855-2335.