News & Events

New Butler Center Books Feature Civil War, WWI, and USS Arkansas Histories

Wine and cheese pair well with new books. Butler Center Books will host a party to celebrate its new releases on Thursday, May 21, at 6 p.m. in the Main Library's Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street. These include They'll Do to Tie To! The Story of Hood's Arkansas Toothpicks by Maj. Calvin L. Collier, with a preface by Mark K. Christ; Arky: The Saga of the USS Arkansas by Ray Hanley and Steven Hanley; and To Can the Kaiser: Arkansas and the Great War, edited by Michael D. Polston and Guy Lancaster. At the party, authors/editors will speak about their work and sign books, which will be available for purchase. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

They'll Do to Tie To!, originally published in 1959, details the 3rd Arkansas regiment of Confederate soldiers in the Civil War who were known for their long knives, or "Arkansas toothpicks." This regiment fought in notable places such as the "sunken road" at Antietam and Gettysburg. Please note, the author of this book, Maj. Collier, lives out of state and will not be present at the party.

Arky tells the story of the USS Arkansas, which went to sea in 1911 and sailed the world until 1946, when it was used in atomic bomb testing. The book's narrative follows sailors' handwritten journals written during combat and features previously unpublished photographs.

To Can the Kaiser is a collection of essays detailing the ways in which World War I connected Arkansas to the world and changed the state and its people. More than seventy thousand Arkansans served as soldiers during the war, and many Arkansas families lost loved ones. Wartime propaganda led to suspicions directed against some Arkansas residents, such as German immigrants, Jehovah's Witnesses, and African Americans. However, Arkansas also benefited from war production, which increased the demand for state resources such as cotton, minerals, and timber.

These titles are also available at River Market Books & Gifts, 120 River Market Ave., and at other bookstores, from online retailers, and through the University of Arkansas Press (via University of Chicago Press) at 800-621-2736. Butler Center Books is the publishing division of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. For a complete list of Butler Center Books, visit For more information about the release party, call 501-918-3033.