Joe Walker is a native of Arkansas, growing up in the small southern Arkansas community of Tull (named for his paternal ancestors). While his father's side is known for having numerous ancestors serve in both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War, his mother's side has ties to our country's earliest history with two ancestors (William Farrar and Abraham Piersey) among the earliest settlers of the Jamestowne Colony in Virginia.
His early interest in archeology resulted in an association with the Arkansas Archeology Society where he worked alongside professional archeologists in locating pre-historic Native American sites alongside the Saline River in southern Arkansas. However his primary interest has always been the Civil War - specifically the battles fought across southern Arkansas.
The Jenkins' Ferry battlefield - site of one of the largest civil war battles fought in Arkansas - was located just a few miles from where Joe Walker grew up. This led to countless visits to the state park where his father began sharing the history of the epic clash along the Saline River. It was these early visits with his father that has led to his lifelong passion of the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry. After discovering new information had been discovered since historian Ed Bearss' 1961 book, "Steele's Retreat and the Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas," Joe Walker began a five year project of research and writing with the result being the publication in 2012 of "Harvest of Death: The Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas." Since then, Joe Walker has traveled throughout the Trans-Mississippi introducing others to the battle of Jenkins' Ferry as well as conducting tours of the battlefield as it looks today.
And of course, a book that Joe Walker is very excited about is "Elvis in Arkansas," a book that documents Elvis Presley's more than forty visits to Arkansas in the 50's 60's 70's. From the earliest days of performing in high school auditoriums and gymnasiums (and atop a flat bed trailer here and there) to sold out arenas during the 1970's, you'll see never before published photographs and stories told by the eyewitnesses who where there. Arkansas played a much greater role in Elvis' career than many realize and after reading "Elvis in Arkansas," you'll want to travel across Arkansas to visit some of the places where Elvis visited. It is a fascinating story long overdue.
Next up after "Elvis in Arkansas" is "The 1864 Camden Expedition." This is an exhaustive study of the Arkansas portion of the Red River Expedition - a campaign by the Federal Army for control of the Trans-Mississippi theater during the Civil War. The book covers all facets of the expedition through Arkansas, including the Battles of Elkins' Ferry, Moscow Church, Poison Spring, Marks Mills and Jenkins' Ferry.