Arkansas Post Museum hosts Civil War exhibit


GILLETT — “Fought in earnest: Civil War Arkansas”, a free traveling exhibit chronicling major historical events in Arkansas between 1861 and 1865, is now on display at Arkansas Post Museum State Park at Gillett through Jan. 28 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

“Fought in earnest” contains 15 free-standing banners that showcase images from the Arkansas History Commission’s holdings. Original documents, photographs, maps, drawings, paintings and artifacts illustrate the story of the Civil War in Arkansas. These primary source materials offer a first-hand look at the lives of Confederate and Union soldiers, government officials and civilians from 1861 to 1865.

“We wanted to develop several types of materials to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Arkansas,” said Wendy Richter, state historian and the History Commission’s director. She said, “I am very pleased that Arkansas Post Museum State Park is sharing this intimate glimpse into Arkansas’s role in the Civil War with their visitors and community.”

Other Civil War materials developed by the commission for the sesquicentennial include two books, “Traveled through a fine country: The Journal of Captain Henry Brockman”, and “Documenting Arkansas; The Civil War 1861-1865”, the companion book to “Fought in earnest”. Online order forms for these publications are available.

During its 107-year existence the State Archives has actively collected materials from this crucial era in our nation and our state. Diaries written by soldiers and citizens; letters to mothers, fathers, wives, sweethearts, brothers, and sisters; military orders, newspaper accounts, photographs, broadsides, and even party invitations recount the day-to-day lives of people caught up in the most significant event in 19th Century America. These publications and exhibituse these primary source materials to tell the story of the Civil War from an Arkansas perspective. The variety of items represents the breadth of the Commission’s Civil War resources, while thousands more documents are available to researchers.

For more information about the exhibit at Arkansas Post Museum, call the museum at 870-548-2634 or e-mail arkansaspostmuseum@arkansas.gov. To schedule the exhibit in your institution, call the Arkansas History Commission at 501-682-6900 or e-mail state.archives@arkansas.gov.