Calendar of Events
The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will sanction suitable events and activities
throughout Arkansas during the commemoration of the 150th
anniversary of the Civil War, 2011-2015. During the time leading up to the
sesquicentennial, the ACWSC website will include a calendar of Civil War-related
events taking place around the state.
If you have an event you would like included in the ACWSC calendar of events, please fill out the logo-use form below. Questions? Send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Logo Use Request
The Commission has established procedures under which activities to be held between 2011 and 2015 will be permitted to display the Commission logo as officially sanctioned Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Events. Please click here for a copy of the ACWSC logo use request form and here for a copy of the ACWS logo use procedures guidelines. The ACWSC logo is a registered trademark and can be used only with the written permission of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. Events that have received permission to use the ACWSC logo are marked with the Commission logo on the list below.
ACWSC Traveling Exhibit
You can learn about other Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Events at click here.
Fort Smith Parks and Recreation presents: Massard Prairie Reenactment , October 4, 2014
Fort Smith Parks and Recreation
4999 Morgans Way
Fort Smith, AR 72916
This event is free and open to the public. This event is from 10am-4pm.
1864 was a very active period of time for Civil War events in Arkansas. One of the largest skirmishes in Western Arkansas occurred on July 27, 1864 just east of present day Fort Smith at Massard Prairie. In 1864, Massard Prairie was a vast grassland and was used by Federal Troops as pasture and hay meadows for the Cavalry. With forage in short supply within Fort Smith, Brigadier General John Thayer sent a herd of horses to graze on the high-grass prairie. They were guarded by four companies of the 6thKansas Cavalry. The 6thwere a seasoned veteran group that had been involved in numerous skirmishes throughout the region, including ones at Waldron, Roseville, Dardanelle, and Clarksville. In camp near them were about one-hundred members of the mountain feds, a group of irregulars loyal to the Federal government.
Having heard about the Federal encampment, Confederate troops under Brig. Gen. R.M. Gano staged an attack on the group during the early morning hours of July 26. Although the Federals knew that Confederate troops were in the area, they had taken few precautions.
The Confederates swept down from a nearby hillside and charged through the federal outpost. Most of the 6thwere camped around a group of trees called the Picnic Groove and the most intense battle occurred near there.
Confederate encircled the camp and, with Gano himself leading the way, charged through and routed the Union forces. The skirmish was a complete victory for the South. The killed, wounded, or captured nearly two full companies of men and seized numerous weapons and horses.
Today, the battlefield is encroached upon by the rapid expansion of Fort Smith. A small central area around the groove has been preserved as a park and markers have been placed. A reenactment of the battle is planned on-site for Oct. 4, 2014.
150th Civil War Anniversary Event: The Conflict Concludes?, April 4, 2015
Fort Smith National Historic Site
301 Parker Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72901
150th Civil War Anniversary Event: The Conflict Concludes?
April 4, 2015: End of the Civil War Commemoration Event
‘The Great Victory’ ‘The War Probably Ended’
‘Glorious News’ ‘Lee Surrenders’
With General Robert E. Lee’s surrender on April 9, 1865, newspaper headlines spread the word that the American Civil War was drawing to
a close. To many, the news brought humiliation and fear of retribution from an angry Northern government. To others, the news meant a joyous end to hostilities mixed with the memories of several hundred thousand people who lost their lives. To those free from slavery, the news brought a new era of freedom. The nation had hopes of restarting as people looked forward to reuniting with their loved ones, rebuilding their lives, and peace. Unfortunately for those around Fort Smith, the war continued to rage for several months, and the after affects would last for years, thus delaying these dreams for some time.
Visit Fort Smith National Historic Site on April 4, 2015 and meet soldiers and civilians encamped inside the fort walls, waiting to hear the news of the surrender. Mingle among the camps of union troops, who continue to
drill for more possible fighting. Meet civilians longing to return to their
homes while seeking food and shelter inside the city’s defenses. Meet people who were freed from the bondage of slavery and now fight for their freedom as soldiers. Living history impressions, interpretive programs, and historic weapons demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the day (9am-5pm) with encampments of cavalry, artillery, infantry and civilian. Historical vignettes will begin at 6:30pm at 7:30pm and will include two night-time cannon firings! Come visit Fort Smith National Historic Site and help us commemorate the conclusion of the Civil War and find out about the affects it would have on the
surrounding region for years to come. All programs are FREE to the public. For more information contact Cody Fabr at the Fort Smith National Historic Site at 479-226-3727 or firstname.lastname@example.org/ .
Traveling Exhibit visits Perry County Historical Museum, November 9, 2015 - November 22, 2015
Perry County Historical Museum
408 Main Street
Perryville, AR 72126
The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission, in cooperation with the Old State House Museum and the Arkansas Humanities Council, now offers “Civil War Arkansas, 1861-1865,” a traveling exhibit about the state’s involvement in the war.
The ACWSC created the text and located the images for the exhibit, the Old State House Museum designed and built it, and the Arkansas Humanities Council will be in charge of distribution.
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