Hempstead County's part in the larger history of Civil War Arkansas comes to life in two events set at Historic Washington State Park.
Hempstead County's part in the larger history of Civil War Arkansas comes to life in two events set at Historic Washington State Park. The annual Civil War Weekend and the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial drama “A Town in Conflict” will recreate the key roles which the village of Washington played during the Civil War, according to Patricia Thomas, marketing director at Historic Washington State Park. Civil War Weekend commemorates Historic Washington as the Arkansas Confederacy State Capitol with re-enactments of a Civil War skirmish, as well as other activities, Nov. 2-3. Civil War re-enactors from across the region will participate in a number of special programs, including the realistically portrayed battle near what is now Historic Washington State Park, the only genuine pioneer village in Arkansas that is a working state park. Special programs for Civil War Weekend also include the Reaux, Roscoe and Lee Medicine Show, the Hempstead Rifles muster, a town ball, and a Civil War church service. Activities will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. “Tours and programs will be presented at many of the historic homes in Washington,” Thomas said. “The B.W. Edwards Weapons Museum and the Washington Blacksmith Shop will be open for tours each day. Surrey rides will be available as well.” Park admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children, plus tax. The second event in the Civil War era celebrations for November will be the dramatic presentation of “A Town in Conflict” on Nov. 2. Washington's 1836 Courthouse served as the Civil War capitol of Arkansas after the capture of Little Rock in 1863. The program involves re-enactors and state park volunteers in period costume and character carrying out daily life in Washington, Arkansas, as the Civil War erupts around them in 1863-1864. First hand accounts taken from the lives of political figures, slaves, farmers, settlers and others of the period will be recreated in the drama tour which begins at 3 p.m. The program will begin at the 1874 Courthouse. Tickets may be purchased in advance by contacting HistoricWashington@arkansas.com online or on the day of the presentation at the 1874 Courthouse. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 four children ages 6-12. Civil War Weekend School Day will also be held Nov. 1 at the park. Contact the park at 870-983-2660 to reserve student tours and obtain additional information.