Battle of Fayetteville observance

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Date(s) - 04/16/2022
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Headquarters House Museum


NEWS RELEASE – Washington County Historical Society
March 28, 2022
Contact: Dave Edmark

Battle of Fayetteville annual observance resumes in person on April 16

Mayor Lioneld Jordan will fire the cannon to start the day-long Battle of Fayetteville observance at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, on the grounds of Headquarters House Museum at 118 E. Dickson St. in Fayetteville.

This will mark the first in-person commemoration since 2019 of the 1863 Civil War engagement. The Washington County Historical Society sponsors the event each year but because of the pandemic it was restricted to online video presentations in 2020 and 2021. Admission is free.

“We’re pleased to be able to bring back this event for the public to enjoy,” said Jim Spillars, the historical society’s co-chair for the activity. “It will be a fun day on the museum grounds with entertainment and educational presentations for everyone’s benefit.”

The events will run until 4 p.m. The opening ceremonies will feature the mayor reading a proclamation that will also recognize May as National Preservation Month in the city, a flag presentation by a color guard and the cannon firing.

A special program at 1 p.m. will feature a lecture by Cody Faber, a historical interpreter at the Fort Smith National Historic Site, who will discuss the First Arkansas Federal Cavalry at the Battle of Fayetteville.

Living historians will be on the grounds throughout the day in Civil War military and civilian clothing presenting reenactments from the era. Other scheduled activities include:

  • A historic dance group led by Molly Hutchins at 10:30 a.m.
  • Musket demonstrations at 11 a.m., noon, 2 and 2:30 p.m.
  • A concert of brass band music of the period at 11:30 a.m. by the Northwest Arkansas Heritage Brass Ensemble.
  • Artillery demonstrations at 12:30, 1:30 and 3 p.m. by the First Arkansas Mountain Artillery.

The day’s events will end at 3:30 p.m. with a reading of the names of those lost in the battle, followed by a volley of musketry and the cannon. The playing of “Taps” will conclude the program around 4 p.m.

The Battle of Fayetteville on April 18, 1863, contested the Union army’s hold on the city when they clashed with advancing Confederate forces east of the site of Union headquarters at Judge Jonas Tebbetts’s home, which is now Headquarters House Museum. The Confederates marched up Dickson Street toward the house but pulled back under fire, ending the battle in a draw. The situation remained unstable enough that Union troops pulled out of town a week later and went to Missouri where they stayed until September before returning to resume control of Fayetteville.