Ouachita hosts Civil War exhibit in Riley-Hickingbotham Library Sept. 21-Oct 13

Ouachita Baptist University will host the Arkansas History Commission’s Fought in Earnest: Civil War Arkansas exhibit Sept. 21 through Oct. 13 in the lobby of Ouachita’s Riley-Hickingbotham Library. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The travelling exhibit chronicles major historical events in Arkansas from 1861 to 1865 and contains 15 freestanding panels that showcase images from Arkansas’ state archives. These original documents, photographs, maps, drawings, paintings and artifacts illustrate the story of the Civil War in Arkansas and offer a firsthand look into the lives of Confederate and Union soldiers, government officials and civilians.

In addition to the exhibit panels, numerous Civil War documents, artifacts and books from Ouachita’s archives and special collections will be displayed. The exhibit includes images of many of the state’s key political documents, such as the original secession ordinance and a page from the 1861 state constitution that placed Arkansas in the Confederate States of America.

“Many are unaware of the role that the Civil War played in the lives of ordinary Arkansans,” noted Dr. Wendy Richter, associate professor and archivist. “I hope the exhibit will illustrate how much the war affected people from all walks of life, in all parts of the state.”

Richter served as state historian and director of the Arkansas History Commission from 2005 to 2012 and helped develop the exhibit in 2011 as part of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial. The commission continues to work to preserve documents and other materials pertaining to the history of Arkansas and its people.

“These projects illustrate the depth and breath of the History Commission’s holdings with regard to Civil War Arkansas, making the commission the premier destination for those researching the war in our state,” Richter said.

For more information, contact Dr. Wendy Richter at richterw@obu.edu or (870) 245-5332.