Museum Opens New Exhibit
“War Comes to Us” focuses on the Civil War in our part of the state during those turbulent years. The exhibit fills the museum’s First Community Bank Gallery room with artifacts and panels of photographs that tell the region’s story.
The exhibit opening will be highlighted by a program on Saturday, October 5 at 3 p.m. Dr. George Lankford will introduce local actors who bring to life three people who lived during that time. “You will meet Union General Samuel B. Curtis, impersonated by Scott Lien, who led the Army of the Southwest into Batesville, and Confederate General Thomas Hindman, Commander of the Army of Trans-Mississippi, played by Kenton Adler,” explained Lankford. “And you will be charmed by Greta McCann, who will bring to life Emily Weaver’s story. She was arrested as a Confederate spy in Batesville and sentenced to be hanged,” he added.
The entrance into the exhibit will be dramatic. “You will walk back into that time through a tent doorway flanked by the American flag with its 34 stars and the Confederate flag,” said Nelson Barnett, one of the exhibit team.
On display will be swords from both sides of the war, and a Confederate soldier’s jacket, along with a piece of a mortar that went through his hat. Linda Wann, another exhibit team member, said, “I really like all the information on the panels, things most of us don’t know. And the children will love the two games and the display on bullet making.”
The exhibit team emphasizes that the exhibit is not meant to romanticize that conflicted and brutal time, nor celebrate it. Instead, they hope that it informs and challenges visitors to see what can be learned from it.
The program will be free and open to the public. Normal museum hours are: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $3.00 for adults, $2.00 for seniors and $1.00 for children. The museum is located at 380 South 9th street, between Boswell and Vine Streets in Batesville.
Old Independence is a regional museum serving a 12-county area: Baxter, Cleburne, Fulton, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Marion, Poinsett, Sharp, Stone, White, and Woodruff. Parts of these present-day counties comprised the original Independence County in 1820’s Arkansas territory.