Civil War to be explored May 12

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Historical performer Sondra Torchia will portray Sarah Scott Gaskin during the one-day event at the Basin Park Hotel.

Civil War in the Ozarks: Facts and Fascination is a one-day event on Thursday, May 12, exploring both the history of the Civil War on the battlefields and the home-front -- often the same -- and exploring how and why this era continues to be of such interest today. The day will include lectures, dramatic performances, walks, readings and panel discussions -- a heritage Chautauqua-style event.

In the morning, John C. Scott, superintendent of Pea Ridge National Military Park, will give an introduction to the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and present an overview of battles in the Ozarks. Historian James J. Johnston will present Guerillas in the Mist and historian Christene Ashlock will share her passion in Dunagin's Farm Story: Past & Present. Lunch will be "on your own" at one of the many nearby restaurants. A walking tour of Basin Spring Park will also be an option during the lunch break.

The afternoon will begin exploring domestic life with noted historical performer Sondra Torchia portraying Sarah Scott Gaskin, followed by a presentation by Susan Young from the Shiloh Museum, In Dreadful Conflict: Life on the Home Front. Delving more into the current fascination of the Civil War era will be a view of Community & Conflict Project, an extensive website developed by Brian Grubbs, project director from the Springfield-Greene County Missouri Library District. The afternoon sessions will end with a panel discussion, Why We Tell the Stories, featuring Troy Banzhaf, Interpretation Director, Pea Ridge National Military Park, re-enactors Gordon Hale and Larry L. Fisher and Sondra Torchia.

Those attending the conference are also invited to tour the nearby Civil War Cave which is being honored with an Arkansas Sesquicentennial Marker. The Eureka Springs Historical Museum will end the day with a reception featuring an exhibit on Eureka Springs' ties to the Civil War.

Civil War in the Ozarks will be held on Thursday, May 12 in the Basin Park Hotel, 12 Spring Street, adjacent to the spring where Dr. Alvah Jackson was said to have treated soldiers during this war. Cost is $15, which includes the reception and publication produced specifically for this event. Registration may be done on-line at and at the Basin Park Hotel on the day of the event.

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage, celebrating May as Arkansas Heritage Month. It is produced by the Eureka Springs Downtown Network (ESDN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting a vibrant downtown in Eureka Springs. Civil War in the Ozarks has been sanctioned by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.

More information may be requested from ESDN, PO Box 144, Eureka Springs, AR 72632 or call Glenna Booth, (479) 253-9703.

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