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Old Washington hosts Civil War-era events

by Christy Busby | November 4, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
A Civil War Ball is slated for 7 p.m. Saturday at the WPA Gymnasium in Washington, Arkansas. All are invited to come watch and participate. Period dress is requested for those wanting to dance.

WASHINGTON, Ark. -- Old Washington Historic State Park takes a step back in time with its Town In Conflict Civil War events on Saturday.

The day will include tours of how life was during Civil War times.

The Civil War was one of the most difficult times in the nation's history and Washington served as Arkansas' Confederate state capital between 1863 and 1865.

Washington, Arkansas, is about 40 miles northeast of Texarkana, or just a few miles north of Hope, Arkansas, on Highway 7.

Tours will be conducted through, beginning on the hour, at 9 a.m.with topics ranging from civilian refugees, religion during the war, Civil War medicine and the political issues of the day. The tour will include three of the park's historic buildings and highlight works of necessity. The last tour departs at 3 p.m.

Adult tickets for tours are $7 plus tax, children's' tickets are $3 plus tax and children age 6 and under are admitted to the tours without a charge.

For more information about the tours and events, call 870-983-2684.

Washington's Civil War events Saturday will also have two free events, which includes the Civil War encampments during the day and a dance in the evening. There will not be a Civil War battle re-enactment this year.

The Civil War Ball, presented by the Washington Vintage Dancers, will occur between 7 p.m. and 1o p.m. Saturday at the WPA Gymnasium. Group dances from the 18th and 19th centuries will be part of the evening.

The family friendly event is open to the public and people are encouraged to participate as no dance experience is necessary.

The Washington Vintage Dancers is a group committed to ensuring the tradition of such dancing continues and is enjoyed in today's times.

During the Civil War, dances were a regular occurrence in Washington not only as a pastime to forget your worries, but also for raising money and materials to fund the local hospitals and orphaned families that had lost fathers and sons during the war, according to Josh Williams.

Hospitals were set up in the local churches of town that treated several sick soldiers that came through town in Civil War times.

Refreshments will be provided at the dance. Period dress or Sunday dress attire is requested for the event.

For any questions concerning the dance, call 870-703-8256 or email [email protected]

More information can be found on the Facebook page Washington Vintage Dancers.

--From Staff Reports

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