Civil War Seminar this Saturday

Old State House Museum - Monday, October 05, 2015


We are thrilled to have a who’s-who roster of Arkansas Civil War historians at the Old State House this weekend to share their insights on the end of the Civil War.

This Saturday, October 10, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, the Old State House and the Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will host the final event in our 150th commemoration of the Civil War, “The Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War” seminar.

We spoke with two of these scholars, Dr. Carl Moneyhon and Dr. Kelly Houston Jones, for some thoughts on the topics of their presentations.

Dr. Carl Moneyhon of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock will be speaking on “Conflicting Civil War Memories and Cultural Divides in Arkansas.”

OSH: Dr. Moneyhon, can you give our readers a preview of what you will be talking about?

CM: The lecture is on the importance of Civil War memory in creating views of the past that still have resonance and, in fact, provide an ideological context within which many Arkansans view contemporary issues.

OSH: Without giving too much away, what are some of the competing Civil War memories you will trace in your talk?

CM: The lecture talks about the struggle that took place in Arkansas over how to remember the war, pitting what historian David Blight has called the "Unionist-emancipationist" tradition against the "Lost Cause" interpretation. While the latter triumphed to a large extent in the late 19th century and remains significant today, the former view has not disappeared and has had a renaissance in professional scholarship since the 1960s and among some in the public more recently.

OSH: Why has memory of the Civil War been important in Arkansas?

CM: As suggested earlier, memory has significant modern implications. How we remember the war helps us use the "remembered war" to define our feelings about things ranging from race to the character of government.

Dr. Kelly Houston Jones of Austin Peay State University will speak on “Women After the War: Profiles of Change and Continuity.”

OSH: Dr. Jones, can you give our audience a preview of your talk?

KHJ: I want to walk our audience through the varied experiences of women of different backgrounds after the war. It seems to me that a woman's station before the war was the biggest determinant of what her life would be like when it ended. That's not to say that the war didn't change her situation, but that the post-war trajectory had so much to do with things like her class, race, or location--her place in society before the fighting even began. For some women, the war signaled the end of the best times of their lives. For others, it ushered in a new hope.

In studying women during these important turning points of history, we learn more about Arkansas communities as a whole.

Tomorrow, October 6, is the last day to register for the seminar! Registration is $15, which includes lunch. To register, contact Tanya Canada at (501) 683-2954 or

For more information on this and other sesquicentennial events, visit