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Saturday, December 20, 2014, 7:44 a.m.
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Faulkner County Museum hosts Civil War exhibit

By Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer

This article was published July 20, 2014 at 12:00 a.m.

lynita-langley-ware-left-with-help-from-her-daughter-sophia-sets-up-one-of-the-panels-of-a-traveling-civil-war-exhibit-at-the-faulkner-county-museum-in-conway

Lynita Langley-Ware, left, with help from her daughter Sophia, sets up one of the panels of a traveling Civil War exhibit at the Faulkner County Museum in Conway.

CONWAY — As Arkansas continues to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, visitors to the Faulkner County Museum will have the opportunity to view a new exhibit featuring that time period in The Natural State.

The museum is hosting the traveling

exhibit Fought in Earnest: Civil War Arkansas, through July 29. The Arkansas History Commission produced the exhibit in part with a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, funded by the Arkansas real estate transfer tax.

This free exhibit chronicles major historical events in Arkansas from 1861 to 1865. The Faulkner County Museum, at 801 Locust St. in Conway, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“This is a rare treat to have an exhibit like this,” said Lynita Langley-Ware, director of the museum. “It is something a little different for us.”

Although there were no recorded Civil War battles in Faulkner County, Langley-Ware said she has heard reports of people finding artifacts dating back to the Civil War.

“That’s quite possible,” she said. “Given the fact that troops were transported along the Arkansas River from Little Rock to Fort Smith, they would have passed right by the Cadron Settlement (just to the west of Conway), where they might have camped.

“Plus, there are both Confederate and Union soldiers buried in cemeteries all across Faulkner County,” she said. “Soldiers who were born in the county and fought in the Civil War came back here, where they lived and died.”

Fought in Earnest contains 15 freestanding banners that showcase images from the Arkansas History Commission’s holdings. Original documents, photographs, maps, drawings, paintings and artifacts illustrate the story of the Civil War in Arkansas. These primary source materials offer a firsthand look at the lives of Confederate and Union soldiers, government officials and civilians from 1861 to 1865.

“We wanted to develop several types of materials to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Arkansas,” said Lisa Speer, state historian and director of the history commission. “I am very pleased that the Faulkner County Museum is sharing this intimate glimpse into Arkansas’ role in the Civil War with their visitors and community.”

Other Civil War materials developed by the commission for the sesquicentennial include two books: Traveled Through a Fine Country: The Journal of Captain Henry Brockman; and Documenting Arkansas: The Civil War 1861-8165, the companion book to Fought in Earnest. Online order forms for these publications are available at www.ark-ives.com/documenting.

For more information about the exhibit at the Faulkner County Museum, call (501) 329-5918 or email fcm@conwaycorp.net.

For more information on the touring exhibit or to schedule the exhibit, call the Arkansas History Commission at (501) 682-6900 or email state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Langley-Ware said the museum will host another exhibit about the Civil War in November. Sponsored by the Arkansas Humanities Council, Civil War Arkansas: 1861-1865 will be on display Nov. 10-23. This exhibit will also be free of charge.

“We have also received a grant from the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission for an Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Historical Marker, which we will install at Oak Grove Cemetery in Conway,” she said. “And the Faulkner County Historical Society has applied for a grant for a historical marker that will be placed at Cadron. We have worked with the association in applying for that grant.”

As the summer winds down, the Faulkner County Museum will continue its Make-It-Monday classes through Aug. 4. And just in time for the winter holidays, the museum will host its annual open house on Nov. 1.

The museum has also

received a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to produce brochures and flyers about the museum.

“I am really tickled about getting this money,” Langley-Ware said. “In the 13 years I’ve been here, we have not had a professional brochure about the museum. This will be a good public-relations tool for us.”

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