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150 years ago in Arkansas

One hundred and fifty years ago, things were heating up again in Arkansas. As Confederate forces near Tulip, Arkansas were surprised by an attack by Federal forces under Powell Clayton, the Confederate force under the command of General Marmaduke planned a multi-pronged attack on the garrison at Pine Bluff. The Yankees had been making themselves at home in the Arkansas River valley community since September 14, 1863 and were poorly supplied and under manned. It was the perfect opportunity for an attack.

As Confederate forces neared Pine Bluff in the early morning on October 25, 1863, shots began to ring out as Federal pickets were driven in by the main column. The Battle of Pine Bluff began. The 5th Kansas Cavalry and the 1st Indiana held off the Reb advance all morning as the downtown courthouse square became a makeshift fortification made of cotton bales. As buildings and cotton bales were set ablaze by Marmaduke’s Confederates, the Contraband (freed slaves) formed bucket brigades and extinguished the fires, saving the day for the Federal Army.

Clayton’s 800 soldiers held back Marmaduke’s 2,000, resulting in 56 US casualties and 40 Confederate casualties. For the duration of the war, Pine Bluff remained in Federal hands and remained an important river port for supplying the Federal garrison.

150 years Ago in the Washington Telegraph

Listen to the weekly interview of Historic Washington's curator, Josh Williams as he tells us what was happening 150 years ago.

Washington in the Past

1849 October 17-- "Never has the destruction of the cotton crop been greater in the valley of Red River, than it has been this season.... The destruction by the overflow has been immense, but the planters generally are endeavoring to prevent a recurrence of similar disasters, by adopting a system of levying."

1941 October17-- The town council condemned the building located on block 61 and known as the "tavern" as being "a fire trap and a public nuisance and its destruction was ordered about two weeks ago...."

The "tavern" was torn down. Later, an architect drew plans to rebuild it. Today, the Morrison Tavern is the two story structure standing at the corner of Highways 278 and 195. It was rebuilt using donations from early Washington descendants.
Stop by the taproom during Civil War Weekend and see the old Southwest Trail from the view of a refugee or soldier stopping on their way through southern Arkansas.
Some of the original buildings boards are beside the staircase.

“Governors, Ghosts and Gavottes:

Life in Historic Washington State Park,”

Seminar hosted by State Archives


LITTLE ROCK- Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 26 from 10 am-3 pm and attend the Governors, Ghosts and Gavottes: Life in Historic Washington State Park seminar sponsored by the Arkansas History Commission and the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives (SARA). The free seminar will be held in the 1914 Schoolhouse at Historic Washington State Park, Washington, Arkansas. Check-in will begin at 9:00 am.

Featured speakers include Peggy Lloyd, Archival Manager at SARA, discussing the life of Governor Daniel Webster Jones, a Washington native; Leita Spears, HWSP Historical Researcher, discussing the architectural styles and restorations contained in the park; Billy Nations, HWSP Interpreter, describing the “lure of the unexplained” and hauntings reported in Washington; and Josh Williams, HWSP Curator, who will be demonstrating 19thcentury dances. Seminars presented by the State Archives are approved by the Arkansas Department of Education as Arkansas History professional development credit for teachers of all grades.

A catered lunch will be provided to participants who register online by October 21st.  Click here to register, or call April Goff at (501)682-6900. On-site registration will be available, but meals cannot be guaranteed for those registering the day of the presentation. Don’t miss these interesting sessions! Register today!

This seminar is funded in part by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council. The Arkansas History Commission, located in Little Rock, is the official state archives, with branches in Powhatan and Washington, Arkansas.

Arkansas History Commission

One Capitol Mall

Little Rock, Arkansas 72201



Williams' Tavern Restaurant Specials

Weekly Special - Sept 23rd to Sept 30th

Chicken Fried Steak Basket $5.29

Daily Specials

Smothered Pork Chops w/Creamed Potatoes & Pintos  $6.99
Chicken & Dumplings w/ choice of two sides                $6.99
Farm Raised Catfish w/ choice of two sides                  $7.99
Hot Open Face Roast Beef w/ Salad and French Fries    $6.99

Chicken and Dressing w/ Green Beans & Yams             $6.99
choose your favorites from our Sunday Buffet             $10.99


Washington After Dark - Learn about the unexplained happenings of Washington - Saturday night, 10/26 at 6:30 pm
Call 870-983-2684 for reservations (space is limited)

Town in Conflict - Learn about the daily concerns of citizens and refugees in Washington 1863 - Saturday, 10/26 at 3 pm.

Civil War Weekend - New battle plans have been formed to match a skirmish scenario. See it, and then, see what lead up to the Battle of Prairie d'Ann by watching Town in Conflict - Saturday, 11\2 and 11/3. No Reservations Needed!

For More Information on any event, you can always call 870-983-2684

Remember to visit us online at www.historicwashingtonstatepark.com and https://www.facebook.com/HistoricWashingtonStateParkVolunteers.

Receipt and Recipe

It is getting the time of year that people start thinking about cooking for company and having warm suppers when they come home. This looks like a great one to come home to or have Sunday for lunch.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dressing

4 thawed boneless chicken breasts
1 box Stuffing Cornbread Mix (6oz)
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup water

Place chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker.
Pour stuffing mix over chicken.
In a medium size bowl combine cream of chicken soup, sour cream and water; mix well.
Pour on top of stuffing mix.
Place lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5hours 6. Fluff and serve.

Follow our Pinterest Board at http://www.pinterest.com/hwsparkenews/receipts-and-recipes/

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© Copyright Historic Washington State Park. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 129, Washington, AR 71862 | Phone: (870) 983-2684 | Fax: (870) 983-2736
Email: historicwashington@arkansas.com