Battle of Fayetteville commemoration planned for April 16

Civil War re-enactors in front of Headquarters House Museum during Battle of Fayetteville events in 2019. / Washington County Historical Society

FAYETTEVILLE — The Washington County Historical Society will commemorate the 158th anniversary of the Battle of Fayetteville on Saturday, April 16 on the grounds of the Headquarters House Museum at 118 E. Dickson St. Admission is free.

The battle, which took place April 18, 1863 in downtown Fayetteville, was one of the last major engagements of the Civil War in Northwest Arkansas.

This year’s event will mark the first in-person commemoration since 2019. Events were restricted to online video presentations in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

The day-long observance begins at 10 a.m. when Mayor Lioneld Jordan is scheduled to fire a cannon and read a proclamation recognizing May as National Preservation Month in the city.

Living historians will be on the grounds throughout the day in Civil War military and civilian clothing presenting reenactments from the era.

Other scheduled activities include a dance group, musket demonstrations, brass band period music, artillery demonstrations, and a lecture about the First Arkansas Federal Cavalry.

The day’s events will end with a reading of the names of those lost in the battle, a volley of musketry and cannon fire, and the playing of “Taps.”

From the society:

The Battle of Fayetteville on April 18, 1863, contested the Union army’s hold on the city when they clashed with advancing Confederate forces east of the site of Union headquarters at Judge Jonas Tebbetts’s home, which is now Headquarters House Museum. The Confederates marched up Dickson Street toward the house but pulled back under fire, ending the battle in a draw. The situation remained unstable enough that Union troops pulled out of town a week later and went to Missouri where they stayed until September before returning to resume control of Fayetteville.


10 a.m. – Opening ceremony
10:30 a.m. – Historic dance group led by Molly Hutchins
11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m. – Musket demonstrations
11:30 a.m. – Concert of brass band music of the period by the Northwest Arkansas Heritage Brass Ensemble
12 p.m. Musket demonstrations
12:30 p.m. – Artillery demonstration
1:30 p.m. Artillery demonstration
2 p.m. – Musket demonstration
2:30 p.m. – Musket demonstration
3 p.m. – Artillery demonstration
3:30 p.m. – Closing ceremony