Civil War Helena: Gateway to Freedom is a comprehensive, inclusive, and accessible interpretation of 27 Civil War-related sites in Helena, Arkansas. Through signage, audio, teaching guides, and other elements, these sites will tell the story of life in Civil War Helena—a story that will be related not only through the perspectives of the Confederate and Union soldiers, but also through the perspectives of families living in the area. Civil War Helena presents a unique opportunity to help visitors learn about the Battle of Helena, U.S. Colored Troops, Union occupation, river warfare, the plantation lease system, insurgent warfare, Contraband camps, the initial application of Reconstruction, and other topics.
Of the 27 interpretive sites planned for Civil War Helena, 17 have a national or state historic designation or are in a nationally-designated historic district. In addition, Freedom Park, which will include five interpretive areas, has recently been approved as a site on the National Park Services’ Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
Currently our plan for interpreting these sites is thoroughly described in two downloadable documents:
Civil War Helena Sites – Special Requirements (650.92 kB): This document contains a description of each of the 27 sites as well as the Text Direction that will be incorporated into Wayside panels located in each of the sites.
Civil War Helena Interpretive Plan (2.91 MB): This document explores the unique and compelling history of the area, the location and importance of each of the 27 sites, and the interpretive plan for each site and the broader Civil War Helena area.
In addition, several samples of wayside panels and an artistic rendition of Freedom Park are provided:
Freedom Park (3.43 MB)
The Right To Vote (1.53 MB)
Answering A Call For Help (339.01 kB)
We Have Lost So Many Brave Boys (288.53 kB)
In Confederate Service (1.45 MB)
Civil War Comes To Arkansas (188.42 kB)