LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (MacArthur Museum) - To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Little Rock Campaign, the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History will showcase two Civil War battle flags, neither of which has ever been exhibited in Arkansas. The flags, on loan from the State Historical Museum, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, are from the 3rd Iowa Cavalry and the 37th Arkansas Infantry and will be on temporary exhibition Sept. 11 - Oct. 19.
On Sept. 10, 1863, Confederate troops under General Sterling Price evacuated Little Rock in advance of Federal forces, effectively ending the Little Rock Campaign. Confederate soldiers left the city by 5 p.m. and civil authorities formally surrendered at 7 p.m., making Little Rock the fourth Southern capital to come under Federal control. Troops from the 3rd Iowa Cavalry were among the first Federal troops to enter Little Rock and capture the Arsenal. The unit's regimental flag includes ribbons from Little Rock, as well as campaigns at Pea Ridge and Vicksburg. The flag from the 37th Arkansas Infantry was captured by Iowa forces at the Battle of Helena on July 4, 1863. Survivors of the 37th Arkansas Infantry fought in the defense of Little Rock in September 1863.
"We are delighted to be able to bring these regimental flags to Arkansas," said museum Director Stephan McAteer. "especially given their connection to important Civil War engagements at Helena and Little Rock."
A preview reception for the flags is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 5-7 p.m. To commemorate the arrival of Federal troops into Little Rock on Sept. 10, 1863, a symbolic lowering of the Confederate national flag and raising of the Union guidon will occur in front of the museum at 5 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Partial funding for the exhibition was provided by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and Radiology Associates, P.A.