Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Helena progressing toward Civil War tourist destination- by Jack Myers, Education Coordinator at the Delta Cultural Center, Helena.(Part 4)
From The Arkansas Toothpick:
Wayside panels will direct visitors to the site of Confederate General Thomas Hindman’s home confiscated and used by General Curtis on his arrival as his official quarters and the site of Saint Catherine’s Convent used as shelter for “Contrabands” at first and then as a hospital after July 1863.
The flagship of the project, Fort Curtis, is a reconstruction of the original fortification. Begun in August 1862 and completed in October, Fort Curtis stood on the block now occupied by the First Baptist Church and the Horner-Gladin House. It was an earthen fort, as were all Civil War era fortifications, constructed by laborers drawn from the ranks of soldiers and “Contrabands” alike.
The reconstruction is a faithful rendition of the original in ¾ scale and is the only replica of its kind known in Arkansas. Though obviously shifted from its original site, it still offers a panoramic view of Batteries A, B, C, and D plus the red brick, ante-bellum Moore-Hornor House just west, used by General Salomon as his quarters. The fort will begin its life as an educational historic replica in May 2012, under the auspices of the Delta Cultural Center, with a 24-pounder and a 32- pounder as well as a firing, display Parrott gun. As funds progress, the entire complement of seven cannon will be installed, as will be a simulated well, wooden flagpole with 35- star American flag, and garrison tents.