Civil War days at Har-Ber Village Museum

Har-Ber Village, a pioneer era museum, presents its 6th annual Civil War Days at Har-Ber Village Museum on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Gain a better understanding of Civil War history, hear the perspectives of a variety of re-enactors, and learn facts about history that you may not have learned in school! Highlights of this special event include: the Holmes Brigade Minstrels; re-enactor groups representing 22nd Arkansas, 77th Pennsylvania and 4th Missouri; the Burnt Press District sutler; and tin and copper smith Robert Stone.
• The Holmes Brigade Minstrels began as a small group of musicians who came together around a campfire to entertain their friends. They have quickly grown in popularity in the Civil War community, becoming the premier minstrel group in the four-state area. It is their goal to recreate an authentic historical experience for everyone who has the opportunity to hear their music.
• The 2nd Arkansas Field Battery (1861–1865) was a Confederate Army artillery battery during the American Civil War and was also known as Dallas Artillery and Hart’s Arkansas Battery. The battery was re-organized on two occasions. Following a charge of cowardice during Battle of Pea Ridge, the battery was ordered to disband. After being cleared of that charge the battery was reorganized and served until it was captured at the Battle of Arkansas Post. After being exchanged and re-organized for the second time, it served until the final surrender of Confederate forces in May 1865.
• Company E of the 77th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry is a Union Civil War living historian group based in Oklahoma. They emphasize drill, military etiquette and a Keystone espirit de corps. The 4th Missouri portrays some of the proud men from Southwest Missouri who fought to protect their homes and families. The 4th reenactors portray soldiers of the Confederate States of America, the Missouri State Guard and also Federal soldiers.
• The majority of books published by Burnt District Press are primary source history books with a focus on the Missouri/Kansas Border War. They do not have a brick and mortar storefront; instead, they are often “on the road” selling books at Civil War Reenactments throughout Missouri and beyond. Dressed in era clothing, their “store” is a large canvas sutler’s tent full of merchandise available for purchase as well as the historical books for which they are known.
• Robert Stone has been “playing with” tin and copper smithing on and off for about 30 years, having been inspired by his father who learned the sheet metal trade in WWII as an aviation metal smith. Over the years Robert has done sheet metal work, played with copper sheeting while working at a roofing company, and after seeing some tin candle holders at a craft store, made some out of copper. “I think what I enjoy most is to be able to take an old piece of tin ware, measure it up, lay out a pattern of it on a flat sheet of tin plate or copper and make an almost exact copy of it,” said Stone. “I am always amazed at the number of different things the old timers made out of tinplare.”
Also on the schedule for this year’s special event are a Federal Army Corp of Engineers demonstration and exhibit, a military weapons display, an Army field hospital, a refuge camp and ladies’ soldiers’ aide society. Civilian life will be demonstrated through hearth cooking, flax spinning, weaving, quilting, and basket weaving. Historic trades and crafts include leather working, broom making, printing press, blacksmithing, banjo making and cane carving.
Most of these activities will take place on both Saturday and Sunday. In addition, on Saturday evening, May 20, the Holmes Brigade Minstrels will present a concert in the Event Tent. The concert is free, but donations are suggested. The Har-Ber Village Café will be serving dinner that evening until 8pm—so you’ll be able to enjoy one of their delicious prime rib or chicken fried steak dinners and then attend the concert! Then on Sunday morning, an interdenominational re-enactor-led church service will be held in the Picnic Pavilion at 10 a.m.
All activities are included with regular admission unless otherwise noted. Har-Ber Village Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission is $10 for adults; $7.50 for seniors 62+; $5 for children 6-13; under 6 and members free. Discounts on many programs and free admission is available to those who become Har-Ber Village members.

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