The Civil War Helena Tour, is a walking/driving self-guided tour that features 25 interpretive sites that collectively tell the story of Helena during the Civil War– including the experiences of Freedom Seekers. Some three thousand freedom seekers followed the Union army into Helena in July 1862, and others found their way there throughout the remainder of the war. Helena was ground zero for emancipation in Arkansas. Especially relevant are Stop 1, which discusses the Union army marching into Helena followed by thousands of Freedom Seekers; Stop 2, Freedom Park (a Network to Freedom site); Stop 5, where Freedom Seekers sought refuge with the Sisters of Mercy; Stop 7, New Fort Curtis, a recreation of the town's major fortification built largely with African American labor; Stop 12, discussing Freedmen's schools; Stop 13, discussing Freedom Seekers who joined the Union army; Stop 22, an African American cemetery; and Stops 24 and 25, discussing the plantation lease system and its effects on Freedom Seekers.
Developed in 2009, the Civil War Helena Tour, is a walking/driving self-guided tour uses various interpretive elements, including wayside exhibits, kiosks, sculptures and a reconstructed fortification.
Visitor Information: Currently open to public.
Location: 502 Cherry Street, Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, 72342
National Park Unit: No
Ownership: Helena Advertising and Promotion Commission
Location Type: Program
People/Organizations Associated with the site: Civil War,Contraband