Mammoth Spring in Fulton County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
Old Soldier's Reunion
In 1890, the first Reunion of the Blue and Gray was held at Mammoth Spring, attracting Civil War veterans on both sides from Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri. It quickly became a popular August event, with most participants arriving by team and wagon, and in later years, by automobile. Eventually, the Reunion of the Blue and Gray became today's Old Soldier's Reunion.
During reunion week the town was filled with activity. Veterans and their families traded goods, participated in racing, shooting and other contests, and shared stories about the war. Wooden carnival rides were built for the children, and afternoon baseball games and evening concerts were also popular.
The reunion has seen many changes over the years, but it has always honored veterans who fought to protect their families and preserve their way of life.
In Their Own Words
• A veteran describing local war conditions
• A cannoneer describing the firing of “The Big Gun”
• A spectator describing reunion activities
• John Caldwell, Secretary of the Reunion Association, describing his cartoon
Erected by Mammoth Spring State Park; Arkansas State Parks; and Natural and Cultural Resources Council.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational Areas • Patriots & Patriotism • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1890.
Location. 36° 29.791′ N, 91° 32.131′ W. Marker is in Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, in Fulton County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 63 and Main Street (State Route 9), on the right when traveling north. Marker is located along the Mammoth Spring State Park interpretive trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17 US Highway 63, Mammoth Spring AR 72554, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Big Gun (here, next to this marker); Mammoth Spring (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Civil War in Fulton County / Action at Salem (about 300 feet away); The Development of Mammoth Spring (about 400 feet away); What Am I Standing On? (about 400 feet away); Dam Site #1 and Mammoth Spring Milling Company (about 500 feet away); Arkansas-Missouri Power Company (about 600 feet away); The Inspiration for The Grand Ole Opry (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mammoth Spring.
More about this marker. Marker consists of two adjacent panels.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Mammoth Spring State Park
Also see . . .
1. Old Soldier's Reunion. Discover Arkansas website entry:
This historic event is in its 127th year and was established after the end of the Civil War. It is one of the longest running events in the state. Come enjoy a week of family activities in a beautiful park setting. The fun starts nightly at 6 p.m. with carnival rides, games, prizes, food, bingo, and more each evening. Free access and parking. Sponsored by VFW Post 7831.(Submitted on February 17, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Blue-Gray Reunions. Encyclopedia.com website entry:
Despite the popularity of Decoration Day in both regions, few if any joint veterans' reunions took place in the early and middle Reconstruction years. By the mid-1870s, however, there were some joint observances, but these were few and far between. By the 1890s, these reunions were fairly commonplace. With the establishment of the national military parks, numerous gatherings were held in connection with the famous sites. With the passing of the veteran generation, so also passed the joint reunions, but for a brief few decades the veterans had come together and remembered their old times.(Submitted on February 17, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 17, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 232 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 17, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.