Helena in Phillips County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
The New Fort Curtis
Imagine It Is 1862
New Fort Curtis provides a glimpse into the changes the Union occupation brought to Civil War Helena. Look at its massive earthen walls and imagine the effort it took hundreds of refugee slaves, pressed into labor, to build the original Fort Curtis. The number and size of the reproduction guns is a visible reminder of the might of the Union army. Seeing the parade ground, you can imagine Union soldiers drilling or standing for inspection.
Interpreting Fort Curtis
New Fort Curtis is not an exact copy of the Fort Curtis built in 1862. The original Fort Curtis was a temporary field fortification. The highly erodible soil made alterations necessary to insure that this fort is permanent.
The lot size dictated that New Fort Curtis be somewhat smaller than the original fort. For safety reasons, no ditch encircles the fort. New Fort Curtis interprets the original Fort Curtis and brings part of Civil War Helena to life for you to experience.
Top right: Contractors brought in roughly 600 truck loads of soil.
Middle left: Men using hand tools built the original fort in three months. It took contractors using power equipment five months to build New Fort Curtis.
Middle right: In 1862, there was no earth moving equipment in Helena because none existed. In 2011, bulldozers pushed truck loads of soil into place.
Erected 2013 by Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission.
Location. 34° 31.549′ N, 90° 35.506′ W. Marker is in Helena, Arkansas, in Phillips County. Marker is on York Street east of Beech Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located near entrance to Fort Curtis. Marker is at or near this postal address: 701 York Street, Helena AR 72342, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Curtis, 1862-1867 (here, next to this marker); Who Built Fort Curtis (here, next to this marker); Defending Helena (here, next to this marker); U.S.C.T. in Helena (within shouting distance of this marker); Flags over Fort Curtis (within shouting distance of this marker); Life Under Union Occupation (within shouting distance of this marker); The Guns (within shouting distance of this marker); The Battle of Helena (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Helena.
More about this marker. An Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial site and a part of the Arkansas Civil War Discovery Trail.
Categories. • Forts, Castles • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 73 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 6, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.