Americans, both North as well as South, in 1860, were still proud to be Americans. The eventual division of the country is still nearly a year away while citizens in cities from the South, namely Little Rock, in this case, put on quite the spectacle in celebration of Independence from Britain nearly one hundred years prior.
Several of the festivities noted in an 1860 Little Rock newspaper are still common today for 4th of July and other city parades across the nation. Two militia companies were present for the festivities: the Capitol Guards and the Pulaski Lancers, both listed as companies from the 10th Arkansas Militia, which would eventually become the 6th Arkansas Infantry (Capitol Guards) from Little Rock, Arkansas.
There will be several articles specifically about the 10th Arkansas Militia in the coming months as they prepare for War in Little Rock and the surrounding countryside, including militray drill in the Fourche area in Pulaski County, near the present-day Little Rock National Airport.
Below is an adverstisement for the 4th of July celebration to take place in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1860:
[LITTLE ROCK] ARKANSAS TRUE DEMOCRAT, June 30, 1860, p. 2, c. 8
Fourth of July!
The committee of arrangements appointed by the Pulaski Agricultural and Mechanical Society, have adopted the following programme:
Procession to form at 9 o’clock in the morning, in front of the State-house, and march down Markham street to Main, up Main to the barbecue ground, adjoining Judge English’s residence, in the following order:
Orator and reader.
Pulaski Agricultural and Mechanical Society.
Hook and Ladder Company.
Carriages and citizens generally.
On arriving at the ground the Society will be called to order by the President, Music, Prayer, reading of the Declaration of Independence, Oration and opening the books of the Agricultural & Mechanical Society for new members, and transact such other business as may come before it, etc., then dinner.
John Pope, esq., Orator; Judge Clendenin, Reader; Hon. Benj. F. Danley, Marshal.