Arkansas Military Institute
The state legislature chartered the Arkansas Military Institute in 1850, and the school was built on Chapel Ridge in Tulip. Cadets had to be over 14 and at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Classes included Latin, Greek, surveying, math, military science, chemistry and engineering. After Arkansas seceded from the Union in May 1861, the school was closed, never to reopen. AMI cadets were among troops recruited for the Tulip Rifles, Co. I, 3rd Arkansas Infantry, in June 1861. Of the 150 men who served in the unit, only 13 remained at the end of the war.
Tulip in the Civil War
The Tulip area was settled around 1842 and with the establishment of colleges for men and women was known by the 1850s as a center for higher education, the Athens of the South. With a thriving pottery business and bustling plantations, Tulip became a wealthy town. The Civil War led both schools to close and most of the businesses and farms were abandoned. One skirmish was here, when Union cavalry routed a Confederate force on Oct. 11, 1863. When the war ended in 1865, few families returned to Tulip and it never regained its pre-war status.