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Confederate past still remembered all around state

by Democrat-Gazette Staff | October 18, 2020 at 2:27 a.m.

Arkansas has 34 Civil War properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with 29 listed on the register that represent the Confederacy, according to a June 21 Democrat-Gazette story.

Here's the status of Confederate statues that have come under scrutiny in Arkansas cities, according to this and other recent Democrat-Gazette stories, along with online articles.

Little Rock: The June 21 story tells of the Confederate soldier statue — known as "Memorial to Company A, Capital Guards" or "Lest We Forget" — being removed from Little Rock's MacArthur Park on June 18 by the city. The statue was taken from the front of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History three days after vandals used gallons of varnish to deface it. The statue, paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 1911, will be stored until a suitable place can be found for its display, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said in a statement.

At the state Capitol, two Confederate statues remain — the Confederate Soldiers Monument at the northeast intersection of Woodlane and Fourth streets and the Monument to Confederate Women at Woodlane between Capitol Avenue and Sixth Street. The monuments are controlled by the Arkansas General Assembly and the Secretary of State, as noted by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. State Sen. Jim Hendren, R-Gravette, president pro tempore of the Arkansas Senate, said he expected that the next legislative session would include discussion on moving the statue. (The memorial to the state's Confederate soldiers was splashed with blue paint June 1 during the George Floyd protests.)

Pine Bluff: A Confederate statue that had been on the Jefferson County Courthouse grounds for more than 45 years was removed June 20, two days after the removal of the one in MacArthur Park. It was the culmination of a 2019 agreement between County Judge Gerald Robinson and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the statue.

A member of the David Owen Dodd chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said that not enough money had been raised to move the statue to Camp White Sulfur Springs Confederate Cemetery, but a benefactor had made it possible to have the statue moved to an undisclosed location for storage, cleaning and repair.

Bentonville: The Arkansas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy announced June 1 that it would take its Confederate statue from its 100-plus-years home in the city's square and move it into a privately owned park. The statue was taken down Sept. 2 to be placed in the future James H. Berry Park.

Hot Springs: Despite a removal petition that drew thousands of signatures, the Confederate soldier monument in downtown Hot Springs remains because the statue's location is on private property owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which has declined to move it.

Fort Smith: In June, a petition was circulated that requested the removal of a Confederate monument, unveiled in 1903, from the Sebastian County Courthouse grounds. In September, the United Daughters of the Confederacy rejected a deal that would have moved the monument to a cemetery.

Helena-West Helena: The Confederate memorial there remains. It's only four miles away from the new Elaine Massacre Monument, which memorializes the killings of scores of Black residents in 1919.

In Washington, plans are underway to change the Arkansas sculptures at the U.S. Capitol complex. The statues that have represented the state are of secessionist Uriah Rose and white-civilization preservation advocate James P. Clarke. The Arkansas Legislature voted to replace the statues with those of country music star Johnny Cash and civil-rights leader Daisy Bates, projects for which money is being raised.

[RELATED: Monumental debate — Kentuckians disagree about what to do with Jim Crow-era tributes to Jefferson Davis]


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