Clarksville Confederate Monument
The Clarksville Confederate Monument, located in the south-central section of Oakland Memorial Cemetery in Clarksville (Johnson County), is a ten-foot-tall marble obelisk atop a limestone base. The commemorative monument was financed and erected through the efforts of the Felix I. Batson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and erected around 1902. Inscribed upon the monument’s northern side is: “SACRED TO THE / MEMORY OF / OUR / CONFEDERATE / DEAD / 1861–1865.”
Despite Johnson County’s relatively small population, “about 1,000 men, perhaps more,” joined the ranks of the Confederacy in at least seven different companies, according to the Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas; about half of that number returned from the war. On April 20, 1898, several daughters of Confederate soldiers met at the Clarksville home of Emma Batson Cravens and organized Chapter 221 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The chapter was named for Cravens’s father, Judge Felix I. Batson, who served the region in the Confederate Congress.
The Batson chapter had ten initial members, but within four years, it boasted sixty-two. A quarter of a century later, it still counted a healthy membership of fifty-five. The increase in membership may be connected with the drive to erect a monument to the county’s Confederate soldiers, for the marble obelisk was in place by 1902, when the Batson chapter’s minutes noted that “the graves of heroes lie in the shadow of the beautiful monument in our cemetery.”
As with most of the Confederate memorials scattered across Arkansas, the Clarksville Confederate Monument remains the single historical resource most closely associated with the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The Clarksville Confederate Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1999.
For additional information:
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1891.
“Clarksville Confederate Monument.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/JO0102S.nr.pdf (accessed October 5, 2021).
Dodson, Mrs. Thomas F. “Confederate Monuments and Markers in Arkansas.” Arkansas Division UDC, 1960.
Langford, Ella Molloy. Johnson County Arkansas: The First Hundred Years. Clarksville, AR: Sallis, Threadill & Sallis, 1921.
Mark K. Christ
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
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