Conway Confederate Monument
The Conway Confederate Monument, located on the grounds of the Faulkner County Courthouse in Conway, is a commemorative obelisk that was raised in 1925 to honor the county’s men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
While Faulkner County was not created until April 12, 1873, men from east of Cadron Creek in what was then Conway County served in the Tenth Arkansas Infantry Regiment and later in Colonel A. R. Witt’s Tenth Arkansas Cavalry Regiment. As part of the postwar effort by descendant organizations to recognize the service of their ancestors, an effort was made to memorialize Faulkner County’s Confederate servicemen.
Dozens of Confederate memorials were erected in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the Robert E. Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (established in 1903) was among the last to erect a commemorative monument. Its members succeeded in raising around $1,500 for an obelisk to be placed on the courthouse grounds.
The resulting Conway Confederate Monument is about sixteen feet tall and is inscribed on its eastern face: “1861-65 / DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY / OF OUR CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS / THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE / ERECTED / BY ROBERT E. LEE CHAPTER / NO. 718 U.D.C. / OCT. 1925.” The other three sides are inscribed: “C.S.A.”
The dedication of the Conway Confederate Monument, “witnessed by a large audience,” was held on Sunday, October 18, 1925, with J. R. Donnell serving as master of ceremonies and W. O. Weidmeyer as song leader. Robert E. Lee Chapter president Mrs. H. E. Wheeler presented the obelisk to County Judge J. W. Holt, who accepted it on behalf of the county. Dr. O. E. Goddard wrote the featured speech, though it was delivered by Professor W. O. Wilson. The oration stated that the monument “does not stand for sectional hatred. The old south produced a chivalry, a heroism, a bravery that have rarely been equaled and never surpassed….Coming generations must know that we cherish the memory of our noble dead and we shall not cease to honor them so long as rich red southern blood runs in our veins, and southern sentiment throbs in our hearts.” The ceremony also included placement of flowers around the new monument and the singing of “I’m an Old Time Confederate.”
The Conway Confederate Monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 26, 1996.
For additional information:
“Conway Confederate Monument.” National Register of Historic Places nomination. On file at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/FA0876S.nr.pdf (accessed December 22, 2020).
Dodson, Mrs. Thomas F. “Confederate Monuments and Markers in Arkansas.” Arkansas Division UDC, 1960.
Logan, Charles Russell. “‘Something So Dim It Must Be Holy’: Civil War Commemorative Sculpture in Arkansas, 1886–1934.” Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 1996. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/News-and-Events/publications (accessed December 22, 2020).
“Shaft Honors Heroic South.” Log Cabin Democrat, October 22, 1925, p. 4.
Mark K. Christ
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
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