Happy David O. Dodd day | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy David O. Dodd day

Posted By on Sat, Jan 8, 2011 at 11:27 AM

LEST WE FORGET: A tribute to the Union fallen.
  • LEST WE FORGET: A tribute to the fallen.

You know, of course, that it is David O. Dodd Day, when the Sons of Confederate Veterans gather to mark the hanging of the Boy Martyr of the Confederacy for espionage. (You didn't know? You must not read the Democrat-Gazette, official tribune of the CSA in Exile. As is its annual custom, it's been promoting the event repeatedly the last couple of weeks, including once as a feature section pick of the week.)

No, the photo above is not David O. Dodd's statue. Since the D-G rarely devotes coverage in its news pages to the side that won the war — though it never misses a Dodd day or Confederate Memorial Day ceremony — I thought the alternative press could stand in.

The first person to send in an identification of the statue above without peeking on the jump for the answer wins, oh, I don't know, I'll think of something special. Maybe an MP3 of Leontyne Price singing "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

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The statue is atop one of the handful of monuments in Arkansas to the Union Army. It was erected by Minnesota in Little Rock National Cemetery, a moving place to visit any day of the year. At the visitor center is the plaque at right bearing the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln honoring those who gave their lives at Geyttsburg so that the union might live. The Department of Veterans Affairs notes about Arkansas's role in the Civil War and the Union monument:

Although Arkansas had entered the Union as a free state, its population was divided on the question of secession. In 1861, after officials refused to send troops to fight in the Union Army, a convention met and voted to secede from the Union, reversing an earlier decision. Following the Battle of Pea Ridge in 1862, Union forces captured Little Rock and held the city for the remainder of the war.

... The granite and bronze Minnesota Monument was dedicated to 162 Minnesota soldiers who fell in Arkansas during the Civil War. Erected in 1916, it is one of seven Minnesota monuments found in the national cemeteries. The memorialized soldiers were enlisted in the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 10th Minnesota U.S. Volunteers. The sculptor was John K. Daniels of St. Paul, Minn. Other Minnesota monuments are located at Marion, Ind. (1913); Memphis (1916), Nashville (1920) and Shiloh (1908) Tenn.; Jefferson Barracks, Mo. (1922); and Vicksburg, Miss. (1906-07). Daniels also did the monuments at Nashville and Shiloh national cemeteries.

The marble Confederate Monument was erected in 1884 by trustees of the Mount Holly Cemetery in honor of the 640 Confederate soldiers originally buried in this cemetery and later re-interred in Little Rock National Cemetery. The soldiers died in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, and Louisiana between1861-1863.

As a significant sculpture of the post-Civil War period (1886-1934) in Arkansas, both monuments were individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

Next year, perhaps, I can get up to Judsonia to see the Grand Army of the Republic monument in Evergreen Cemetery. Its surrounded by graves of Union soldiers. And I hope to run down the details on a story about the Arkansas legislature quashing a plan in 1910 or so to put a Union statue on the Capitol grounds. I've been told there was fear it might exceed the existing Confederate monument in height.

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