Dedication Day - Bentonville Statue August 8th, 1908
Dedication Day Large Crowd Enjoys The Speaking And Other Exercises Last Saturday
Saturday, August 8, 1908, will be remembered with pleasured for years to come by a host of people. On this day took place the unveiling of the monument of the Confederate veterans of Benton county, The U. D. C.'s were able to assist in this great work by Hon. James H. Berry, Mr. A. J. Bates and other friends.
The day was delightful one and the immense crowd of friends and spectators added enthusiasm to the occasion, and must have made the old veterans feel that through the years have gone by since those dark days of blood and war, they are still dear to the hearts of the people of our Southland.
The program planned was carried out to the letter. First came the band concert in courthouse yard. The the people repaired to Park Spring, where the remainder of the morning program was rendered in the fittingly decorated auditorium as follows: "America."band; invocation, Rev, P. Carnahan: address of welcome, Mayor Morris; solo Miss Emma McAndrew; address, Hon. Hugh A. Dinsmore; violin quartette.
After this, under a canopy of forest trees, in the Southerns' hospitable way a sumptuous old fashioned basket dinner was served with Park Spring water, cold, clear and sparkling, the only beverage, and everybody was invited to the feast.
At 1:30 o'clock the forming of the parade began, and another surprise awaited the people. We were filled with delight.
First came the marshal of the day, A. J. Bates, with a number of the Sons of the Confederacy as able assistance. Next band in uniform, then a beautiful white float that looked like a moving bank of red and white roses. It was drawn by four horses, covered with red and white trapping, and mounted by four little boys in red and white uniforms, the whole guarded by out-riders in same uniforms. The freight of this beautiful float was fourteen pretty girls in white, representing the seceded states. In the center of the float and elevated above the others sat Miss Berry Hyatt, granddaughter, of Hon. James H. Berry, representing grand old Arkansas. In beautifully decorated carriages came the orator of the day, Hon. Clifton R. Breckenridge, of Ft. Smith; Hon. H. A. Dinsmore; Mrs. Patton, president of the James H. Berry Charter; Miss Emma McAndrews, state sponsor of the reunion at Birmingham: Jame H. Berry, Mayor A. W. Morris, and Felix Lindsey, master of ceremonies.
Then followed the veterans, and as they passed with that old-time tramp, tramp, tramp, a loyal friend to the Lost Cause said with tearful eyes and choking, trembling voice, "bless their old hearts," with such fervor that it brought tears and a quicker heart-beat to one who heard it.
Two more beautiful rose-covered floats came. The first contained a number of honored guest as member of honored guest as members of the S. M. A., of Fayetteville, and the Sterling Chapter , of Rogers. The second was filled with many of the U. D. C.'s of Bentonville, while a long line of the same chapter followed in beautifully decorated carriages that looked like individual floats. Two of these we cannot refrain from special mention. They looked as though they might have come right from the hands of some fairy god and had fairies for passengers. One, a tiny white throne drawn by a tiny pony ebony pony with white trappings, and the fairy like passenger wore white. The other a red throne, drawn by a pony with red trappings, was grace with four bright little fairies in red. Following these came the Son of the Confederacy and citizens.
This was several of the float the day of the statue dedication
The long line in parade followed the marshal of the day to the city park where a mass of people awaited them. Many of the homes were decorated to honor the occasion, and all along the heads were bared and cheers given in honor to the veterans and Daughter of the Confederacy.
Images of the day of the dedication of the statue in Bentonville
After reaching the platform the invocation was offered by Rev. R. E. L. Bearden. Then "Bonnie Blue Flag" was rendered by a chorus of ladies. As the last notes died away in applause of the people the young ladies representing the states quietly took there places about the base of the unveiled monument each taking a cord in her hand. In the hush of expectancy Mrs. W. F. Patton, the honored president, stepped to the front of the platform and in well chosen word told the people of the work of the chapter for the past four years. As she stepped back to her place Miss Ruth Terry pulled the cord and the veil of red and white, which shrouded the entire monument, slowly left the figure that crowned it and fell gracefully to the base. As the battle flag and the flag of the Confederacy unfurled and floated out from the shoulders of the figure the band played "Dixie"and cheers and hat went up in honor to that which remind for future generations of the heroic deeds of their forefathers. Mrs. Rex Peel then sang that song loved by every Southern and was followed by Mr. Breckenridge in his unveiling oration, who was introduced by Senator Berry.
The Confederate Statue right after it had been dedicated.
As one who has watched them in their intiringand determined efforts to succeed in what they had undertaken, the writer thinks that should the call come the Daughters would prove to be as heroic and fearless as our women of the 60's. (1860's)
Mr. Breckenridge began by expressing his appreciation of the handsome and complimentary introduction of him by Senator Berry. He disclaimed any right to a military title as during his limited service he was only a private soldier in the army and an acting midshipman in the navy.
Coming to the present occasion he thanked the Daughters of the Confederacy for the honor of their invitation to him and complimented them on the splendid success of their patriotic work.
The war he said was to be viewed with respect to the conduct and achievements of the soldier and people and the object for which it was done. This monument perpetuates the soldier and his cause. To the latter he spoke more especially.
He traced the growth of the idea and need of a general government in this country. It came about slowly and with difficulty. The present government was made to apply to Individuals instead of upon states as the articles of Confederation had done. The Revolutionary War founded a separated country only for the purpose only for the purpose and as a means to securing and putting into practice the principles of good government and individual liberties set forth in the Declaration of Independence. The war and independence and this government were all but means to the end. That end was the objective, not these minor matters of the means employed.
No man held that a state could be restained in the Union against its will, and they had a perfect constitutional and natural right to secede. But the north has the right to self preservation, and to be sandwiched between Canada on the north and the Confederacy was a peril to her hardly to be thought of. She fought for the Union as she had a right to do; and we for the same principles that the colonists fought for, as we had the right, both written and natural law to do. Sectionalism was only a a form of privilege Government can be only one of two things, a government of privilege or a government of equal rights. The former has crushed all former rights. It brought us to the Revolutionary War and to the Civil War. We have the Union. The question still is, shall it be run upon privilege or upon equal rights. The glory and fruit of the Union soldier is a preserved Union. The greatest and last monument of the Confederate will be the heed of his protes, when the restored Union is conducted upon a faithful regard for a constitution, its only bond and warrant of power, and faithful administration of all its power upon the scared principle, not of privilege but of equal rights.