History Of A Great Monument, To Vallant Soldiers Who Died In Battle For The South From "The Benton County Democrat (1950) - The Century Of Progress Edition- Now the NWA Democrat Gazette
The beautiful park - which occupies the center of the city square - is a proper setting for a monument of "A Confederate Soldier." This statue was erected in 1908 by A. J. Bates and the James H. Berry Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and dedicated in remembrance of the Southern soldiers dead (But just for the record this is not an image of James H. Berry). Inscriptions on the base of the statue reads; "Their names are Borne on Honors Sheild. Their Record Is With God" and "They Fought For Home and Fatherland."
The monument was draped in Confederate flags with cords attached for the unveiling Preceding that afternoon ceremony , of August 8, 1908, a parade of horse drawn floats which had begun at Park Springs, came to the park. The parade was lead by the Bentonville band. The floats were beautifully decorated in Confederate colors, red and white, and horses were draped in white blankets, trimmed with red and white roses.
This is a postcard of the parade the day of the dedication of the Confederate statue. The event was said to have been the largest event in Bentonville, up to that time.
A couple of the decorated floats the day of the statues dedication
This postcard shows the actual dedcation of the statue in progress.
Mrs. Rex W. Peel, soloist, sang, "Dixie" and other southern airs. Mrs. Wm. F. Patton, president of the Daughters of the Confederacy, introduced Senator Berry, who in turn introduced Hon. Clifton Breckenridge, who was the principle speaker for the ceremony. Greeting were brought by Miss Sue Walker of Fayetteville, president of the Southern Memorial Association and the State President of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The actual unveiling was done by Miss Kate Terry, daughter of Col. William A. Terry. Miss Terry is now Mrs. Self of Midland, Texas. The date of the unveiling commemorates the battle of Wilson Creek in Missouri, in which many of the Arkansas Confederate soldiers had part.
This is a postcard of the Confederate statue that sat on the Bentonville Square for well over 100 years. But has the statue has been removed from the square. It is located in a new park honoring the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. The cost of the statue at that time was $2,500.
For a good many years there were people who wished to build the new courthouse in the square. There was some agitation along this line. By an order of the Benton County Court, issued on petition, W. S. Floyd, then county judge, deed to the Daughters of the Confederacyfor its preservation, the area now known as the public square park.
The tablet was placed on the monument (a few years later) by the Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of James H. Berry, father of Elliot and Fred Berry of Bentonville. The inscription on this tablet reads: "In loving remembrance and appreciation of this noble life and charter." He was known as a soldier, ststesmen, legislator, jurlist, Govenor of Arkansas, and United States Senator from this state.
Hon. Clifton Breckenridge, the speaker for the dedication service that afternoon, was the son of the vice-president of the United States, elected in 1856. The speaker was a former member of Congress and ambassador to Russia. His father was a Confederate General and Secretary of War in the cabinet of Jefferson Davis.
The establishment of this monument is one of the outstanding achievements of that great organization, the Daughters of the Confederacy, in Northwest Arkansas. Those now living and those who will follow , in the centuries to comw, will view a handiwork of early pioneer women which will be a lasting inspiration for all time to come.
In the opinion of this writer, this is the outstanding marker of those who lived nearly one half century ago, and many of those who had a lead part in the establishment of this monument have passed on. It is quite fitting that this tribute be paid them.