Arkansas Toothpick


Reed’s Bridge Update

August 04, 2010 By: admin Category: In The News, Preservations, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

What started out two years ago as just another preservation idea has turned out to be the most active Civil War battlefield restoration of its kind the state of Arkansas has ever seen. Starting with a few acres of heavy underbrush where the Confederate trenches were situated during the battle on August 27th, 1863, Reed’s Bridge battlefield in Jacksonville, Arkansas is looking more and more as it did nearly one hundred and fifty years ago.

Southern Brigade Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’
Arkansas Division Ron Kelley noted, “I have been involved in this restoration from the beginning and I have never seen so many groups coming together and working toward a common goal like this.” Originally envisioned by Arkansas living historian Steve Shore, a small 19th century village is nearing completion just in time for the 147th anniversary of the battle as members from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Sons of Union Veterans, the Civil War Round Table of Arkansas, the Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails, living historians, the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society, the Jacksonville Museum of Military History, and the City of Jacksonville spent their summer preparing for the 147th anniversary reenactment that will be held on September 11, 2010.

This restoration was first reported in The Civil War News back in the April, 2009 edition during the first phase of clearing off of the undergrowth and trees. Since then, a smokehouse and barn have been constructed on the property and a kitchen and homestead are currently under construction, not to mention the mountains of brush that have been cleared from the property.

The Civil War era village will be completed by the September, 2010 battle reenactment. Two full scale 1841 replica cannons and a new information stand have also been added to the area as well as a walking trail and a small scale version of the original bridge that the Confederates set fire to during the 1863 battle.

There are many benefits in restoring historical sites other than strictly clearing off land and reconstructing history for the sake of education and heritage. “We have converted this property from a haven for prostitutes, drug dealers, and homeless transients to a beautiful battlefield park perfect for a family picnic.” Kelley continued, “Everyone benefits from a community project like this.” Park admission is free and is open year-round. Reed’s Bridge Battlefield is located on Arkansas Highway 161 south of Jacksonville, Arkansas.

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Civil War Hub of Arkansas

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Civil War in Helena

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The Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Helena, Arkansas needs your help in funding several historic projects. The camp plays an integral part in the maintenance of battle field sites and preservation of historic properties. A donation in any amount would be greatly appreciated and put to good use!

A list of the sites maintained by the Seven Generals Camp:
1) The Confederate Cemetery, where over 120 Confederates are buried, including General Patrick R. Cleburne, General James C. Tappan, and General Thomas C. Hindman.

2) Civil War Helena interpretative markers- we maintain over 50 historical interpretative panels throughout the city, including the battlefield, Confederate Cemetery, General Tappan's home, Battery C, and many other historic sites.

3) Confederate Memorial Park- We purchased and donated to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. in Columbia, TN approximately an acre of battlefield property that serves as a memorial to the Confederates that fought in and died in the Battle of Helena. Many soldiers are still unaccounted for and this park serves as their "marker". We maintain the park and the costs are mounting in maintenance, an electric bill to keep a light on the 1st National Confederate Flag that flies on a nice 25 foot pole overlooking Fort Curtis across the street.

4) We do living histories often and have a growing number of recruits that want to start re-enacting and doing living histories and interpretative programs. The costs of purchasing new and used Civil War re-enacting supplies are staggering. Any monetary or re-enacting supplies that can be donated would be appreciated.

If you would like to donate used or new re-enacting gear and supplies, we will take any items, even if they need to be fixed or mended. Re-enacting clothing items of all sizes and types needed, including hats. We have a youth program as well, so smaller sizes are welcomed as well. If you would like to donate supplies or equipment, mail it to Seven Generals Camp, PO Box 409, Helena, AR 72342.

The best part is that all items donated to the Seven Generals Sons of Confederate Camp #135's living history program are tax deductible! Upon the arrival of your donation, we will respond with our tax ID# for tax purposes.

Below are a couple choices in donating to the maintenance and preservation of Helena's battlefield:

-Make a one-time donation in any amount

-Make a donation on a regular basis. Those that donate $1000 over time will have their names on a sign of donors on Confederate Memorial Park and you will receive the Lt. William Rector Award, which includes a certificate and a medal. Over time we will start an endowment that will ensure the perpetual upkeep of historic Confederate sites in Helena.

Confederate Memorial Park- Helena, AR

Arkansas In The Civil War

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Because of the valiant support of dedicated individuals across the globe, the money has been raised for the purchase of Confederate Memorial Park in Helena, Arkansas.

We have taken a rare opportunity for the Sons of Confederate Veterans to own a core piece of battlefield and made it a reality! Located in Helena, Arkansas directly across from Fort Curtis and to the side of a Civil War era home (Moore-Hornor Home), both properties of which are maintained by the State of Arkansas (Delta Cultural Center) is approximately an acre of core battlefield that backs up to the site where General Price's troops made an attack on Fort Curtis on July 4, 1863.

On March 15, 2013 the General Executive Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans met in Biloxi, MS. At this meeting it was decided that the property will be donated to the SCV- This is a much-needed heritage victory in the Delta!

Your support is greatly needed!
Mail a check or money order today to:

Seven Generals Camp #135
PO Box 409
Helena, AR 72342

Your donation is tax-deductable!

ALL donations are tax-deductible!

The Arkansas Toothpick is the largest repository of Arkansas Civil War history and heritage. Observing the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States is a task that the Toothpick does not take lightly, as we have posted original and exclusive articles on events in Arkansas on a weekly and chronological basis since 2010 (150 years after 1860). The purpose of the "150 Years Ago..." articles, written and researched by Ron Kelley and Don Roth, is to give a true reflection of the political, martial, and other aspects of Arkansas history leading up to and through the American Civil War.

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