Arkansas Toothpick- The Civil War Hub of ArkansasOn October 10, 2012, a life size bronze statue of Major General Patrick R. Cleburne was dedicated at the Helena Museum in Helena, Arkansas. Cleburne called Helena home before the War Between the States broke out and his statue of only a few feet from where he lived over a hundred and fifty years ago. The $36,000 statue was funded in part by the Arkansas Arts Council and the Helena Advertising and Promotions committee. Below is a transcription of the sculptor’s remarks:

I’m going to tell you my thought process when I did this. First, in order to do any historical figure you have to do a lot of reading and studying, as my wife will testify I corner all the books on the Civil War, particularly on the General. So I had to pose him in a manner that I felt like was indicative of his life. And so when you look at it- I tell you what I had in mind. It is basically the last day of his life. It’s November 30th, 1864. The weather is chillier than it is today. He is standing on a spot that was described as breezy hill and he had just met with his General, John Bell Hood. And John Bell Hood told him that he wanted Patrick Cleburne to take his troops and take an almost, not an amost, but a purely suicidal mission tghat was 2or two and a half mile trip without artillery support and take a well-entrenched enemy – a fortress. So as you look at him, we just fast forward as how I show him. He is addressing his generals and telling them what is about to take place. Immediately after this he mounts his horse and he goes up to General Govan and he says, “Govan, if we must die, let’s die like men.”

There’s more people here that know this story better than I do, about his last battle…[inaudible] and then he had a second horse shot out from underneath him and he made it 65 feet where his body was found. And I think right at 62 to 65 major officers were killed and 6250 of the troops.