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The Star City Confederate Memorial is a commemorative sculpture erected in Star City (Lincoln County) in 1926 by the Captain J. Martin Meroney Chapter No. 1831 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to remember local men who had served in the Confederate army during the Civil War.
Though Lincoln County was not formed until 1871, portions of two Confederate infantry and two cavalry companies, as well as a company of Home Guards, were raised in the area that would later encompass the Reconstruction-era county. In the early twentieth century, the members of the Captain J. Martin Meroney Chapter No. 1831 of the UDC decided to emulate other chapters around Arkansas and erect a statue in memory of local Confederates. Under committee chair Mrs. G. D. Smith Jr., the women of the chapter operated a concession stand at the Old Soldiers Dinner to raise $2,500 to purchase the monument. The monument was unveiled on October 8, 1926.
The Star City Confederate Memorial features a six-foot-tall sculpture of a Confederate infantryman atop a ten-foot-tall marble base. The south side is inscribed “IN MEMORY OF / OUR / CONFEDERATE / HEROES / 1861–1865.” The east side features the words “LINCOLN COUNTY / REMEMBERS THE / FAITHFULNESS OF / HER SONS AND / COMMENDS THEIR / EXAMPLE TO FUTURE / GENERATIONS.” The north side is inscribed “ERECTED BY / CAPT. J. MARTIN / MERONEY / CHAPTER NO. 1831 / OF LINCOLN COUNTY / U.D.C.” The west side is inscribed “OUR FURLED BANNER / WREATHED WITH / GLORY AND THOUGH / CONQUERED, WE ADORE / IT. WEEP FOR THOSE / WHO FELL BEFORE IT. / PARDON THOSE WHO / TRAILED AND TORE IT.”
The monument was erected on the grounds of the 1911 Lincoln County Courthouse in the center of Star City and remained there until that building was razed in 1962. It was then moved to the grounds of the 1943 Lincoln County Courthouse several blocks away. It stood there until the early 1990s, when Star City decided to develop the old courthouse square as a memorial park. The Lincoln Ledger reported on May 27, 1992, that basic preparations were complete for the monument’s return and stated that “Griffin Monument Company will move the statue as soon as the concrete sets.” On July 1, 1992, the newspaper reported that “Alex, as the statue is affectionately called,” had been installed after “the Confederate statue was sandblasted and brought to a beautiful marble shine.” The Star City Confederate Memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 26, 1996.
For additional information:
“‘Alex’ Returns Home.” Lincoln Ledger, July 1, 1992, p. 1.
“Construction Underway.” Lincoln Ledger, May 27, 1992, p. 1.
Dodson, Mrs. Thomas F. “Confederate Monuments and Markers in Arkansas,” Arkansas Division UDC, 1960.
The Goodspeed Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Chicago: Goodspeed Publishing Co. 1890.
Logan, Charles Russell. “Something So Dim It Must Be Holy”: Civil War Commemorative Sculpture in Arkansas, 1886–1934. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, 1996. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/News-and-Events/publications (accessed June 13, 2018).
Logan, Rusty. “Star City Confederate Memorial.” In Sentinels of History: Reflections of Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places, edited by Mark K. Christ and Cathryn H. Slater. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2000.
Slater, John. “Star City Confederate Memorial.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/LI0044S.nr.pdf (accessed June 13, 2018).
Mark K. Christ
Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Last Updated 6/13/2018
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