|The Sons of Confederate Veterans was founded in 1896. The first
camp in Arkansas was also formed in this inaugural year at Clarksville
and was named the Hall S. McConnell Camp #111. The initial roster
of Arkansas camps included Jefferson Camp #134 in Pine Bluff, William E.
Moore Camp #194 in Helena, David O. Dodd Camp #147 of Austin, W.W. Meriweather
Camp #188 of Paragould, J.R. Norfleet Camp #194 of Forrest City, and Robert
C. Newton Camp #197 in the capitol city which is the only remaining original
In 1911 the National UCV Reunion was held in Little Rock and thousands of Confederate veterans descended on the city. The reunion was a major event for the State and was long remembered. Recently a long lost Confederate reunion flag of massive proportions was found and it is thought to be the flag that flew over the city during the great 1911 reunion. The Veterans returned to the State for a final time for the reunion of 1928.
With the disruptions of the World Wars and the passing of the veterans membership declined and in 1948 there were only two camps remaining in Arkansas with a total membership of 58. In 1949 Little Rock was selected as the site for the annual SCV reunion and again in 1965.
By 1983 Arkansas had only one active SCV camp and Commander-in-Chief Charles H. Smith made it one of the goals of his administration to bring Arkansas back into the forefront of the SCV. Commander Smith contacted all of the Arkansans who were members of the SCV without camps to join him and his staff in Little Rock. The meeting was held and the foundation of the modern-era SCV in Arkansas was laid out. The State was divided into sections and members were asked to make contacts. Leading the charge were James Troy Massey of Harrison and Anthony Rushing of Benton. Shortly the General Jo Shelby Camp #1414 was established in Harrison quickly followed with the David O. Dodd Camp in Benton and the General Patrick R. Cleburne Camp in Pine Bluff. With the establishment of these camps the SCV officially made Arkansas a Division of the SCV in April of 1984 with Troy Massey named as the new Division Commander.
Other commanders since 1984 have been Anthony Rushing of Benton, Larry Rhodes of Hot Springs, Justin Morgan of Mansfield, and David Wilson of Mount Holly. Under their leadership the Arkansas Division grew to 17 Camps with over 400 members at the beginning of 1996.
Each Camp performs historical and civil activities at home. They donote money to local charities, pick up trash for the Arkansas Highway Department's Adopt-A-Highway program, and are otherwise active in the community. They also speak to civic organizations, church groups, and schools, educating them on the history of the South and Arkansas. Other activities by members have included: providing genealogical assistance at their local libraries, and making their personal Civil War artifacts and collections available for public viewing. Many Arkansas SCV members are very interested in preserving our Arkansas battlefields and historic sites. The SCV is not associated with Civil War re-enactors but many of our members participate and enjoy this hobby.
The primary activities of the Arkansas camps is to give the Confederate
fighting man the honor he is due. This is accomplished through gravesite
location and cleanup, placing of grave markers and memorials, and holding
memorial services on holidays and anniversaries. This year the Arkansas
SCV held a burial service with full military honors for a Confederate Soldier
who died during the war but had lain undiscovered until recent times.