Controversy Over South Arkansas Monument
Jeané Franseen

El Dorado– Built by the Daughters of Confederacy in 1909, this confederate war monument stands in plain view in front of the Union County courthouse in El Dorado, some say in its rightful place.

Camp Commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Mark Williams, says this monument stands as a memorial in honor of fallen soldiers.

"Roughly 10 infantry companies and 2 cavalry companies came from this county, and that’s approximately 1200 men. I’m not sure how many came back, but probably 30 to 40 percent didn’t come back," says Mark Williams, Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Though this monument has a historic representation, there are those in the community that say not all things in history need to be represented.

That includes Pierce Moore, Pastor of El Dorado’s First Baptist Church.

He believes the statue is racist.

"Who would want to put a statue up that commemorates the worst, the worst of American History. I mean, I think there more things that we could do to be a little more civil, and all of this. I think sometimes people don’t always think that way," says Pierce Moore, First Baptist Church Pastor.

Historian, Carolyn Williams, agrees.

She thinks the African American community needs to focus on the positive aspects of the confederacy, not the negative ones.

"The only thing he can do now is stand out here just like he is, in the rain, the sleet, in the snow. No harm to you. Tell your kids about the positive. Tell everybody you know the positive. The Confederates lost, they lost," says Carolyn Williams, Historian and Owner of Quilted History.

This isn’t the first time this confederate war monument has been at the center of controversy.

It was referenced in a Supreme Court case ruling to justify allowing county funds to restore monuments like this one, all over the country.

For now, the monument stays put, with or without public support.

©1998 – 2014

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