Spring 2008 has been busy for SWACWHT. Members attended the re-dedication of a stone marker at Poison Spring in Ouachita County on Saturday, April 19. The event was sponsored by the Columbia County UDC. The UDC ladies from Columbia County were in antebellum dress.  Confederate re-enactors and staff from White Oak Lake State Park were also present. The staff of White Oak Lake State Park had moved the marker to Poison Spring State Park, which they maintain.

On April 24, Betty Faye Lewis of the Columbia County UDC took Peggy Lloyd on a tour of the Dockery Cemetery at Lamartine in Columbia County. The cemetery contains markers for General Thomas P. Dockery’s father, mother and brother-in-law, Capt. N. J. Gantt. There is also a marker for Truce, the little white Spitz given to Mrs. Dockery by Gen. U. S. Grant at the end of the siege of Vicksburg. Mrs. Dockery, in desperation, had gone to Grant to make inquiries about her husband. Impressed by her courage and devotion to her husband, Grant gave her the little dog as a token of his esteem.  The tour also included Frog Level, an antebellum home outside Magnolia, and several older cemeteries.

On April 26, Tom Beam attended a commemoration held by the Military Order of the Stars and Bars at Jenkins’ Ferry State Park. Mark Kalkbrenner of SEACWHT spoke representing southeast Arkansas.  Tom, representing southwest Arkansas, spoke on the four fields fought over at Jenkins’ Ferry.

Members of SWACWHT visited Moscow Church and Cemetery in recent months.  In mid-May, the Moscow Cemetery Association applied for a major cemetery grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council to perform remote sensing in the cemetery. If the grant is successful, archeologists will probably begin work in the fall. The site is associated with a rearguard action after the Battle of Prairie D’Ane in April 1864.  The remote sensing and detailed mapping of the cemetery should add to our knowledge of this site on the outskirts of Prescott.

In June, SWACWHT made a donation to the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park. The Friends are collecting funds for the maintenance of the battlefield monuments, the USS Cairo and Lt. Gen. John Pemberton’s headquarters.

David Sesser, the curator of the Nevada County Depot and Museum in Prescott, resigned from the Depot to accept a position with the Henderson State University Library in Arkadelphia. David, a Civil War buff and native of Natchez, MS, is working on a master’s degree in history at Henderson.

The next meeting of SWACWHT will take place at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington, Arkansas, on July 20, at 2 p.m. SARA is located at 201 Highway 195 South, a half mile south of the intersection of 195 and 278 in Historic Washington State Park.  Come in time to have lunch at the Williams Tavern. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

After the meeting, the group will caravan to Fulton to view the Confederate earthworks guarding the approaches to Fulton on the Washington and Springhill Roads.  For additional information or questions, e-mail plloyd@arkansas.gov or call SARA at 870-983-2633.  SARA is open from 8-4:30, Tuesday to Saturday, excluding holidays.

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