*OVERVIEW, . - Lonoke County, Arkansas | . *OVERVIEW - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

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Camp Nelson (aka Confederate) Cemetery
Lonoke County,
Arkansas

This historic all Confederate Cemetery is located on Rye Rd off Cherry Rd off Carmel Rd in Cabot, North Lonoke County, Arkansas.

Meanwhile, back at Camp Nelson near the village of Austin, fallen comrades lay among the trees under decaying wooden stakes.

And there they lay, almost forgotten for 35 years, until in 1898 a group of Arkansas Confederate veterans resolved that something should be done to commemorate those who served and died at Camp Nelson.

One of those veterans, James M. Gately, donated a tract of land for a cemetery four miles southeast of the nearby village of Cabot. Then, in 1905, the Arkansas Legislature appropriated $1,000 for a monument, and the remains of 428 Rebel soldiers were taken from the woods and re-interred in the new Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery.

Each grave was marked with a small headstone of Arkansas marble. But no individual identification was possible because of the original means of burial.

The aging veterans held annual meetings and picnics at the cemetery until the 1920s, but as the old Rebels died off one-by-one, interest waned. And, finally, the cemetery was allowed to return to nature, to be taken over by wild flowers, trees and brush.

The previous year, J. O. Isaac, a military retiree in charge of the Air Force Junior ROTC at Cabot High School, was drinking his breakfast coffee and reading the Arkansas Democrat. An item buried within the newspaper caught his attention.

Congress had passed an act, it read, declaring that Confederate soldiers were to be considered veterans of the Union and, consequently, would be entitled to veteran's benefits. Isaac realized that this magnanimous act was of little use to the living, but the story said that there was also a provision for the placement of proper monuments on Confederate graves.

Excited by the promise this offered, he contacted the Veteran's Administration in Washington. Then, having confirmed the truth of the story, he set about organizing a committee for proper restoration of the old cemetery.

Today, the Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery, the only all-Confederate cemetery in Arkansas, sits in a clearing in the woods off Cherry Road. During holiday periods, three flagstaffs carry the flags of Arkansas, Texas and the Confederacy. Beneath the flags, a 12-foot obelisk stands guard over rows of marble gravestones, each inscribed with the Confederate Cross of Honor and the words "Unknown Soldier CSA." The stark white stones, their tops gabled so that "no damn Yankee can sit on 'em," mark the graves of 428 unsung, but no longer forgotten, heroes of the Confederacy.

2001 -copyright -The above information may be used for non-commercial historical and genealogical purposes only and with the consent of the page owner may be copied for the same purposes so long as this notice remains a part of the copied material. EDWARD G. GERDES


Edward Grayson Gerdes (1927 - 2004)
Greene County Memorial Gardens Cemetery
Also known as: Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Paragould Memorial Gardens

Contributed on 7/13/15 by hawkinsdonna
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Record #: 1087899

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Additional *OVERVIEW Surnames in CAMP NELSON (AKA CONFEDERATE) Cemetery

Additional *OVERVIEW Surnames in LONOKE County

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Submitted: 7/13/15 • Approved: 7/13/15 • Last Updated: 7/16/15 • R1087899-G0-S3

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