A Brief History of the Prairie Grove Chapter

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A Brief History of the
Prairie Grove Chapter

On July 25th, 1906, a number of ladies met at the home of Mrs. M.L. Hildebrand and organised the Prairie Grove Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, # 1006. The chapter received its incorporation papers on August 1, 1906, with 53 charter members. The elected officers were:

President: Mrs. M.L. Hildebrand, a Virginian and most loyal Southerner
Recording Secretary: Mrs. David Hall Torbet

Charter members included:
Mrs. M.L. Hildebrand
Mrs. W.T. McCormick
Mrs. W.T. Neal
Mrs. Dora Parks
Mrs. E.K. Torbett
Mrs. Fannie Bell
Mrs. Mag Neal
Mrs. M.J. Green
Mrs. Eugene Lawson
Mrs. J.H. Caldwell
Mrs. Mrs. D.H. Torbett
Mrs. Margaret Mock
Mrs. Julia Pyeatt
Mrs. Mrs. Walter Edmiston
Mrs. L.C. McCormick
Mrs. Dorse McCormick
Mrs. Margaret Shofner
Mrs. A. Borden
Mrs. R.M. Crawford
Mrs. Will Maddox
Mrs. M.J. Staples
Mrs. M.M. Ross
Mrs. E.G. McCormick
Mrs. J.B. Pearson
Mrs. A.E. Baker
Mrs. P. Edmiston
Mrs. Hugh Rogers
Mrs. Harry Dutton
Mrs. L.C. McVay
Mrs. D.W. Adams
Mrs. Pearl Hart
Mrs. George Nixon
Mrs. Jimmie Rogers
Mrs. Dora Neal
Miss Emma Magruder
Miss Maude Bell
Miss Dorothea Campbell
Miss Jessie Pittman
Miss Mamie Bell
Miss May Rogers
Miss Caddie Green
Miss Betsy Grey Campbell
Miss Maude Rogers
Miss Sallie Bell
Miss Birdie Bell
Miss Annie Magruder
Miss Clyde Rogers
Miss Bess Hannah
Miss Betsy McCormick
Miss Clara Shoffner
Miss Myrtle McCormick

At the United Confederate Veterans reunion of 1906 in Prairie Grove, the ladies conducted a parade of buggies driven by young ladies representing the Confederate States.

In 1908 the Prairie Grove Battlefield Park was formed by the Prairie Grove Chapter ladies who decided to preserve a place for the Confederate veterans to meet, as well as to preserve the battleground. They purchased 9 and one-tenth acres at a cost of $975. This piece of land was the geographical center of the Battle of Prairie Grove which was fought on 7 December 1862. This Memorial Park was maintained by the Prairie Grove Chapter for nearly 50 years.

In 1911, Senator Dill sponsored a bill which passed the Arkansas Senate asking for $10,000 for the benefit of the Memorial Park which encompassed the Battlefield at Prairie Grove. The appropriation, asked for by the UDC, was to assist in beautifying the grounds so that the Park could be made a fitting memorial to the cause to which it was dedicated.

Prairie Grove was the site for the 22nd annual Arkansas Division Convention October 24-26, 1917, and again in 1935.

In 1924 the Prairie Grove Chapter of the United Confederate Veterans was disbanded because there were so few in number. But the ladies of the Prairie Grove Chapter 1006 UDC, continued their efforts at marking and memorialising their men in gray. In 1924 they inserted marble tablets in each pillar at the entrance to the Park.
On the left the tablet reads:
"Dedicated to the soldiers of 1861-1865 and 1917-1918."
The tablet on the right reads: "Erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy 1924."
Above each tablet is the UDC insignia in bronze.

The Battlefield gradually fell into a state of disrepair, but in 1925 work on the Memorial Gateway and the entrance was begun.

In 1930, the Prairie Grove Chapter legally presented the Battlefield Park to the Arkansas Divison UDC. The dream of the Prairie Grove Chapter came true as the Arkansas Division made improvements year by year.

Also in 1930, the Prairie Grove Chapter donated a marker of native limestone with marble inset reading: "Site of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, used as a hospital during the Battle of Prairie Grove. Marked by Prairie Grove Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy 1930." Mrs. J.H. Zellner delivered the address and John Bennett Baggett, little son of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Baggett, and great-great grandson of Mrs. Margaret Mock, the oldest member of the Prairie Grove Chapter, drew the string. Honor guards, dressed in white and carrying Confederate flags were Misses Lucy, Emilie, and Mary Cummings, Eleanor Bell, Pauline Harrison, Mary West, Beulah Stone, Ruth Wilson, Janice Barker, and Mary Dean Magruder. Miss Sarah Carl and Mrs. J.C. Parks gave readings.

On June 20, 1932 a stone marker was placed on a tree stump in the Battlefield Park by the Prairie Grove Chapter which reads: "During the Battle of Prairie Grove Gen. Robert Shaver established his headquarters under this tree. December 7, 1862. This spot marked by UDC June 20, 1932.

In 1932 the Park was enclosed with a chain-link fence. Park facilities for many years consisted only of a band stand, 5 artillery pieces and a fountain built with funds raised by the Children of the Confederacy. This drinking fountain is built of native stone and bears two bronze tablets.

On the south side is the dedication: "Commemorating valor, sacrifice and fortitude of the youth of Arkansas in the Confederacy. 1861-1865 Dedicated by the Children of the Confederacy Arkansas Division 2 September 1937."
On the north side the tablet reads: "In loving memory of members of the Prairie Grove Camp Number 384 United Confederate Veterans. Placed by the Prairie Grove Chapter UDC August 4, 1938."

The Arkansas Division UDC turned over the Prairie Grove Battlefield Park to the Arkansas State Park System on July 1, 1971.