November 30 will mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Major-General Patrick R. Cleburne and the Seven Generals chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will commemorate that event with a day of remembrance and prayer. Cleburne, native to County Cork (Ireland) made Helena his home in 1850 and in 1861, he left his adopted home town to join the Confederate army with his unit composed of men from Phillips County.
Cleburne was killed in the final assault on the Union fortifications at Franklin, Tenn. on November 30 in a last-ditch effort by General Hood to drive the Federal forces from the area. Today Cleburne is among the most interpreted personalities in the Civil War Helena initiative and his grave atop Crowley’s Ridge is one of the most visited sites by out-of-town heritage tourists.
The November 30 commemoration will begin at 10:30 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in historic downtown Helena at the corner of Pecan and Perry Streets. Patrick Cleburne was a member of the St. John’s congregation before the Civil War began. The Episcopal mass will be followed by a graveside memorial at the Confederate Cemetery at high noon. The service will include libations given by local living historians/reenactors and a short program by former Arkansas Division SCV Commander Mark Kalkbrenner.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to www.arkansastoothpick.com or call 870-592-0079.