The 27th Annual General Patrick R. Cleburne Memorial Service will take place in Helena’s Confederate Cemetery on Saturday, March 17, according to Ron Kelley- Southern Brigade Commander of the Arkansas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).
The Cleburne keynote speaker will be Jack Myers from the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas.
Commander of the ATM W. Danny Honnoll will MC the event. Bobbie Barnett of Ravenden will be reenacting the part of the grieving fiancée of Cleburne (Susan Tarrelton of Mobile, AL) at the service and place flowers on the grave of General Patrick R. Cleburne. The Cleburne memorial will last about 40 minutes.
Sons of Confederate Veterans, Daughters of the Confederacy, Children of the Confederacy, living historians and re-enactors from five states will take part in the Cleburne memorial. These historical organizations sole purpose is to preserve the heritage and honor of their Confederate ancestors by conducting memorial services to the men that wore the Gray.
All re-enactors are asked to be at the cemetery by 11:30 am for briefings on the memorial. The Cleburne Memorial we begin at noon.
The Cleburne Memorial is sponsored this year by the Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne Camp #1433 of Pine Bluff, and the Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp #1655 of Jonesboro.
Patrick Royayne Cleburne was the Confederacy’s highest-ranking foreign-born general, and one of the best of any nationality.
Helena has the distinction of having seven Confederate Generals that lived in Helena before and during the “War Between the States”. Cleburne, Tappan, Hindman, Daniel C. Govan, Dobbins, Lucius C. Polk, and Charles W. Adams. Confederate General Adams was the grandfather of Helen Keller the famous blind and deaf author from Alabama. Helen’s mother was born at LaGrange, Arkansas.
Confederate Generals Thomas C. Hindman, James C. Tappan and Cleburne are the only Confederate Generals buried in Helena. The Cleburne Camp of Pine Bluff place a memorial marker for Archibald Dobbins of Helena in 2003. General Dobbins final resting place is unknown and the marker was placed in honor of Dobbins.
The service will be concluded with a three volley salute to Cleburne. Following the Cleburne Memorial, there will be a memorial to Thomas C. Hindman in the same cemetery. Hindman and Cleburne were great friends before the War Between the States. Arkansas Civil War Historian Don Roth will give a graveside speech about General/Senator Hindman. This service will likewise be concluded by a 3-vollie salute.
Maple Hill Cemetery is located on the north edge of Helena, at the point where Crowley’s Ridge touches the Mississippi River. From Little Rock, take either I-40 or Highway 70 east to Brinkley. At Brinkley, take Highway 49 east to Helena. At the traffic signal where Highway 49 splits south in West Helena, follow U.S. Business 49 (e.g., go straight ahead) into downtown Helena. In downtown Helena, turn left from 49B onto COLUMBIA Street. Go 3 blocks and turn right onto McDONOUGH Street. Go 2 blocks and turn left onto HOLLY Street (the Helena Housing Authority sits on this corner). Go 3/4 mile north on Holly Street, and turn left into the front gate of Maple Hill Cemetery. Turn right onto the first avenue in the cemetery and follow this road and the signs to the Confederate cemetery, about 0.4 mile. Park at the foot of the hill, and walk up to the crest where the memorial service will be held.
For more information about the memorial contact Ron Kelley at 870-592-0079.