by Max Brantley
... David O. Dodd. News release on jump. Expect coverage aplenty of the forget-hell crowd's annual obsession in Sunday's DOG.
Other may choose to spend the morning in devotion to the preservation of the Union, the end of the slavery, the just punishment of traitors/spies/etc., and recalling heroes such as Ulysses Grant (pictured above) who made it all possible.
BY THE WAY: Did you know Arkansas isn't the only place that claims a boy hero of the Confederacy. There's also Sam Davis, another executed spy in Tennesse.
MEMORIAL FOR THE BOY MARTYR OF THE CONFEDERACY
Commemorating the 144th anniversary of the death of David O. Dodd, Civil War Buffs from across the state will gather at Mt Holly Cemetery at 11:00 am, Saturday, January 5. The largest gathering of its kind in Arkansas attracts Reenactors, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Order of Confederate Rose, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and Civil War Roundtables across the state.
Reenactors will form ranks at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History at 10:30 to march the 0.9 miles to Mt Holly. This ritual ties the two sides of the memorial together. In the main stairwell of the Museum is a stained glass window commemorating David O. Dodd, Arkansas' "Boy Martyr of the Confederacy" and artifacts relating to Dodd.
At Mt. Holly, the ceremony will continue with a program at the gravesite of David Owen Dodd. The keynote speaker will be North Little Rock resident Michael R. Loum, Commander of the Robert C. Newton Camp #197, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Commander Loum will note the passing of this anniversary and the example that it sets for the young people of today.
The laying of flowers by the “woman in Black” represents the mother of Dodd, and the Order of Confederate Rose represents the civilians of that time. Following will be a firing ceremony (21-gun salute) to end the event.
David Owen Dodd was born in Victoria County, Texas, November 10, 1846. When David was 10 years old, the family returned to Arkansas and settled in the environs of Benton. It was there that David attended school for the first time.
On December 28, 1863, David visited the Provost Marshal's office at St. John's College (several hundred yards southeast of the arsenal) and had no trouble obtaining a pass through Union lines to rejoin his family in Camden. He headed out the Benton Road, riding a mule, showing his pass to Union sentries at the city line and again at a point eight miles from Little Rock, where the outpost sentry tore up the pass, explaining to David that he would have no further need for it because he was entering Confederate territory.
Some letters David was carrying to relatives and friends in south Arkansas caused no concern, but a memorandum book aroused curiosity. The officer found most entries in the book innocuous, but one page, written entirely in Morse code, prompted him to arrest the boy on suspicion of espionage and send him back to Union headquarters at the arsenal in Little Rock.
David was now committed to the State Prison to await trial. The military tribunal convened January 2, 1864, at the arsenal with General John Milton Thayer as the presiding officer of the Court Martial. The Court Martial lasted four days. David Dodd was convicted of spying for the Confederacy and was sentenced to be hanged at the discretion of General Steele. The boy was immediately transferred back to the State Prison to await his execution, and General Steele designated Friday, January 8, 1864, as the fateful day.
For complete information of the life of David O. Dodd, see www.civilwarbuff.org/dodd.html
Always Be Ready
Charles Olin Durnett, Commander
Sons of Confederate Veterans