Below is a copy of a letter received by Marilyn Hambrick Sickel of DeValls Bluff, Arkansas from the Veterans Administration in Little Rock, Arkansas when she requested information about Civil War soldiers of Prairie County, Arkansas several years ago. This letter is included in her book of Prairie County, Arkansas Cemetery Inscriptions which she published in 1989. This is page 11 of her book.
REGARDING CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS
When I began making inquiries about Civil War soldiers in Prairie County, I was directed to contact the Veteranís Administration in Little Rock, Arkansas. They are in charge of the national cemetery on Confederate Boulevard in Little Rock.
In reply to my query about Confederate soldiers buried in Prairie County, I received the following standard form letter. The final summation seems to be that the "Federal" troops were reinterred but the "Confederate" troops were not.
I am also given to understand that an individual name can be checked upon request.
Little Rock National Cemetery
2523 Confederate Boulevard
Little Rock, Arkansas 72206
LITTLE ROCK NATIONAL CEMETERY
During the early part of the Civil War, which saw the inception of the National Cemetery System, the land now occupied by the National Cemetery was approximately one and a half miles outside the city limits and was used as a camping ground by Union troops. Later the space was used as city cemetery established for the purpose of burying the Civil War dead. When United States troops were occupying the city in 1866, a portion of the new city cemetery was purchased by the United States and set aside as a military burial ground for the occupation forces.
Pursuant to Act of Congress approved July 17, 1862, and supplemental directives which authorized the purchase of land for use as a National Cemetery for soldiers who died in the service of their country, the military plot in the Little Rock City Cemetery was enlarged and on April 9, 1868, designated a national cemetery in which were to be concentrated the remains of Union deceased buried throughout the state of Arkansas.
The number of interments at the time of its designation as a national cemetery was 5425, of this number 3092 were known, 2333 were unknown. During 1868 remains were brought from places as follows: 23 from Dardanelle, 95 from Lewisburg, 132 from JenkinsóFord, 52 from Princeton, 115 from Marks Mill, 798 from Pine Bluff and 267 from De Vallís Bluff for a total of 1482 bodies moved. This increased the number of decedents buried to almost 7,000.
In 1884, a Confederate Cemetery was established adjoining the national cemetery and the remains of 640 Confederates were removed from Mt. Holly Cemetery and reburied in the new cemetery. An imposing monument to their memory was erected in the same year by the Trustees of the Mt. Holly Cemetery. By Act of February 7, 1913, Congress authorized the Secretary of War to accept from the City of Little Rock a deed to the Confederate Cemetery with the restriction, however, that none but Confederate veterans were to be interred in the new acquisition. This restriction was removed by Congress in an Act approved March 26, 1938, and the Confederate Cemetery became the Confederate Section in the Little Rock National Cemetery and open to the interment of any eligible decedent, thus removing the last traces of distinction between the veterans of our bloodiest war.