BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The decision has been made to relocate a Confederate statue that has stood in the Bentonville Square since 1908.
For more than a year, the Arkansas Division United Daughters of the Confederacy (“UDC”) has been in communication with community leaders in Northwest Arkansas about the future of the Confederate monument and statue on the Bentonville Square.
The monument is owned by the UDC and it has stood on the Bentonville Square since 1908 in an agreement with Benton County.
The UDC says it's committed to preserving the history of the statue and agreed to work with the Benton County Historical Society and other community members and ultimately decided to relocate the monument to a permanent private park, named “James H. Berry Park", adjacent to the Bentonville Cemetery, where Governor Berry is buried, pursuant to an agreement between the UDC and the Benton County Historical Society.
This agreement will allow the UDC to continue to "display and preserve the historical significance of the monument and its unique connection to the history of Benton County in perpetuity."
The process to relocate the monument will begin in August after the UDC submits an application under the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program to maintain the monument on the National Registry of Historic Places. After relocation, the Benton County Historical Society will own and operate the park and display the monument for the benefit of the residents of Benton County and the rich Civil War history of the Northwest Arkansas region. The UDC will continue to own the monument.
The UDC says it appreciates the support of the Northwest Arkansas community and believes the new location is in the best interest of all parties involved.
“We believe today’s decision is in the best interest of preserving our state’s history, educating the public, and memorializing Benton County veterans. The approach followed during this process could serve as a business model for other communities to follow and also a model of peace, civility, and respect,” said Joey McCutchen representing the UDC.
The chair of the Benton County Historical Society, Leah Whitehead, added, “We appreciate the spirit of this decision of the UDC, and we are prepared to play an important role in preserving the monument in an appropriate way to commemorate Governor Berry as well as our State and county history.”