May 16-18, 1911 Confederate Veterans Reunion in Little Rock Pictures and story (Part 3)

Civil war veteran soldier footage, captured between 1913 and 1938

Civil war veteran soldier footage, captured between 1913 and 1938. Our other greatest generation. God bless both sides of this war who both tested and saved our union.

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I really enjoyed the article “REBEL GRAY’S GOLDEN DAYS: In 1911, LR filled to the brim with Confederate veterans,” by Jake Sandlin that ran in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on May 15, 2011. It took 81 years before more people to gather in Little Rock for another event (Bill Clinton’s election to president)  I will be sharing portions of it the next few days and here is the third part: 

Merchants directed advertisements of items and discounts specifically toward the Confederate veterans. M.M. Cohn department store advertised Confederate gray uniforms for $9-$15, plus the retailer would pay part of a customer’s railroad fare, depending on the amount of purchases made. The Optical Department at Albert Pfeifer and Brothers offered free eye exams for Confederate veterans and glasses made on-site “at reasonable prices.” Mercantile Bank touted “free ladies restrooms” newly installed for reunion visitors.

“The reunion that year was a very special time, being the 50th anniversary of the war’s start,” said Stephan McAteer, director of the

MacArthur Museum

of Arkansas Military History,

which also

features

a reunion

exhibit. “A lo t of these guys were getting up in years and would not be around much longer. There was a desire to show these veterans that their service was appreciated.”

The reunion committees prepared for months. Little Rock was decked out with Confederate flags and photos of Confederate generals, including on the outside of City Hall. Sixty white columns, 12 feet high and strung with lights, flags and red-and-white bunting, lined the way between the City Auditorium near City Hall to City Park where the veterans camped for free. A banner by the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, displayed clasped hands to welcome the Confederate veterans.

Early arrivals signaled that the city would be pressed to meet everyone’s needs. The Arkansas Gazette reported daily train arrivals as counted by officials of three railroads. The companies supplied extra trains and fare discounts to accommodate reunion visitors.

___________________________________

Camp Shaver, erected in City Park (now MacArthur Park) in Little Rock (Pulaski County) during the United Confederate Veterans Reunion; May 1911.

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