Arkansas Monument Finding Aide
These documents from the GNMP V17-40 Arkansas Monument Files are related to the NPS approval of the erection of the Arkansas Memorial on the Gettysburg Battlefield. They are presented in chronological order.
1. J. B. Hill, Designer to Superintendent GNMP Kittridge Wing, August 16, 1965
Mr. Hill, who was involved in the building of the Florida and South Carolina monuments informs Supt. Wing that he has been to work with the Commission of the State of Arkansas Monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield with the site to be located between the Wheatfield area and Devil’s Den. Mr. Hill also mentions the Commission will have three members and will probably be Judge Neill Bohlinger, Colonel Virden and Mr. Walters. The monument “could be cast in aluminum” if that is allowed.
2. Supt. Kittridge Wing to J. B. Hill, Designer, August 20, 1965
Supt. Wing informs Mr. Hill that the GNMP has “a good site for the Arkansas construction, but it is not at the Devil’s Den area. He reminds Mr. Hill that, like Florida and South Carolina “that both Union and Confederate monuments shall be placed on their respective main lines of position.”
3. Memorandum to files, Acting Superintendent GNMP S.G. Sollenberger, August 27, 1965
Mr. Lewis Roberts was shown possible sites for the Arkansas monument on the “old Haines property and northward opposite the Snyder House.” He also notes $50,000 has been appropriated for the monument.
4. Memorandum to files, Acting Superintendent S.G. Sollenberger, September 20, 1965
Mr. Lewis Roberts, Designer and Sales Consultant of the Georgia Marble Company indicates that there “was some strong feeling of the Arkansas people … to place it on the rocks near Devil’s Den.” Mr. Sollenberger discussed this matter with Mr. Leggett and the rules regarding the positioning of monuments on their battle lines.
5. J.B. Hill, Designer to GNMP Superintendent Kittridge Wing, September 29, 1965
The decision scheduled for the 17th for the Arkansas design has been “deferred until September 27th.” This deferral was due to a second design was submitted after the 17th and Mr. Hill suggests some political considerations may yet influence the final design.
6. Mrs. Martha Goodlae Struck, United Daughters of the Confederacy to Supt. Kittridge Wing, October 9, 1965
Mrs. Struck (at 90 years of age) writes to Supt. Wing expressing her “hearty approval” for an Arkansas Memorial at Gettysburg and she explains her father, Albert Theodore Goodlae, was a First Lieutenant in the 35th Alabama Volunteer Infantry. She further states “Any design smaller or less accurate in detail would not have been in keeping with the bravery of the men in whose memory it will be erected.
7. Colonel USAF (Retired), John M. Virden, member of the Commission of the State of Arkansas Monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield to GNMP Supervisory Historian Harry W. Pfanz, November 17, 1965
Col. Virden writes a detailed letter to Park Historian Pfanz describing his thoughts on the efforts for selecting a site for the Arkansas monument and further states he was not aware of the rules regarding the Devil’s Den site and the need for the site to be west of the Emmitsburg Road. He believes such sites are “way off in the thicket where nobody ever sees them.”He goes on to mention his visit to the Manassas Battlefield and the poorly located Captain Webster statue. And Col. Virden mentions Judge Bohlinger is working on details of the design, the Dedication Ceremony, the band, Confederate and Union re-enactors and whether an Arkansas artillery battery can be transported to Gettysburg.” The Commandant of the Army War College at Carlisle has also been contacted. Judge Bohlinger “can take care of the Arkansas delegation.”
8. M.J. Probst, Legislative Asst. to Senator J.L. McClellan to Supt. Kittridge Wing, November 23, 1965
Mr. Probst offers his “sincere appreciation and gratitude for the assistance given by Supt. Wing, and requests that any formal document for the needed approval be sent to Judge Bohlinger.
9. Supervisory Historian Pfanz to Colonel J.M. Virden, November 23, 1965
Park Historian Pfanz is pleased Col. Virden agrees with the selected site for the Arkansas monument and concurs with the suggestion to use army field music and the presence of an Arkansas National Guard unit with roots in the 3rd Arkansas to honor their memory.
10. Supt. Wing to M.J. Probst, Legislative Asst. to Senator J.L. McClellan, November 29, 1965
Supt. Wing is delighted with the outcome of his meeting with the Arkansas delegation and believes the site will offer a clear view of the battlefield and states “with these papers in hand, our review process can be finished in a few weeks…. barring any requests for alterations.”
11. Colonel J.M. Virden to Supervisory Historian Pfanz, December 2, 1965
Col. Virden has been looking into any link between the CSA 3rd Arkansas and a current National Guard unit and relates an anecdotal story of his own state of Oklahoma and the 45th Division’s exploits, their native American heritage and their engagement with Union troops. The letter meanders a bit with Col. Virden and Bohlinger’s concerns regarding the location of “Fort Defiance” and as he calls it “Disneyland” on the Gettysburg Battlefield. Mr. Pfanz is also invited to the Arkansas Dedication.
12. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Supt. Kittridge Wing, December 8, 1965
A letter to Cobb Memorials, written by Judge Bohlinger and copied to Supt. Wing “as a formal request for the designation of the site” selected by Mr. Pfanz, Col. Virden and Judge Bohlinger. The Commission hopes for acceptance of the monument in “Late May.”
13. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Cobb Memorials, Inc., December 8, 1965
This is the letter sent to Cobb Memorials mentioned in #12 and formally presents an “executed copy of the agreement for the erection of the Arkansas monument.” Delivery of the monument is hoped-for in the “latter part of May.”
14. Supervisory Historian Pfanz to Col. J.M. Virden, December 8, 1965
Mr. Pfanz mentions Judge Bohlinger’s efforts and goes on to mention the “Thunderbirds” of the 48th division and his own service in the 85th division and provides Col. Virden the reason for the Fort Defiance and “Fantasyland on the Park.”
15. Supt. Wing to Judge Neill Bohlinger, December 14, 1965
Supt. Wing accepts the formal request for the Arkansas monument from Judge Bohlinger and provides the next steps toward approval of the design and inscription. Construction will depend on thawing of the grounds.
16. Gilbert R. Shockley, General Director, Reynolds Metal Co. to Raymond E. Reece V.P. & Designer, Cobbs Memorials Inc., January 6, 1966
Regarding the design of the Arkansas monument, according to Mr. Shockley, it will include “five identical pieces of ½ inch thick plate” of aluminum design and will be bolted to the granite. Reynolds Metals Company will be forwarding the engineering drawings and their “proposed method of fabrication” from Mr. Glaser.
17. Bob Greenway, Cobb Memorials, Inc. (Formerly McNeel) to Supt. Wing, February 3, 1966
Mr. Greenway has sent Supt. Wing scale drawings of the Arkansas monument showing the inscriptions as they will appear. Greenway continues with details of “steel” and “four cubes” (of aluminum) “at the corners.” He also requests the regulations “concerning the installation of the foundation.” Mr. H.D. Warren has been named to handle the erecting of the monument.
18. GNMP Superintendent George F. Emery to Regional Director, Northeast Region, February 9, 1966
Supt. Emery briefs the Regional Director on the history and progress of the Arkansas project for a monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield. Review of the inscriptions and design “appears to be restrained and generally satisfactory.” Size and weight are requested from Cobb Memorials and the GNMP is supplying details for the foundation. Supt. Emery, “in the interest of time,” believes the Director has sufficient data for securing the NPS Director’s approval.
19. Supt. Emery to Judge Bohlinger, February 10, 1966
Mr. Emery has informed Judge Bohlinger he has forwarded his recommendations to the NPS Director. He also suggests any questions Cobb Memorials may have regarding the foundation, weight or details of the location regarding “climatic conditions at the site be sent to him.”
20. Supervisory Historian Pfanz Memorandum to Files, February 15, 1966
A visit from Judge Bohlinger, Col. Virden and Diefenbaker of Carlisle to the Park to review the site of the Arkansas monument and their subsequent discussions and approval of the site on West Confederate Avenue are recorded in this memorandum to the files by Park Historian Pfanz.
21. Cobb Memorials, Inc. Bob N. Greenway to GNMP Superintendent George F. Emery, February 18, 1966
Mr. Greenway requests details that might assist Mr. Warren who will be supervising the construction of the monument for Cobb Memorials from Park personnel familiar with erecting monuments at the Park.
22. Cobb Memorials Inc. Bob N. Greenway to Supt. Emery, March 2, 1966
Mr. Greenway seeks Supt. Emery’s advice on when the approval of the Arkansas monument will be made. A tentative dedication date of late May is expected, and Greenway is anxious to know.
23. Supt. Emery to Regional Director, Northeast Region, March 7, 1966
Supt. Emery asks the Regional Director if there is “anything you can do to expedite approval of the Arkansas Memorial will be appreciated.”
24. Lemuel A. Garrison, Regional Director, Northeast Region to Supt. Emery, March 8, 1966
Director Garrison has approved the Arkansas monument “with one exception.” The “awkward phrase beginning with “Their valor and their blood” should be changed and the change is noted in the letter.
25. Supt. Emery to Judge Neill Bohlinger, March 9, 1966
Supt. Emery notifies Judge Bohlinger of the approval for the Arkansas monument with the exception of one phrase in the inscription which is noted in the letter with a suggested substitute.
26. Thomas E. Whitcraft, Asst. Regional Director, Operations to Supt. Emery, March 10, 1966
The proposed method for the Arkansas monument foundation has been approved by the NPS Regional Director.
27. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Supt. Emery, June 8, 1966
Judge Bohlinger is providing Supt. Emery with details for the proposed Arkansas monument dedication on May 18, 1966. Col. Virden has been designated as the “Field Secretary” and will brief Mr. Emery of the details of the program. (no program is attached)
28. Col. Virden to Supt. Emery, June 15, 1966
Col. Virden provides Supt. Emery with another copy of the “dedication program for the Third Arkansas Infantry Monument.”
29. Blueprints Arkansas Monument before June 18, 1966
Copies of the Arkansas Monument blueprints are presented here.
30. “Arkansas Monument Dedicated” Gettysburg Times, June 20, 1966
Full coverage of the dedication of the Arkansas monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield are provided here including a photo of Arkansas dignitaries including Judge Bohlinger, Col. Virden, Mr. Van Manning and the Mayor of Gettysburg William Weaver.
31. Supt. Emery to Regional Director, Northeast Region, June 20, 1966
Supt. Emery briefs the NPS Regional Director on the dedication ceremonies for the Arkansas monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
32. Col. John Virden to Supt. George F. Emery, June 20 1966
Col. Virden thanks the Superintendent for his efforts toward the monument dedication ceremony. The Colonel requests names of Park personnel that assisted for letter to the Secretary of Interior. States Judge Bohlinger has undergone major surgery right after ceremony but is a “tough old hillbilly and… survive this ordeal.”
33. Bob N. Greenway to Supt. George F. Emery, June 20 1966
Greenway sends letter of thanks to Emery and compliments maintenance supervisor on the landscape.
34. Supt. George Emery To Col. John M. Virden, June 21, 1966
Supt. Emery declines Col. Virden’s request for a list of all Park employees who assisted with the dedication ceremony but ensures that upper management will receive full credit.
35. Col. John Virden to Superintendent George Emery. June 24. 1966
Col. Virden apologizes for addressing Supt. Emery as “Fred,” blaming NPS’s Washington Headquarters for mistake. “Frankly, right now I wish the national headquarters of the National Park Service in Washington was half as efficient as are the men assigned to the Gettysburg National Military Park.”Provides update on Judge Bohlinger’s health.
36. Bob N. Greenway to Superintendent George Emery, June 27, 1966 Attachment 1
Greenway submits new plans for the monument base and cut of stone.
37. Superintendent George F. Emery to Judge Neill Bohlinger, June 30, 1966 Attachment 2
Supt. Emery congratulates Judge Bohlinger on his successful operation and encloses pictures from newspaper.
38. Lt. Col. Ivan E. Mason to Supt. George F. Emery July 7, 1966
Lt. Col. Mason encloses photos of monument dedication to Supt. Emery.
39. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, July 8, 1966
This letter from Judge Bohlinger to the Secretary of the Interior, who oversees all operations of the National Park Service, provides a glimpse of what Judge Bohlinger’s perspective was in representing a portion of the Arkansas population who wanted to honor the memories of those who fought under the Confederate state flag of Arkansas at Gettysburg. The Judge speaks highly of Supt. Emery and Park Historian Harry Pfanz and is well pleased with the site, the monument and the dedication ceremony.
40. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Supt. George Emery, July 11, 1966
Judge Bohlinger thanks Supt. Emery for June 30 letter and the enclosed pictures. Requests more pictures if available.
41. Memo, Supt George Emery to Regional Director, Northeast Region, July 20, 1966
For the purpose of documentation, Supt. Emery forwards photos of construction of Arkansas monument for Northeast Region files.
42. Supt George F. Emery to Judge Neill Bohlinger, July 20, 1966
Supt. Emery thanks Judge Bohlinger for letter to the Director of the National Park Service.
44. Judge Neill Bohlinger to Superintendent George F. Emery, August 10, 1966
Judge Bohlinger thanks Supt. Emery for August 3 letter and pictures, requests more pictures of the dedication ceremony.
45. Arkansas Program
Outline of dedication ceremony, June 18, 1966.
46. Superintendent George F. Emery to Judge Neill Bohlinger, August 22, 1966
As requested, Supt. Emery sends more photos of dedication ceremony to Judge Bohlinger.
47. Maj. General Military Dept. of Arkansas Charles Wilson to Chairman, Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Commission, September 15, 1969
Major General Charles Wilson provides details of the authorization for the Arkansas monument at Gettysburg to the Chairman of the GBMC.
48. Supt. Emery to Maj. General Charles Wilson, September 15, 1969
Supt. Emery provides a “resume of facts” regarding the Arkansas monument and mentions “more data is available from the files of the Commission.”
Last updated: March 22, 2022