Located by the gentle slope of an Ozarks ridge, the beautiful setting of Confederate Cemetery overlooks the historic Northwest Arkansas city of Fayetteville.
The cemetery contains the remains of men who fell in the service of the Confederacy in
Northwest Arkansas, primarily in Benton and Washington Counties. Some of the soldiers
buried here died from illness in disease-ridden camps, while others fell in battle on
one of the most violent and desperately contested fronts of the Civil War.
The graves of these confederate soldiers originally dotted the landscape of Northwest Arkansas, but in 1878 the Southern Memorial Association of Washington County established the beautiful cemetery and exhumed fallen soldiers from throughout the region and brought them here for final burial. The effort coincided roughly with a similar effort to move Union dead in the region to the Fayetteville National Cemetery.
Many of the soldiers buried at Confederate Cemetery fell in the Battle of Pea Ridge in March of 1862 or at the Battle of Prairie Grove just nine months later. These two actions were among the fiercest of the Civil War in the West and firmly established Union control of the State of Missouri and Northwest Arkansas as well. Brigadier General William Yarnell Slack, who died on March 20, 1862, from wounds received at Pea Ridge is among the soldiers who now rest here. Others fell in the Battle of Fayetteville or numerous other smaller engagements fought throughout the region.
Many, however, died from sickness and disease during the brutal winters of 1861
and 1862, when Confederate soldiers in the Ozarks endured unimaginable privations.
The cemetery contains hundreds of such graves, arrayed in beautiful rows beneath
magnificent trees and commanding an outstanding view of the city of Fayetteville
below. The rock wall surrounding the historic burial ground was built in 1885 of native
stone. The tall Confederate monument on the grounds was erected in around 1898 and
forms a centerpiece of the cemetery.
You may also be interested in Preservation Of Arkansas’s Historic Cemeteries.
Here’s a “Silent Movie” style tour of Fayetteville’s Confederate Cemetery: