Fairview Cemetery
A monument pays tribute to
the scores of Confederate
soldiers buried in Van Buren.
Fairview Cemetery - Van Buren, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren, Arkansas
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren, Arkansas
Confederate Graves in Van Buren
Row after row of headstones at Fairview Cemetery
mark the graves of soldiers who died while trying to
defend Arkansas from Union attack.
Resting Place of Southern Dead
The Confederate Section of Van Buren's
historic Fairview Cemetery contains the
graves of many Confederate soldiers that
died from wounds or disease in the Civil War
in Arkansas River Valley and Northwest
Arkansas.

Listed on the National Register of Historic
Places, the plot is located on the northern
side of Fairview Cemetery, which overlooks
historic downtown Van Buren from a sloping
ridge that once played a key role in a Civil
War battle.

When the Union Army of the Frontier, led by
Generals James G. Blunt and Francis Herron
attacked Van Buren on December 28, 1862,
they placed artillery here to reply to cannon
fire from a Confederate battery on the other
side of the Arkansas River. The range and
number of the Federal guns proved decisive
and the Southern gunners were forced to end
their deadly shelling of the town and the
Union soldiers occupying it.

Some of the soldiers buried at Fairview were
killed in the
Battle of Van Buren and in the
preliminary
Battle of Dripping Springs on the
same day. Others died as a result of wounds
received at the
Battle of Pea Ridge in March
of 1862 or at the
Battle of Prairie Grove in
December of that same year.

Other men died of malnutrition, sickness and
exposure in the Confederate encampments
that surrounded Van Buren in 1861-1862.
The death rate among the thousands of men
stations in the area was horribly high due to
the inability of the Confederacy to supply
these soldiers of the western frontier with
adequate food, medicine and clothing. Many
went without shoes and almost all suffered
through cold and rain without tents. For much
of 1862 to Confederate army at Fort Smith
and Van Buren was in desperate straits and
the situation was reflected by the number of
men who died and were buried in places like
Fairview Cemetery.

Several interpretive markers help visitors
understand the significance of the cemetery
and its role in the Battle of Van Buren. There
are also monuments to the Confederates
from the city who fought at Wilson's Creek,
Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove.

Fairview Cemetery is also the location of an
odd
"mystery grave" that Arkansas folklore
says contains the remains of a soldier from
the Hernando de Soto expedition. The story
may be unlikely, but has long been a popular
local legend.

The historic cemetery is located on Highway
59 just north of downtown Van Buren. It is
open to the public daily during daylight hours.
The Confederate section is on the north side
of the cemetery.
One of Crump's Men
A Texas cavalryman is buried
a long way from home. His
regiment fought at Van Buren.
Battle of Van Buren
Union artillery fired from the
ridge at Fairview Cemetery
during the Battle of Van
Buren, Arkansas.
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
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