LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A monument in the Capital City is getting lots of attention because of the history behind it.
It’s called the “Memorial to Company A, Capital Guards” and It’s located in MacArthur Park.
Our content partners, the Arkansas Times reports the confederate monument was removed, but we still don’t know what’s under the giant box.
We reached out to the City of Little Rock about why the monument was removed several times.
The City of Little Rock told us that as of 9 p.m. we would not get a release about the monument Thursday evening.
They then released a statement at 9:30 p.m. about the monument
Here is the statement released by Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. as of Thursday night:
“On Thursday, the City of Little Rock removed the Memorial to Company A, Capital Guards statue from the grounds of MacArthur Park. The Capital Guards were a militia unit from Pulaski County that formed a company in 1861 to fight for the Confederacy when the Civil War began.
“This statue, however, was erected during the United Confederate Veterans Reunion in 1911, a period of rampant segregation, inequality, and oppressive Jim Crow laws. It does not represent the values of our city today nor the diverse citizenry who stand for unity and justice for all.
“As we have seen over the last several years, and now during this present unrest over the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and most recently Rayshard Brooks, diverse communities in Little Rock and around the nation have sounded the alarm about the offensive nature of celebrating the Confederacy in public spaces. Calls for removal of such Confederate statues have grown louder in recent weeks, and Little Rock residents have joined in. Although we do not know who may be responsible, the statue’s base was vandalized this week with what appeared to be gallons of varnish.
“The statue that was removed from MacArthur Park did not provide the full context of the tumultuous time period, consequences of the war nor the legacy of the soldiers’ actions. The Capital Guards were memorialized without concern for those in our community who have suffered grave injustices and whose ancestors were viewed as less than human so that they could be subjugated to terror and forced to provide free labor.
“Our parks belong to every resident of Little Rock, who support them with their tax dollars. It is our intent to ensure our parks are inclusive and welcoming for all. This statue was divisive and in opposition to this administration’s internal why—to unite Little Rock.
“The statue will be stored until it can be determined where it will be transported. The base is covered and will also be removed soon. The City will work with the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism to find a suitable place for the statue to be viewed in a comprehensive historical context.”
We also reached out to the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The statue is called “The Memorial to Company A, Capital Guards”. It’s a sculpture of a confederate army soldier in a defensive stance, holding a rifle pointed forward. It was installed in 1911 and paid for by the local chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
It memorializes the unit that seized the arsenal at the outset of the war.
“As a native Arkansan I mean I’m very torn about my family history and growing up in the South people before me and course slavery and it’s a conflict within myself and now within our nation, you just have to wonder if it’s causing some much conflict on a time that is so divisional in our history maybe it’s okay to put the statues away and let’s talk about it,” Amber Jones said.
“I’m curious as to what’s going on is it still there. Did they take it down? Reading online a few local news stations have said that there has been vandalism but then coming out here to see it is actually still there. What are the plans for it in the future,” Ellis Jones said.
The memorial was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.