Camp 615 is committed to many different activities and projects to preserve the Confederate History and Heritage we all share. Here are some things we’ve accomplished so far that we would like to share.
Mt. Olive Cemetery
- In 2017, our camp commander identified an overgrown cemetery in Vilonia, Arkansas that contained a known 10 Confederate veterans. Camp members began to maintain the vegetation, clean headstones, and install Southern Crosses
- An additional 12 Confederates were located in the cemetery, including 2 unmarked graves. The unmarked graves received new headstones from the Veterans Administration and our camp installed the stones and held a dedication ceremony on Memorial Day, 2018.
- The cemetery is now maintained by the Mt. Olive Cemetery Board of Directors
Happy Bend Cemetery
- In 2019, we found another cemetery. This abandoned one is located in rural Conway County, near the Blackwell community. After a careful inventory of the known graves, we identified 10 buried Confederate veterans and 1 World War One casualty.
- All Confederate graves have been marked with Southern Crosses, cleaned with D2 Solution, and are in the process of being repaired. One large stone has been in the mud for countless years, but is now repaired and upright
- There is an ongoing effort to clean brush and vegetation and locate unmarked graves
- We are in the process of raising funds to support a full restoration of this cemetery. If you wish to donate, please contact us!
Memorial Day 2022
On Memorial Day, May 20, 2022 we gathered at Happy Bend Cemetery to commemorate the life and sacrifice of Private Eaph Anderson, a 26-year old draftee who died during training at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana during World War One, otherwise known as the “Great War.” We began by trimming vegetation around his grave, then worked for several hours to level the base of the marker, then erect the stone that has fallen and lain in the mud for an unknown number of years (a photo uploaded to Find-A-Grave in 2009 shows the stone laying in the mud). We used a number of tools, including a chain hoist, to place the stone in its proper place and then secured it with a 2-part epoxy. With this completed, we cleaned it with D/2 Solution (can be purchased here) and placed a pair of American flags beside the stone. Our former camp commander delivered a brief talk about Pvt. Anderson’s story.
Thunder in the Valleys
- Located at the Museum of Veterans and Military History
- 53 N. Mt. Olive Road, Vilonia, Arkansas
- This living history/reenactment event is in its 4th annual iteration
- The event name hearkens to the original name of the local town, Vilonia (Vilsonia, “land between the valleys”)
- It draws spectators and reenactors from several states and has seen more than 400 in attendance most years.
- It is a free event to the public and offers opportunities to visit with living historians and reenactors, tour camps and the Museum of Veterans and Military History
This event is happening again on September 16th!
JROTC H.L. Hunley Award
- Our camp participates in the H.L. Hunley Award, an annual JROTC award that is given at the discretion of the various JROTC commanders.
Col. Allen R. Witt Memorial Service
- Held annually at Col. Witt’s graveside on or near the anniversary of his death
- Oak Grove Cemetery, Conway, Arkansas
- In 2017, special guests were his great-great nephews John and Jerry Witt of Alabama
- Service includes an honor guard and firing detail, special speaker, singing of “Dixie,” and invocation