Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Bookstore Find

While perusing the Gardner’s Used Books and Music store in Tulsa, Oklahoma, yesterday, I happened across a booklet titled Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Convention Of The Oklahoma State Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (1932). Intrigued, I purchased the item for an amazingly low price of $1.95. The Proceedings includes reports from many chapters and lists the officers for the 37 United Daughters of the Confederacy chapters in Oklahoma. Of particular interest to me were items relating to the U. D. C. chapters in Shawnee (where I grew up), in Pryor (where I live now), and Elk City (where my great-grandparents were living). After purchasing it, I discovered that my great-grandmother was listed as the chaplain for the chapter in Elk City. What a surprise to purchase an item that listed one of my ancestors!

The Proceedings mentions a number of projects that these ladies were involved in including some that related to remembering the war in the trans-Mississippi.

For example, Mrs. Helen Mann Gorman, the Oklahoma Division president, wrote a letter to the Division Presidents in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas that read in part:

“’I had the good fortune to visit the battlefield of Pea Ridge or Elk Horn Tavern—as my father who participated in that battle—always called it. The particular plot where stands the monuments to Generals McColloch [sic] and McIntosh was in a rather neglected condition. The thought came to me would it not be well at some future time for the Divisions of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma to form an association to see that this historic battlefield is well marked and given perpetual care. Every thing has to have a beginning and perhaps the consumation [sic] of this dream would not be realized in our administrations, but we could sow the tiny seed and the ‘harvest would come later.’”

Did the U.D.C. play an active role in the preservation of the Pea Ridge battlefield? If anyone has the answer, please leave a comment.

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