Story of David O. Dodd - "Boy Hero of the Confederacy" - Little Rock, Arkansas
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 34° 44.282 W 092° 15.904
15S E 567277 N 3844238
Quick Description: Historical marker giving history of David O. Dodd the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy" at MacArthur Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 7/9/2010 10:45:58 AM
Waymark Code: WM97DJ
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 7

Long Description:

Text of marker:

The Story of David O. Dodd
"Boy Hero of the Confederacy"

In December 1863 and January of 1864, Little Rock was a Union-occupied town.  During this period David Owen Dodd, a boy of 17, was involved in a series of events that led to his hanging as a spy.  As a result he became known as the "Boy Hero of the Confederacy."

Dodd lived in Camden and came to Little Rock in early December to conduct family business.  During his return journey Union soldiers discovered information regarding troop dispositions in Little Rock in his possession.  Dodd was arrested, given a brief military trial, found guilty of spying and condemned to death by hanging.  Believing that the information that convicted him was too detailed for Dodd to have obtained with out help, Union General Fredrick Steele offered leniency if he would identify his source.  Dodd repeatedly refused.  His hanging occurred on January 8 at a site on the grounds of St. John's College.

Reports from the time vary widely in the details of the hanging.  Some reports claim that the hanging was conducted ineptly.  There are no known photographs of the execution available.  It is known that an elaborate scaffold was not used, but rather a hastily constructed gallows.  The tail-gate of a wagon was used as the hanging platform.  A reprint of an article in the Arkansas Gazette State Centennial Edition, printed in 1936, stated in part: "There were about 5,000 spectators present to witness the execution.  Besides the spectators, there were present for Battalions of Union soldiers--so placed as to form a square, with the gallows in the center."

General  Steele required that Dodd's funeral be conducted in a simple manner so as not to inflame the passions of the citizens of Little Rock.  Early on January 9, a small cortege of mourners accompanied his body across town where he was buried in a donated grave in Mount Holly Cemetery.

The adjacent granite monument was erected in 1926 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy to mark the hanging site.  It was approximately 500 yards east of this location.  In the early 1960's the monument was relocated because of Interstate construction.  The interpretive panel a short distance to the north of you regarding the Little Rock Arsenal has a map which shows the hanging site and St. John's College in relation to this panel.

Link to Marker: [Web Link]

History of Marker: Not listed

Additional Parking: Not Listed

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