Who we are
The General Robert C Newton Camp #197, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is a male-lineage heritage preservation group dedicated to saving the Southern history of Arkansas. The Sons of Confederate Veterans was founded in 1896, as a direct heir to the United Confederate Veterans. We are a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization, dedicated to ensuring that the true history of the War of 1861 to 1865, including what lead up to it and the difficult Reconstruction period afterward, are held in the true light of the time period. The General Robert C Newton Camp was chartered on November 11, 1900, though the men who formed the Camp were actively working together to ensure Confederate veterans and their history were properly cared for as early as the late 1890s.
The first SCV Camp in Arkansas, the Hall S McConnell Camp #111, was chartered in 1896 at Clarksville. The initial roster of Arkansas Camps included Jefferson Camp #134 in Pine Bluff, David O Dodd Camp #147 in Austin, W W Meriweather Camp #188 of Paragould, William E Moore Camp #194 of Helena, J R Norfleet Camp of Forrest City, and the Robert C Newton Camp #197 in the capital city. The Newton Camp is the only remaining original camp.
With the disruptions of the World Wars and the passings of Confederate Veterans, membership declined and in 1948, there were only two Camps remaining in Arkansas, with a total membership of 58. One of those Camps still holding on was Newton #197. By 1983, the Newton Camp of Little Rock was the only remaining active Camp in Arkansas. Commander-In-Chief Charles H Smith, made it one of the goals of his administration to bring Arkansas back into the forefront of the SCV. Commander Smith contacted all SCV members in Arkansas who did not have local Camps to join him and his staff in Little Rock. There, the foundation of the modern-era SCV in Arkansas was laid out. The State was divided into regions and members began recruiting for the
initiation of local Camps.
Today, the Newton Camp is still the Oldest Active Camp in the Arkansas Division, the Oldest Continually Active Camp West of the Mississippi River, and One of the Oldest Sons of Confederate Veterans Camps in existence, period.