|Historic Downtown Van Buren is full |
of small stores now.
First settled in 1818 and known as Phillips Landing (Phillips being the last name of brothers who established a lumber yard in the area), the town acquired a post office and changed its name to Van Buren (after the Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren) in 1831. The town was incorporated on Christmas Eve, 1842. Almost exactly 20 years later, downtown Van Buren became the site of a rather strange Civil War battle.
|Many of the buildings survive from the 1800's.|
|The battle raged straight down Main Street.|
The Confederates made their way to the river where they jumped on board a ferry and a number of steam boats. The Yankees got to the river as the last few boats were starting to pull away from the pier. The Rebels set 2 of the boats on fire to keep them from being captured. One boat was stranded on a sand bar and when musket fire and artillery disabled another one, exactly 100 southern troops were captured.
|Over 500 Confederate soldiers are |
buried in Fairview Cemetery.
Over 500 Southern soldiers are buried in a large corner of Fairview Cemetery. In a sad statement to the way of that awful war, over 400 of the headstones are marked simply, "Unknown Confederate Soldier."