Pea Ridge National Military Park
Pea Ridge National Military Park is a 4,300 acre Civil War Battlefield that preserves the site of the March 1862 battle that saved Missouri for the Union. On March 7 & 8, nearly 26,000 soldiers fought to determine whether Missouri would remain under Union control, and whether or not Federal armies could continue their offensive south through the Mississippi River Valley. Major General Earl Van Dorn led 16,000 Confederates against 10,250 Union soldiers, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel R. Curtis. Van Dorn's command consisted of regular Confederate troops commanded by Brigadier General Benjamin McCulloch, and Missouri State Guard Forces commanded by Major General Sterling Price. The Confederate force also included some 800 Cherokees fighting for the Confederacy. The Union army consisted of soldiers from Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio. Half of the Federals were German immigrants. The park also includes a 2.6-mile segment of the Trail of Tears. The Elkhorn Tavern, site of bitter fighting on both days, is a NPS reconstruction on the site of the original. The park is one of the most well preserved battlefields in the United States.
Visit Pea Ridge and get a tour of the nation's history by checking out the visitor center, which has many exhibits on the park's history, as well as a 28-minute film. The seven-mile, self guided auto tour is a great way to see the historical sites at the park.
From the Northeast (Republic, MO): Take US 60 to Monett, MO, then south on MO 37 to Gateway, AR. Go west on US 62 to the park.
From the North (Joplin, MO): Take US 71 south until the Pea Ridge Exit and then go left on AR 72. At the town of Pea Ridge follow 72 to US 62. Turn left on US 62 to the Park.
From the South (Ft. Smith, AR): Take I-540 north. Go through Fayetteville, AR. Continue north on I-540 to the US 62 exit and follow signs to the park.
From the West (Tulsa, OK): Take the Cherokee Turnpike to US 412 to Siloam Springs and Springdale, AR. Take I-540 north to US 62 East and follow signs to the park.