The Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Arkansas, March 7 - 8, 1862

James N.

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Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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Feb 23, 2013
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East Texas
I visited a few years ago and this is an underused park. When I pulled in to the visitor center there was not a single car there not even the ranger's car. I thought the place was closed. I went to the door and it was unlock so I went in and wandered about the visitor center until the ranger heard me and came out of the back room. When I did the car tour I did not see any other cars and did not see anyone. Being the only one there made the whole thing a bit eerie.
Unfortunately I had much the same feeling last fall when I visited during the pandemic - the Visitor Center was shut tight as the proverbial drum and the grounds looked seedy and unkempt. However, once I embarked on the circular tour road I was pleasantly surprised to discover I wasn't actually all alone; there were several other visitors, and I even spied a NPS ranger near Elkhorn Tavern talking with another visitor. One possibly questionable decision made within the past several years may prove to be a double-edged sword: the main highway has been moved a little farther away, making the Visitor Center no longer visible from it. That sounds like a good idea from a preservation/interpretation point of view, but the former easy accessibility may no longer attract casual visitors on their way elsewhere like it probably has in the past.
 

farmerjohn

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
I live about 30 miles South of Pea Ridge and I've been there often. Most people don't know Union Veterans who returned to live here after the war helped pay for the Confederate Monument above. It's also one of oldest Civil War Monuments in the United States. There were several G.A.R. camps in the area. One was named the General Samuel R. Curtis Chapter after the Union commander at Pea Ridge.

The reenactment group I used to belong to was Company A, 37th Illinois. The 37th was the only Union Infantry regiment that fought at Pea Ridge and later at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas in December 1862. They later rejoined their brigade for the siege of Vicksburg. One of my old pards from the 37th gave up reenacting and started metal detecting. He found the 37th Illinois camp south of the park near Little Sugar Creek on private land. I have a dropped Colt Revolving rifle bullet, a 69 Minie and an Eagle button dug from the camp. The 37th was the only regiment west of the Mississippi with Colt Revolving rifles. The flank company had those and the other companies had Belgian made 69 caliber muskets.
i know this is an old posting but, i used to live on/adjacent too little sugar creek in the avoca area. used to drive thru the park all the time with my season pass. beautiful park. the most untouched and true to the time of the battle of any battlefield park.
 

farmerjohn

Private
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Unfortunately I had much the same feeling last fall when I visited during the pandemic - the Visitor Center was shut tight as the proverbial drum and the grounds looked seedy and unkempt. However, once I embarked on the circular tour road I was pleasantly surprised to discover I wasn't actually all alone; there were several other visitors, and I even spied a NPS ranger near Elkhorn Tavern talking with another visitor. One possibly questionable decision made within the past several years may prove to be a double-edged sword: the main highway has been moved a little farther away, making the Visitor Center no longer visible from it. That sounds like a good idea from a preservation/interpretation point of view, but the former easy accessibility may no longer attract casual visitors on their way elsewhere like it probably has in the past.
i have thought that too. while it is a better road, being further away may hinder the amount of foot traffic thru the doors.
 

Polk'spast

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Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Does the NPS not know how to spell General Ben McCulloch's name?...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_McCulloch
 

bayouace

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Joined
Nov 22, 2020
Location
Louisiana
Visited in 2011, and Pea Ridge is my favorite CW park for the pristine original layout, and the exhibits-packed Visitors Center. The drive to the top is nice, and the view, imagining the Blue assault waves, is breath-taking.
 
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