The Pea Ridge National Military Park (Black & White)

Lampasas Bill

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
The loop walking trail through the park (dashed line on the map) is well worth following. It's about seven miles long and it's mostly flat. I hiked it years ago and really enjoyed it. Much of it follows the driving tour, but if seven miles is too much for you, don't miss the part of the trail that can be accessed at the Elkhorn Tavern. It continues down the old Wire Road up which Price's Missourians attacked on the first day, then along the ridge where their artillery was emplaced and around several fields that saw considerable fighting. Best of all, you'll probably have it all to yourselves.
 

Lampasas Bill

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
About reenactments on NPS battlefields: "NPS policy reflects sensitivity to the human suffering and sacrifice that took place on the battlefields and prohibits battle reenactments, demonstrations of battle tactics that involve exchanges of fire between opposing lines, taking casualties, hand-to-hand combat, or any other form of simulated warfare."

To my knowledge the only Civil War battle reenacted on an NPS site was at Manassas in 1961 during the centennial. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/centennial-reenactment-first-manassas My understanding is that the Park Service initially denied the request but the organizers brought it to the attention of President Kennedy, who replied "I like sham battles!" And so the battle was fought.
 

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
About reenactments on NPS battlefields: "NPS policy reflects sensitivity to the human suffering and sacrifice that took place on the battlefields and prohibits battle reenactments, demonstrations of battle tactics that involve exchanges of fire between opposing lines, taking casualties, hand-to-hand combat, or any other form of simulated warfare."

To my knowledge the only Civil War battle reenacted on an NPS site was at Manassas in 1961 during the centennial. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/centennial-reenactment-first-manassas My understanding is that the Park Service initially denied the request but the organizers brought it to the attention of President Kennedy, who replied "I like sham battles!" And so the battle was fought.

Supposedly the Centennial events had a couple accidents, and lawsuits. Money is always the reason for such things where Government is concerned.

They're reasoning ain't nothing but a self serving, if lofty, excuse. If we were talking about a battlefield where blood was shed ten years ago, yeah it'd make a LOT of sense, but we're talking 160 years, they're spirits have flown, and on top of that CW veterans had the first reenactments at places like Gettysburg.

Reenactments if handled and run by the right well meaning people can serve to get the not-caring public to get interested in they're history and preserving it, and most of all raise much needed dollars for preservation of those battlefields. State Parks do it, but the NPS doesn't. They'd rather sit back and collect tax dollar allotments from DC. People think NPS sites are untouchable, but if the Government and taxpayers don't care, it'll eventually be declared surplus property and developed. We're already near the point where that can happen, and Pea Ridge is ripe for it.

NPS bureaucracy ain't sensitive to nothing, if they're excuse was true reasoning, they wouldn't have forced most all they're pro historians of Ed Bearss caliber into retirement.
 

H. J. Durgin

Private
Joined
Feb 12, 2019
I walked out the old Telegraph road from the Tavern down to where the tanyard stood and a bit further. Travel on that road would have been difficult to say the least. A lot of history traveled that road. Interesting battle and battlefield too. One of my favorites.
 

Lampasas Bill

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
As far as opinions on the NPS goes, to each his own. Personally, I value and respect them for all the good they've done in preserving our past.
 

Jantzen64

Corporal
Joined
Aug 10, 2019
As always, great pics! Many thanks for posting them, BB. I spent my 50th birthday tramping this field . . . brought back good memories!
 

tcox009

Cadet
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Visited in the fall of 2020 and agree it is well maintained. Center was closed, but you could drive or walk all around. It was not crowded as we went on a weekday and COVID
 
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