Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Battle of Pea Ridge

The Union victory at Pea Ridge in March 1862 established U.S. control of the area for the rest of the war. The site is now a National Military Park.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Reenactor portraying a Confederate soldier at Pea Ridge National Military Park on 5 March, 2016.

Click here for the Confederate order of battle at Pea Ridge.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Reenactors portraying Union soldiers at Pea Ridge National Military Park on 5 Mar, 2016. The 3rd Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery fought in the 4th Division under Col. Eugene A. Carr, under Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis.

Click here for the Union order of battle at Pea Ridge.

National Confederate Flag Day

National Confederate Flag Day

The March 2016 reenactment coincided with The Sons of Confederate Veterans' "National Confederate Flag Day." The groups in Northwest Arkansas chose to keep their displays at the battlefields, rather than flying the flags near interstates, as the national group had suggested.

Pea Ridge Reenactors and Onlookers

Pea Ridge Reenactors and Onlookers

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes infighting within the SCV between "moderates and extremists." The former are, generally, more interested in preserving cemeteries and monuments. The latter are more interested in historical revisionism that paints the Confederacy in a positive light, and denies the horrors of slavery.

Click here for an article by the SPLC on the two camps within the SCV.

Battle of Pea Ridge Reenactors

Battle of Pea Ridge Reenactors

The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought March 6 - 8, 1862, near Leetown, Arkansas.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Although the Confederates outnumbered Union troops by about 16,500 to 10,500, the Confederates were forced to retreat and cede Northwest Arkansas to the Union.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Confederate Infantry

The reenactors demonstrated the process involved in firing period weapons. I've seen this a dozen times in person and several more on YouTube, but I'm always amazed at how long it takes to fire

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Federal artillery made the difference in the fight. It bombarded Confederate troops for hours on March 8. The CSA artillery ran out of ammunition, but the Union artillery kept shelling through the end of the battle.

Pea Ridge Battlefield

Pea Ridge Battlefield

Pea Ridge Battlefield, 21 Feb, 2016, facing South from the East Overlook.

Before the battle, Union troops marched north from Huntsville, and clashed with Confederates in Bentonville, which is on the right side of the photograph.

Most of the information in the following photos is from the online virtual tour of the park offered by the National Parks Service.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

The reenactor covering his ears has the right idea -- the explosion truly is deafening.

Take a look at this YouTube video of an artillery firing at Pea Ridge in August, 2015.

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

"The bark and dirt was flying from off the trees all around and the cannon balls and grape shot and minney balls sang like humming birds and bees in the air."

Asa M. Payne
3rd Infantry Regiment
1st Missouri Brigade

Source: Pea Ridge National Military Park

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Union troops suffered 1,384 casualties in the battle, including 203 dead. Confederates suffered about 2,000 casualties.

Pea Ridge Reenactors

Pea Ridge Reenactors

"The scene is silent and sad. The vulture and the wolf have now the dominion and the dead friends and foes sleep in the same lonely graves."

General Samuel R. Curtis

Source: Pea Ridge National Military Park

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

Pea Ridge Reenactors - Union Artillery

The Union victory secured Missouri and Northern Arkansas. The Union troops marched southeast to Helena, Arkansas, freeing slaves along the way. 5,000 of those freed slaves joined with Gen. Curtis's army in their effort to defeat the Confederacy.

Elkhorn Tavern

Elkhorn Tavern

The Confederacy called the Battle of Pea Ridge the "Battle of Elkhorn Tavern," after this building. The tavern was built in 1833, although it has changed appearance several times since.

Pea Ridge Reenactors inside Elkhorn Tavern

Pea Ridge Reenactors inside Elkhorn Tavern

Before the war, Elkhorn Tavern was a stop along the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route.

Pea Ridge Reenactors inside Elkhorn Tavern

Pea Ridge Reenactors inside Elkhorn Tavern

Pea Ridge Old Well

Pea Ridge Old Well

Sign marking a spring that provided water for Elkhorn Tavern in the 19th Century.

Tall Trees at Pea Ridge

Tall Trees at Pea Ridge

Today, the Pea Ridge National Military Park contains 4,300 acres of historic land.

Taken 21 Feb, 2016.

Wasps on Civil War Cannon

Wasps on Civil War Cannon

Wasps on a Civil War cannon near Elkhorn Tavern.