Pea Ridge National Military Park

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Pea Ridge National Military Park
Elkhorn Tavern Confederate Approach.jpg
Elkhorn Tavern at Pea Ridge National Military Park
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Pea Ridge National Military Park (the US)
Location Benton County, Arkansas,
United States
Nearest city Garfield
Coordinates 36°27′15.″N94°02′04.9″W / 36.45417°N 94.034694°W / 36.45417; -94.034694 Coordinates: 36°27′15.″N94°02′04.9″W / 36.45417°N 94.034694°W / 36.45417; -94.034694
Area4,300 acres (17 km2) [1]
EstablishedJuly 20, 1956 (1956-07-20)
Visitors114,234(in 2011) [2]
Governing body National Park Service
Website Pea Ridge NMP
DesignatedOctober 15, 1966
Reference no.66000199 [3]
Built1862

Pea Ridge National Military Park is a United States National Military Park located in northwest Arkansas near the Missouri border. The park protects the site of the Battle of Pea Ridge, fought March 7 and 8, 1862. The battle was a victory for the Union, and helped it gain control of the crucial border state of Missouri.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

National Military Park type of protected area in the United States

National Military Park, National Battlefield, National Battlefield Park, and National Battlefield Site are four designations for 25 battle sites preserved by the United States federal government because of their national importance. The designation applies to "sites where historic battles were fought on American soil during the armed conflicts that shaped the growth and development of the United States...."

Northwest Arkansas Place in the United States

Northwest Arkansas includes Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville, the third, fourth, eighth and tenth largest cities in Arkansas. These cities are located within Benton and Washington counties; NWA also includes Madison County, Arkansas.

Contents

Administrative history

Pea Ridge area National Park Service map Pea ridge map USNPS.jpg
Pea Ridge area National Park Service map

The 4,300-acre (17 km2) Pea Ridge National Military Park was created by an act of Congress in 1956 to preserve the battlefield of the 1862 Battle of Pea Ridge. It was dedicated as a national park during the nation's Civil War Centennial in 1963. [4]

In 1956, the Arkansas congressional delegation proposed legislation to make Pea Ridge a national military park. This was a major breakthrough in American Civil War battlefield preservation. At that time, under the National Park Service classification system, only 1-acre (4,000 m2) should have been preserved, along with a monument. On July 20, 1956, Congress enacted legislation to accept a 5,000-acre (20 km2) donation from the state of Arkansas. [4]

In acquiring the land for the park, the government purchased or used eminent domain on dozens of farms and residences of various sizes, ranging from a few acres to the large Winton Springs estate. Many of the houses and structures were sold and moved off of park property, including some that still stand in nearby Pea Ridge. All other remaining structures, with the exception of the historic Elkhorn Tavern, were demolished by the park, including the elaborate Winton Springs mansion.

Elkhorn Tavern

Elkhorn Tavern is a two-story, wood-frame structure that served as a physical center for the American Civil War Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, which was fought on March 7 and March 8, 1862, approximately five miles east of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, located in the northeastern Benton County, Arkansas. The tavern, a replica built in 1865 following the burning of the original building by bushwhackers, is now the centerpiece of the Pea Ridge National Military Park, which includes approximately 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) around the structure, including the restored battlefields, a stretch of the pre-war Telegraph Road, which runs directly in front of the tavern, and a section of the Trail of Tears. The tavern is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Many Union and Confederate veterans attended several reunions at the Pea Ridge battlefield long before it was a park. The first of these reunions was held in 1887, twenty-five years after the battle. The reunions promoted not only remembrance, but healing. The veterans dedicated the first monuments on the battlefield to both the Union and Confederate dead. These monuments are located within the park today. [4]

Visiting the park

The park is acknowledged as one of the best preserved Civil War battlefields. The park features a visitors center and museum, a driving tour, the restored battlefields, hiking trails, a portion of the pre-war Old Telegraph/Wire Road, approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of the Trail of Tears as followed by some members of the Cherokee Nation, and the restored Elkhorn Tavern, which was the epicenter of much of the battle.

Trail of Tears Series of forced relocations of Native Americans

The Trail of Tears was a series of forced relocations of Native Americans in the United States from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, to areas to the west that had been designated as Indian Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated peoples suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route to their new designated reserve, and many died before reaching their destinations. The forced removals included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations, as well as their African slaves. The phrase "Trail of Tears" originates from a description of the removal of many Native American tribes, including the infamous Cherokee Nation relocation in 1838.

Cherokee Nation Domestic dependent nation

The Cherokee Nation, also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century and includes people descended from members of the Old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokee who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Larry Echo Hawk, former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the current Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest".

See also

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Pea Ridge Confederate order of battle

The Battle of Pea Ridge saw a Confederate States Army led by Earl Van Dorn attack a Union Army commanded by Samuel Ryan Curtis in northwestern Arkansas. Van Dorn divided his army into two columns under Sterling Price and Benjamin McCulloch and sent both in a deep envelopment of the Union position, forcing Curtis to face toward his own rear. Curtis sent one division under Eugene Asa Carr northeast and two more divisions under Peter Joseph Osterhaus and Jefferson C. Davis to the northwest. On the first day, Price's attack drove Carr's troops back in bitter fighting near Elkhorn Tavern. The second attack failed when McCulloch and his second-in-command were killed and his third-in-command was captured. On the second day, preceded by a devastating artillery bombardment directed by Franz Sigel, Curtis' army advanced and drove Van Dorn's army from the field. The battle secured Missouri for the Union, though the state afterward suffered from Confederate guerilla warfare and raiding columns.

Pea Ridge Union order of battle

The Battle of Pea Ridge saw a Confederate States Army led by Earl Van Dorn attack a Union Army commanded by Samuel Ryan Curtis in northwestern Arkansas. Van Dorn split his army into two columns under Sterling Price and Benjamin McCulloch and sent both circling behind the Union positions, forcing Curtis to face to his own rear. Curtis sent a division under Eugene Asa Carr northeast and two more divisions under Peter Joseph Osterhaus and Jefferson C. Davis to the northwest. On the first day, Price's attack drove Carr's troops back in brutal fighting near Elkhorn Tavern. The second attack miscarried when McCulloch and his second-in-command were killed and his third-in-command was captured. On the second day, preceded by an accurate artillery bombardment conducted by Franz Sigel, Curtis' army advanced and drove Van Dorn's forces from the field. The battle secured Missouri for the Union, though the state was afterward subjected to guerilla warfare and raiding columns.

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References

  1. "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  2. "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
  3. National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  4. 1 2 3 Warren, Steven L. Pea Ridge National Military Park, The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.
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