Pea Ridge National Military Park – Arkansas

The Battle of Pea Ridge is an American Civil War battle that took place about 30 miles from where I live in Northwest Arkansas. At this battle, the outnumbered Union Army of the Southwest defeated the poorly led Confederate Army of the West over two days in March of 1862. Which puts paid to the apologist notion that the Confederacy was ‘unfairly’ defeated by overwhelming quantities of men and material from the densely populated and heavily industrialized north. In any case, the Union’s victory here cemented their control over Missouri and north Arkansas. Well, except for the utter lawlessness of raiders and other irregulars on both sides of the conflict.

Enough of my amateur history lesson. The battlefield as it currently stands is quite lovely to visit. An 8 mile hike is an excellent way to cover the ground-you’ll see beautiful oak forests and pass through groves of cedar trees only to emerge into golden fields (well, in winter, anyway) to see miles of rail fencing and dozens of cannon arrayed in their historical positions. There’s also a ring road around the entire site, if you prefer to travel by car, but I don’t think you get as good of a sense of the tactical situation the commanders and soldiers faced from the seat of a car.

Of course, my little trip to Pea Ridge today has me thinking about yet another conflict to game. Yikes.

You’ll have to excuse me succumbing to the lure of iphone photo filters on a couple of these shots.

Row of cannon deployed at a woodline.

Row of cannon deployed at a woodline.

Herds of white tail deer inhabit these fields.

Herds of white tail deer inhabit these fields.

Elkhorn Tavern, which sits at a strategically important road intersection.

Elkhorn Tavern, which sits at a strategically important road intersection.

 

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