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Pea Ridge National Military Park

15930 E Highway 62
Garfield, (Benton County) AR 72732

Visitor Center
(479) 451-8122 ext. 227

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

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The 4,300-acre 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.

Pea Ridge National Military Park - BEST Places to PicnicPlan Your Visit

Pea Ridge is the site of one of the most important battles of the American Civil War, and is quickly becoming known as one of the most intact Civil War battlefields in existence.

Inside the Visitor Center you will find a theater, a bookstore, and a small museum.  Outside you will find a 7-mile, 10-stop tour road, a 9-mile horse trail and a 7-mile hiking trail.

For those that enjoy nature, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife and beautiful forest, and a chance to get away from the pressures of the modern world.

Things to Do

Pea Ridge has much to offer for almost everybody.

Indoor Activities in the Visitor Center include:
A 28-minute orientation film
Many temporary exhibits
A museum explaining the battle
A great bookstore

Outdoor Activities include:
7-mile self-guided tour road
28 Interpretive Exhibits
9 miles of horse trails
7 miles of hiking trails

Pea Ridge National Military Park also organizes and hosts occasional community events, historical programs, and service projects.

Park History

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

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.

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.

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 two-and-a-half miles 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.

Did You Know?
The Elkhorn Tavern served as headquarters and hospital for both the Union and Confederate armies, depending on the day.

Did You Know?
Pea Ridge was the only major Civil War battle in which Indian troops participated. Almost 1,000 Cherokee made up two Confederate regiments. Cherokee Stand Watie as their Colonel. The Indian Brigade joined McCulloch's division.

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