There is a big "battle" scheduled for the first weekend in December, that represents one of the major events, for the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial. This photograph shows the location of the battle, which is on the grounds of the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Prairie Grove is located in the northwest corner of Arkansas, and can be the beginning of a Civil War Heritage Tour that could include other near-by sites, such as the Headquarters House Museum-Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery, Fayetteville National Cemetery, Cane Hill Cemetery, Cane Hill Battlefield, and Pea Ridge Battlefield.
Many students in Arkansas are learning about the Civil War, that ravaged our country between the years of 1861 - 1865. Besides classroom activities, students can visit the actual battlefield locations in Arkansas, as outlined in the "Passport" (shown in photo) provided by the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission ( www.arkansascivilwar150.com )
At each location listed in the Passport, one can use the rubber stamp available there, to get their Passport "stamped" as proof of their visit. Those who are able to get all the locations stamped during the four year time period between 2011 - 2015, and mail it in to the commission, will be awarded a special prize for their efforts.
At the December 1-2 re-enactment scheduled in Prairie Grove, the re-enactors will have on either blue uniforms (representing the Union army) or gray uniforms (representing the Confederate army). My grandkids are shown here with a handsome young man, who is a re-enactor for the Union Army.
The place to start your visit to the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is in the Hindman Hall Museum and Visitor's Center. (Confederate General Thomas Hindman's army fought Union columns under James G. Blunt and Francis Herron.) This photo of my grandkids was taken on our last visit to this northwest Arkansas location, where you can see Civil War canons, and enjoy the interactive exhibits in the museum. There is also a small gift shop in the complex, which is where my grandson purchased his souvenir, gray Confederate hat, that he is wearing.
Tours are also available of the historic Borden House, shown in this photo. On the weekend of December 1-2, there will be living history demonstrations, including battle demonstrations at 1 PM each day. Volunteers will set up Union, Confederate, and civilian camps, as well as military drills, cooking demonstrations, spinning, and lace-making demonstrations.
In addition to a one-mile walking trail around the park, there is a six-mile driving route the visitor can take. The December 1-2, 2012, events will have as many as 1,000 re-enactors. In the actual battle that occurred on December 7, 1862, there were 22,000 soldiers, and 2,700 casualties. Even though the Civil War was a very sad time in our nation's history, we are obligated to know our history, so that we will not repeat the same mistakes. Hopefully, by studying our heritage, and seeing where mistakes were made, we will be better able to do as we are admonished in 1 Peter 3:8 to do: "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." If you would like to learn more about the Prairie Grove Battle Re-enactment, just log on to www.arkansasstateparks.com and plan a trip that will give you a greater appreciation for the fact that our country has survived as THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in the 150 years since the Civil War. That is enough to give you miles of smiles! Tricia