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14529140th Ann. Pairie Grove

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    Oct 31, 2002
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      Prairie Grove Battle Re-enactment

      Schedule of Events

      December 7 & 8, 2002

      Saturday & Sunday, December 7 & 8

      All Day Sutlers row open along the historic stone wall. Concession stands also open offering a variety of foods.

      8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Hindman Hall open with exhibits, video programs, a diorama, gift shop, and bookstore.

      9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Latta kitchen open with fireplace cooking demonstrations by Janice Neighbors.

      Saturday, December 7

      9 a.m. - Noon Union, Confederate, and civilian camps open to the public

      10 a.m. Guided Camp Tour (starting at the Latta Barn patio)

      10:30 a.m. Cannon Firing Demonstration (west of Borden House)

      1 p.m. Battle Demonstration (north of Borden House)

      2:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. Union, Confederate, and civilian camps open to the public

      3 p.m. Guided Camp Tour (starting at the Latta Barn patio)

      3:30 p.m. Cannon Firing Demonstration (west of Borden House)

      Sunday, December 8

      9 a.m. - Noon Union, Confederate, and civilian camps open to the public

      10 a.m. Guided Camp Tour (starting at the Latta Barn patio)

      10:30 a.m. Cannon Firing Demonstration (west of Borden House)

      1 p.m. Battle Demonstration (north of Borden House)


      In addition, there will be various military drills and other living history activities throughout the weekend at various times and locations. Visitors are encouraged to wander the grounds and talk with the reenactors.

      The Battle of Prairie Grove

      December 7, 1862


      The Battle of Prairie Grove was the last time two armies of almost equal strength faced each other for supremacy in northwest Arkansas. When the Confederate Army withdrew from the bloody battlefield at Prairie Grove on the night of December 7th, it appeared that Missouri and northwest Arkansas would remain in Federal hands.

      Major General Thomas C. Hindman’s Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi attacked the Union Army of the Frontier under the command of Brigadier Generals James G. Blunt and Francis J. Herron about ten miles southwest of Fayetteville, Arkansas near the Prairie Grove Church, for which the battle was named. There were about twelve thousand Southern troops from Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, as well as the Cherokee and Creek Nations. The Federal force had about ten thousand soldiers from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, as well as from the Cherokee and Creek Nations.

      The fighting began at dawn on a beautiful, mild Sunday morning when Confederate cavalry routed the forward cavalry regiments of General Herron’s command about one mile south of the Prairie Grove Church. The Federals retreated towards Herron’s main force coming from Fayetteville with the Southerners in pursuit. After a short skirmish near Walnut Grove, the Confederate cavalry fell back to the Prairie Grove ridge.

      Hindman’s Confederate infantry and artillery heard the fighting in the distance and formed a line of battle on the wooded ridge northeast of the church overlooking the Illinois River valley. Herron’s troops crossed the river under artillery fire; positioned their cannons; then returned fire at about 10 a.m. The superior rifled artillery in the Union Army silenced the Southern batteries. Federal infantry charged up the ridge near the home of Archibald Borden at about Noon only to be driven back by the Confederates who counterattacked into the open farm fields where Union canister shot forced them to fall back into the woods. Another Union charge and Southern counterattack followed, adding to the heavy casualties in both armies.

      The arrival of General Blunt’s Kansas Division at about 3 p.m. extended the line of battle the entire length of the Prairie Grove ridge, about two miles. The heaviest fighting shifted to the vicinity of the William Morton house where four families hid in the cellar. A final Confederate charge near sundown faced the wrath of all forty-four Union cannons and suffered heavy casualties. Darkness ended the struggle with the Federal Army sleeping on the grounds without campfires and very few tents or blankets despite freezing temperatures that night. A shortage of ammunition and food caused General Hindman to retreat southward during the night. The Confederate Army lost 164 killed, 817 wounded, and 336 missing in action. The Union Army lost 175 killed, 813 wounded, and 263 missing. While the battle was a tactical draw, it was a strategic Union victory.

      Area Motels

      Prairie Grove

      Colonial Motel - (479) 846-2150



      Lincoln Motel - (479) 824-3318



      Best Western Windsor Suites - (479) 587-1400

      Clarion Inn - (800) 223-7275 or (479) 521-1166

      Fairfield Inn - (479) 587-8600

      Holiday Inn Express - (800) HOLIDAY or (479) 465-4329

      Inn of Fayetteville - (479) 442-3041

      Motel 6 - (800) 466-8356 or (479) 443-4351

      Park Inn Limited - (800) 437-7275 or (479) 575-0777

      Ramada Inn - (800) 228-2828 or (479) 443-3431

      Sleep Inn - (479) 587-8700

      Super 8 Motel (479) 521-8866


      Prairie Grove Battle Reenactment