Tales From The Camping House

Tales From The Camping House

Friday, August 8, 2014

White River and Pea Ridge National Military Park

Our campsite was on the White River just below the dam on Beaver Lake.  The water was really cold, 43 degrees!  One day there was a layer of fog just hovering over the river as well as the reflections in the water.  It was really beautiful.

Every afternoon between 1 and 2 p.m. a siren would blow and water would begin being released from the dam.  The amount of water released depended on how much electricity was being generated that day.  That would determine how high the water would go up in the afternoon.

This is what the river looked like just after the siren had sounded

and here it is a couple of hours later. The bottom walkway is covered as well as the rocks that were protruding from the left side of the picture.

Here's another before and after set of pictures.
The Pea Ridge National Military Park was just about 30 miles from us making it a great day trip.  Pea Ridge was one of the most pivotal Civil War battles deciding the fate of Missouri and the West.  On March 7-8. 1862, 26,000 Confederate and Union soldiers fought.

Our first stop was the Visitor's Center which had a great video on the battle for us to watch.

Pea Ridge is the most intact Civil War battlefield in the country.  There is a seven mile driving tour stopping at the major points of the battle.

You can see the entire battlefield from this point. It was extremely rare, but here you would have been able to see an entire army lined up for a fight with all regiments within sight of each other.  There was a sign saying that "if you had been standing here on March 8, 1862, you would have seen 10,000 Union men in battle lines stretching for a mile over the open fields below."

This was the Elkhorn Tavern which has been reconstructed from photos from the 1880's where fighting took place around it and the tavern was used as a field hospital.

We have visited other Civil War battlefields and it is a humbling experience to try to imagine just how horrible it was.  Through major mistakes by one of the Southern generals, the South lost the battle.

Many Union and Confederate veterans attended several reunions at the Pea Ridge battlefield promoting not only remembrance but healing.  

The veterans dedicated the first monuments to both the Union and Confederate dead.

After our visit to the battlefield, we drove over to Bentonville to visit Sam Walton's (Wal Mart) first store.  It was a five and dime store he opened up in 1950

right on the main street in downtown Bentonville.

There is a Wal Mart museum in there now that we enjoyed touring.  As you complete the tour, there is an old time soda shop where you can purchase goodies, a great way to end a day!

1 comment:

  1. Another interesting day. I would have enjoyed the Wal-Mart museum and the soda shop at the end of it. Bob would be all over Pea Ridge soaking up the military history.