Forty years later, former Union Major General Grenville Dodge declared that the Union army in the Pea Ridge Campaign did “more marching and endured more suffering than the great armies I was connected with east of the Mississippi . . . for hard fighting, long and weary marches, as well as privations and sufferings endured, no army can show a better record nor one deserving greater credit, than the Army of the Southwest.”
In our tour of this great battlefield, military historian Bill Potter will discuss the events in Arkansas and Missouri leading up to the remarkable opportunity presented to the more numerous Confederate army under Earl Van Dorn, to defeat or destroy the Union forces of Samuel Curtis, crossing the southern Missouri border into Arkansas. For two days, more than 26,000 men fought to the death, and it seemed that the South might be able to carry the war back toward St. Louis, or at least to the state outside that bastion of Unionism. We will drive and walk the entire battlefield, so well preserved and marked thanks to the efforts of the Walton family to preserve this rural treasure.