Sunday, September 1, 2013

Civil War Sunday - Arkansas and Missouri

My spouse and I are getting ready to wrap up our stay in Northwest Arkansas.  Tomorrow, we are homeward bound.

Yesterday, we were in Bentonville, AR (where Wal-Mart started) and, across from the original Walton 5 and 10 cent store (worth the visit, incidentally), we saw this at the town square.

Arkansas was one of the "border states" of the Confederate States of America.  In fact, it did not secede until after Ft. Sumter, which started the war in April of 1861.  Its loyalties were torn between the United States and the Confederate States of America, and its people suffered - suffered terribly - due to the war.  I want to bring that story to my blog in future Civil War Sundays.

Here are a couple of more views of this granite monument.  One thing I noted (as a Yankee from New York State) was all of the American flags surrounding the monument. 

When we lived in Northwest Arkansas too many years ago, we were vaguely aware of the Civil War history of the area.  Every day, in fact, we both commuted to work through two Civil War battlefields - Prairie Grove and Cane Hill.  A major battlefield, Pea Ridge/Elkhorn Tavern, was about 50 miles from where we lived. 

Few people we knew seemed to care about the Civil War back then.  Now, it's totally different.  In this area that has seen some of the most rapid growth in the United States over the past 10 years, signs now guide the traveler to the Cherokee Trail of Tears (we didn't live that far from that historic trail of suffering, either, and never knew!) and various Civil War sites. 

We visited Prairie Grove, Pea Ridge and Cane Hill this past week, and tomorrow hope to see Wilson's Creek in Missouri (the "Bull Run of the West") on the way home to upstate New York.

Missouri, another border state, and a slave state, stayed with the Union but its soldiers fought on both sides of the war.  Its people also suffered terribly during and after the war.

If you are interested in the Civil War, I highly recommend you don't stay on the East Coast if you travel to sites.  There is a lot of fascinating history out "west", in Missouri, Arkansas and even beyond, and you will be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.

We were.


  1. Glad you've had such a rich and exciting trip out west!

  2. The historical sites out west really are wonderful. If you can make it to North Dakota, the Teddy Roosevelt National Park is one of my favorites!

  3. Glad your trip was grey:) Safe travels home

  4. I love Civil War History and happy to hear someone else is enjoying a bit of it. I have not explored much of that history time period as it occurred west of the Mississippi River, but it is on my list one of these days. Thanks for sharing and sounds like you have really enjoyed your trip.

  5. Any war or conflict causes such suffering and sorrow. I guess it's good to remember lessons learned in the hope of never repeating the same mistake.

  6. You mentioned the Trail of Tears and it reminded me of this: My siblings and I knew we had significant Indian heritage, as both of our parents had Indian bloodlines - Dad was from Florida (Cherokee on his mother's side and Seminole on his father's side) and Mom was from New Hampshire (Abenaki on her father's side).

    We didn't know until one of my sisters did a family tree for a school project and traced our genealogy, that one of our "great-greats" (I think three "greats" back on my Dad's side) was full-blood Seminole chief!

  7. I, too, am intrigued by the US Federal flags surrounding this. Not sure if it is due to political correctness but either way I like the sentiment.


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