Sunday, October 27, 2013

Civil War Sunday-On the Less Beaten Path

There comes a time in the life of a student of the United States Civil War where it is time to leave the normal path - the path of major battles, preserved and interpreted in national, state, or county parks - and set off into a not-so-packaged experience.

That time came for me and for my spouse this past August, as we decided to trace a not so well known Civil War battle in Northwest Arkansas at Cane Hill.

As I've blogged about previously, many Civil War battlefields are privately owned, including Cane Hill.


At a nearby state park that preserves a different battle (Prairie Grove), we were able to pick up directions.  They are also available online.

I don't know if this was the work of one person, or of many, but I would like to thank whoever took the time (and spent the money) to erect these plaques and trace the path of the battlefield.
Today, the Cane Hill battlefield is farmland.  This is the first stop on the self-guided tour.

Plaques now exist to educate the student about the battle.

For example, here is where the opening shots were fired.

The second major stop is the abandoned Cane Hill College, which is known today (in another location) as the University of the Ozarks.  I do not know what this structure with the name "Cane Hill" is.  Nearby, there was a millstone lying on the ground.
Only one building remains from the Civil War era, which is dorm that was used as a field hospital after the battle.
Now, there is a historical plaque at the college, and one of the post Civil War buildings looks like it has been used recently. Either that or there is a historic air conditioner in one of the windows on the first floor.
There was a sidewalk there that I took pictures of but they didn't come out good.  It had  signatures traced in the concrete - I would guess they were made by graduates of the college.

The next stop is an abandoned mill, Kidd's Mill. Confederates camped behind this mill before the battle, perhaps where I took the picture.

Another view behind the mill.

And...that is where the tour ends.  Because we got lost and we were never able to find where we were supposed to go next.

Yes, that is another part of the experience when you are traveling in a rural area.  Sometimes roads aren't too well marked, or are in poor condition.  We did enjoy ourselves, though, and learned something of Civil War history in a part of the Confederacy too often ignored. 


4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your tour. The best part is when you got lost--lost the plot--strayed from the overgrown path. Haha. The human angle gets me every time.

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  2. Ah, your descriptions are brilliant! I'd be the first person to get lost as I have no sense of direction!

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  3. I think it's wonderful that you explore Civil War historical places. It's such an important piece of our country's history and people like you keep that history alive. Thank you for the interesting tour!

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  4. This is a site I would very much like to see. Great pix Alana.

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