Heritage Trail of Northwest Arkansas
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Civil War Troop Movements

Both the Confederate and Union armies of the Civil War used a number of roads and trails across Northwest Arkansas leading up to the battles at Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove.

Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park


The Battle of Pea Ridge, often erroneously referred to as the largest battle west of the Mississippi, was in fact the most strategically decisive Civil War battle ever fought west of the great river. It crushed the best efforts of the Confederates to reestablish a presence in Missouri, guaranteeing that state’s political loyalty to the Union. From a military standpoint, it permanently shifted the balance of power in the region to the Union, making possible other larger campaigns for control of the strategic Mississippi river. [Click here for more…]

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park


On December 7, 1862, the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi clashed with the Union Army of the Frontier just west of Fayetteville at Prairie Grove. The bloody battle resulted in about 2,700 casualties in a day of fierce fighting.

Today the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is recognized nationally as one of America's most intact Civil War battlefields. The park protects the battle site and interprets the Battle of Prairie Grove. You can walk along the ridge and into the valley where the heaviest fighting took place and see wayside exhibits on the 1-mile Battlefield Trail, or travel the park's 6 1/2-mile Driving Tour.

Exhibits, tours and other programs describe the battle and its local effect. The park hosts Arkansas's largest battle reenactment on the first weekend of December on even-numbered years.
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