Pea Ridge National Military Park


View from the East View at Pea Ridge National Military Park


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        Pea Ridge National Military Park is owned and administered by the National Park Service, a section of the Department of the Interior of the United States Government.  Pea Ridge is one of only six Civil War National Military Parks in the United States, and therefore ranks up along with great battlefields such as Gettysburg, Shiloh, and Vicksburg.  Although Pea Ridge doesn't quite match these famous battlefields, this Arkansas battlefield has been called the best preserved and most beautiful in the nation.  
        The 4,600 acre park has many items of interest that will keep any Civil War buff occupied for hours.  After a short trip to the Visitor's Center and museum, visitors can travel on a seven mile driving tour that travels around the battlefield to ten stops that interpret the various stages of the battle.  Although the first five stops are not particularly interesting in themselves, stop six, the East Overlook, offers one of the greatest over-views of any battlefield in the United States. The spectacular valleys and mountain scenery are just beautiful.

The absolutely beautiful over-view found at stop nine


        After the wonderful view, the tour leads to the center-piece of the park- Elkhorn Tavern.  The restored building in interesting enough, although the building was being worked on at the time I was there, so I didn't get to explore.  Near the building are two monuments, several cannon, and a two-mile walking trail that travels across the important Telegraph Road.  On the return trip to the visitor's center, visitors see both Confederate and Union artillery batteries.  Pea Ridge is very well preserved Military Park that fits well into it's secluded and mountainous settings.  A visit to this secluded battlefield should not be missed.

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