Close to 23,000 soldiers fought at Pea Ridge on March 7 and 8, 1862. Many of the soldiers were from small towns and had never traveled more than twenty miles away from home before they joined the Army. They were farmers, merchants, teachers, mechanics, lawyers and countless other occupations before they enlisted.
At this early stage of the war, every man was a volunteer. Many joined for patriotic reasons, to preserve the embattled Union or to fight the "Second American Revolution", while others sought to escape the boredom of life in a small town. Some went with their heads filled with dreams of glory, while others simply did not want to be thought of as cowards. No one thought that this was to be a long or bloody war. They were wrong.
Throughout the years that have passed, the park has come into possession of diaries, letters and notes from the soldiers who fought here.
To learn more about these men, click on their name and read what they said about Pea Ridge.
Did You Know?
The Elkhorn Tavern was a place of worship until 1862 when the congregation moved to a new location 3 miles northwest of the tavern because of the noisy parties and dances the federals held in the building during their occupation.