Stop 2: Pratt's Store/General Curtis' Headquarters
Virginia Dyer, Pea Ridge National Military Park
At this site stood Lewis Pratt's general store. Besides the store, it is believed that there were several other buildings on the site, possibly including a house, barn and a shed. It is unknown what purpose these foundation stones (pictured to the left) served.
The store lay along the Telegraph Road to the east of Leetown and was about a mile and a half north of the Federal camps. General Curtis selected the store as his headquarters and erected his command tents nearby.
On the morning of March 7, Curtis was conferring with his leaders when he was interrupted by a messenger stating that the Confederates were in force to the north of Leetown along the Ford Road. Curtis directed Colonel Peter Osterhaus to take his division to investigate the activity along the Ford Road. As Osterhaus left the tent, another messanger entered reporting that another force was marching south along the Telegraph Road directly towards Curtis's vulnerable supply trains at the Elkhorn Tavern. Curtis looked out of his tent and saw Colonel Grenville Dodge's brigade standing outside. Curtis directed Dodge's commander, Colonel Eugene Carr, to take the brigade north and intercept the second Confederate force.
Carr confidently stated that he would clear the Confederates out in an hour.
Did You Know?
Almost half of the enlisted troops and many of the officers in the Union Army of the Southwest at the Battle of Pea Ridge spoke German as their first language.