America's Best History Spotlight
On this page we're going to Spotlight the lesser known historic sites and attractions that dot the history landscape across the USA and are worth a visit if you're in their area. And while they may be lesser known, some are very unique, and will be that rare find. You'll be, at times, on the ground floor, or maybe even know something others don't. It'll be fun. Visit them.
Prairie Grove Battlefield, Arkansas
It's a Civil War battlefield kept in pristine condition, one of the most intact in the nation. It commemorates, in the state park of the same name, the action on December 7, 1862, in the second year of the conflict, which was the last major battle in northwest Arkansas during the war. The fighting between the Union Army of the Frontier and the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi involved twenty thousand soldiers, and the fierce fighting of that day cost over two thousand five hundred casualties. Photo above: Sketch of the Battle of Prairie Grove, 1862, T.W. Williams. Courtesy National Archives.
Info, What's There Now, History Nearby
Prairie Grove Battlefield
It was December and Confederate troops were wintering in northwest Arkansas after their defeat at the Battle of Pea Ridge earlier that year. Union troops were attempting to approach Little Rock and command Arkansas territory north of the capitol. Confederate forces noticed the movement of the two separated wings of the Union Army of the Frontier with Confederate General Hindman eventually deciding to play defense on the hills of Prairie Grove. Union General Herron began with an artillery barrage, then attacked. He was repulsed. Various attacks continued through the day with counterattacks preventing a certain victory by either side. It was a tactical draw, however, under cover of darkness, with no reserves, the Confederates retreated. The Union now had control of northwest Arkansas. Today you can visit the site of these charges and countercharges by yourself or with a state park guide. Over seven hundred acres have been preserved.
Photo above: Hindman Hall, Visitor Center and Museum, at the Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, 2017. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons.
Where Is It
The Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is located at 506 East Douglas Street, Prairie Grove, AR 72753. That's northwest Arkansas, about twelve miles south of Fayetteville. Travel west on Route 62 to Sundowner Road in Prairie Grove, turn right, and continue on East Douglas Street. Look for signs.
What is There Now
The Hindman Hall Visitor Center, Borden House, and other historic structures. There are guided tours, self-guided walking tours, and a fourteen stop Auto Tour, with optional, purchased audio tour.
How Much to Visit
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is free to enter and visit the Visitor Center and Museum. Guided tours of park buildings cost $5 adult, $3 children 6-12. Family rate $15. The Battlefield Guided tour is free.
The park is open daily. Visitor center, buildings, and tours are closed on major winter holidays.
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
A lot of history in the area from the Trail of Tears Park and Historic Site, the Jerry Jones/Jim Lindsey Hall of Champions Museum, and a bit further afield in Arkansas, Pea Ridge National Battlefield and Hot Springs National Park. In southern Missouri, you can also visit the Ozark National Scenic Riverways and the Battle of Wilson Creek National Battlefield.