The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove AR will be held 30 Nov 2012 – 02 Dec 2012 on the original site of the battle at Prairie Grove AR. To commemorate the anniversary of the battle, we are raising as many Federal cavalry troopers to participate in this momentous occasion. Doug Kidd will be the overall Federal Cavalry Commander for this event. We will try to maintain unit integrity for cavalry units that wish to ride together. For those that wish to participate, this will be no ordinary sitting around the camp waiting for the “shoot-em” up to start. What we are planning is once in a lifetime opportunity to travel through and over some of the same ground covered by Federal troops during the actions in northwest Arkansas.
As part of the event we are planning:
- On 30 Nov 2012, we will camp (campaign style) near the John Tilley House located near Rhea’s Mill in Washington County AR. The house was built in 1853 and served as a refuge for the families of men who were supporters of secession. The house also saw numerous “visits” by Federal forces patrolling the area during the Civil War. The house is also listed on National Register of Historic Places.
- On the morning of 1 Dec 2012, we will depart the camp and head cross country towards Prairie Grove AR. The trail will be a mixture of pasture, gravel and paved roads. Along the way, we will be travelling over land that saw a lot of both Confederate and Federal traffic during the Civil War. We will also stop at locations along the way to provide a synopsis of actions that took place at that location, locations of historical significance, etc. One of these locations will be the Wilson House, circa 1840s. In northwest Arkansas during the Civil War, several locations were designated as locations for the Post Colony System under Federal authorities. The Post Colony System was used for re-settling pro-Union families in the hostile countryside and to provide a certain degree of protection. The Wilson house served as one of those houses in the Post Colony System.
- We will continue to the Prairie Grove AR battlefield. Once at the battlefield, we will stop for re-supplies of man and horses, pick up additional forces, etc. We will continue our march through the battlefield stopping at key locations along the way. Our ultimate destination will be Walnut Grove Church (2 miles east of the battlefield). This was a key location during the opening hours of the Battle of Prairie Grove. Walnut Grove Church is where Gen Herron stopped the retreating Federal forces and the positioning of Federal forces for the Battle of Prairie Grove began.
- Once completed we will head back to the battlefield for the re-enactment at a time to be determined.
So as you can see there will be some riding, time in the saddle, time to drill, and maybe a history lesson or two. We are in the planning stages of the event and as we get closer we will be providing more in-depth information (locations, logistics, timing, uniform, equipment guidelines, etc). If you do not wish to participate in the campaign style camp or ride on Saturday to the battlefield, not to worry, you can participate in the ride from the battlefield to Walnut Grove Church.
This is a chance to ride across some of the same land that saw action during the Civil War in northwest Arkansas. As I mentioned earlier, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to partake in such an endeavor. So, are you up to it? If so, you can e-mail me (wavey1us@yahoo.com) with additional questions, etc that you may have.