Daily Archives: 3 September 2010

Late Summer Vacation

Not a lot of recent posts, as we’ve been on the road a bit and enjoying time at the family “homestead” in Missouri.  The Aide-de-Camp and I made our last road-trip of the summer.  Sure, we’ll make a few more through the fall, but those will be weekenders, due to school schedules.

We started our trip with a stop at the Stones River Battlefield.  Been some time since I was last there (perhaps back in the 1990s if I recall).  Like all the NPS battlefield park, Stones River has improved the tour route and interpretation over the years.    And the staff deserves credit for managing view sheds in a bustling, growing community.  I’d never had time to visit the preserved portions of Fortress Rosecrans, so we made Old Fort Park a stop.

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Battery Thomas - Fortress Rosecrans

For those with “young ones” the city maintains an excellent playground next to the NPS annex.  Aide-de-camp gave it the prestigious “I’d rather play than eat” stamp of approval.

Our second day out, we reached Springfield, Missouri and took a tour of Wilson’s Creek.  The weather was a “pleasant” 90-degree Missouri summer (put that in context, of course).  About a week earlier, the park staff had conducted a controlled burn, clearing much of the brush.

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Bloody Hill from Edwards Cabin Site

Perhaps more so than my previous dozen visits, I was able to take in the terrain as it must have confronted the Civil War soldiers.  I’ve posted the marker entries for the battlefield on HMDB.

On the third day of our trip, we took in Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove Battlefields in Arkansas.  I plan to cover both battlefields in more detailed trip reports later.   Pea Ridge in particular is a great example of good stewardship in action.  But for now here’s a view from the East Overlook.

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Cox's Fields and Welfley's Knoll from the East Overlook

In the days since our drive, we’ve based out of my parents’ place for some short trips along the Mississippi River.  One was just outside Osceola, Arkansas where the Confederate navy ruled the river for a day.  In the battle of Plum Point Bend, on May 10, 1862, two Federal ironclads (yes, two!) fell victim to Confederate rams.

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Tow and Barges passing Plum Point

The Federal navy recovered the two sunken ironclads, and eventually attained the campaign’s objective – Fort Pillow – on the Tennessee side of the river.  Of course that fort is better known for the April 12, 1864 battle involving N.B. Forrest.

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Reconstructed Interior Battery of Fort Pillow

We’ll start our way back tomorrow, and plan a couple of stops along the way.  So regular posts will resume next week.