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Pea Ridge
Arkansas

by
Paul Ridenour

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Charles A. Steger and I decided to take a trip to the battlefield in Pea Ridge, Arkansas.  I had not been there in years and he had never been there.  Charles was interested in Pea Ridge due to the fact that Daniel McIntosh (Creek) was involved in the battle.  I was originally interested because Stand Watie (Cherokee) fought in the battle.  Charles had never been north of Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

On March 6, 2007, I left my house at 5:15 AM to drive to Atlanta, Texas.  We left Atlanta at about 8 AM.  We took a side trip to the Prairie Grove battlefield in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, because I had also not been there in years and I remembered that they had a pretty good bookstore.  I bought two books.  We were fortunate to meet long time manager of the bookstore but now retired Don Montgomery.  He just happened to stop by.  Stand Watie and Daniel McIntosh were not involved in this battle.

On the way to Pea Ridge, one drives through Fayetteville, Springfield (home of Tyson Foods), Rogers (home of the J. B. Hunt trucking company), and next door to Bentonville (home of Wal-Mart).  It has always amazed me that this part of the country (East Texas/Texarkana area and Arkansas) has brought us some famous people - former President Bill Clinton, H. Ross Perot (my former boss), Sam Walton, Bo Pilgrim, John W. Tyson, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Scott Joplin, Don Henley of the Eagles, and Ellen Degeneres.

We made it to the Pea Ridge battlefield about 2:30 PM.  They had a fantastic bookstore and I bought four books while Charles bought one.  Like all Civil War battles won by the North, Pea Ridge had a very nice building and museum.

The museum has a display of Stand Watie.

Pea Ridge had some new outdoor placards including two illustrations by Sam Watts-Scott, a very talented woman whom Dottie and I love to death.

We drove through the battlefield and took several pictures.

We drove a few miles from the battlefield to the town of Pea Ridge.  The north/south streets in the town are named for the Northern leaders while the east/west streets are named for the Southern leaders.  It took us a while but we finally found Watie Street.

Charles and I decided we would eat steaks for dinner and we drove to downtown Fayetteville to eat at Hoffbrau's.  Another reason we went downtown was that I wanted to show him The Ridge House, the home of John Ridge's widow Sarah Ridge.  It is on Center Street, the same street as Hoffbrau's.  To my surprise, Hoffbrau's was closed but we ate at "A Taste of Thai" next door.  Charles had never had Thai food before and both of us thought it was fantastic.

We left The Ridge House about 6:30 PM and made it back to Atlanta at 11:35.  I got home at 1:50 AM.


Prairie Grove museum and bookstore


Pea Ridge National Military Park


Brigadier General Stand Watie


Cherokees traveled down the old Federal Road on the "Trail of Tears" and that road travels through the Pea Ridge battlefield.


The Indians involved in this battle had never seen a cannon.  They captured one and called it a "shooting wagon."


E Watie Street in Pea Ridge (the town)


The Ridge House


I believe this is a new sign


John Ridge's portrait on the wall on the right when one walks into the house


Major Ridge's portrait on the wall on the left when one walks into the house