Arkansas is a Civil War historian’s paradise. The ravages of the War of Northern Aggression (yep, some still call it that and they don’t even mean to sound poetic or anything) are well-chronicled and preserved in numerous historic sites across the state, and it’s not unusual to find Civil War battle reenactments take place around these locales. Despite your stance on history, these places are worth visiting for their educational value.
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12. Fairview Cemetery
Fairview Cemetery, a site located on the National Register of Historic Places, includes a large section of Confederate burials dating from the Civil War. It's located at McKibben Street and Fayetteville Street in Van Buren. Fairview Cemetery is one of many Arkansas sites that have a large number of unclaimed remains of Confederate soldiers.
11. Old Rondo Cemetery
This cemetery, located in Texarkana, features a section for Confederate Texas soldiers who died of measles in 1862. Rondo, a small Arkansas town, was the repository of some state records in 1864 when Union troops threatened Washington, Arkansas, which served as the Confederate capital at the time.
10. Cane Hill Cemetery
The Cane Hill area was the site of the Battle of Cane Hill, a running battle fought a few days before the Battle of Prairie Grove in November 1862. James G. Blunt and his Union troops captured approximately 2,000 Confederate soldiers in November 1862. The cemetery contains many Civil War-era burials and is located in Canehill, Arkansas just south of Washington County Route 13 and west of Arkansas Highway 45.
9. Camp White Sulfur Springs Confederate Cemetery
Camp White Sulphur Springs, located in the community of Sulphur Springs two miles southwest of present-day Pine Bluff in Jefferson County, served as a staging and training facility for the Confederate army during the early parts of the Civil War. Later in the war, the camp and surrounding area functioned as a Confederate military hospital following a smallpox outbreak. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is located on the west side of Luckwood Road, north of Sulphur Springs Road, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
8. Camp Nelson Confederate Cemetery
This historic cemetery located off Highway 321 near Cabot, Arkansas, contains the remains of Confederate soldiers who died from a measles epidemic in 1862. The remains of the soldiers were gathered after the war and were then re-interred in this cemetery.
7. Fayetteville Confederate Cemetery
This cemetery, located just east of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas, overlooks the Civil War Battle of Fayetteville and contains the remains of soldiers
who died in the service of the Confederacy in
Northwest Arkansas, primarily in Benton and Washington Counties. Some of the soldiers
buried here died from illness in disease-
ridden camps, while others fell during the Battle of Fayetteville.
6. The Battle of Helena Landmarks
The Civil War battle itself took place on July 4, 1863. The Battle of Helena was a Confederate attempt to relieve pressure on the besieged city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The victory secured eastern Arkansas for the Union. The four battery sites defending Helena have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Battery C, the battery captured by Confederate forces on Graveyard Hill, is now a city park.
5. Elkin's Ferry Battleground
Elkin's Ferry was the site of the 1864 Battle of Elkin's Ferry, an engagement of the Camden Expedition. The battlefield is located about 10 miles north of Prescott, Arkansas, spanning the Little Missouri River in Clark and Nevada counties in Arkansas.
4. Historic Washington State Park
Washington, Arkansas, served as the Confederate capital of Arkansas following the Union capture of Little Rock in September 1863. This location, now a park based on preserving the culture of the Civil War era, is a popular educational destination for Arkansas students and families to learn about the state's culture during the war.
3. Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
Recognized nationally as one of America's most intact Civil War battlefields, Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is located next to the town of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. The park commemorates the Battle of Prairie Grove, fought on December 7, 1862. The battle secured northwestern Arkansas for the Union.
2. Jenkins' Ferry Battleground State Park
The Jenkins' Ferry Battlefield is located along Highway 46 in Sheridan, Arkansas at a state park on the banks of the Saline River, where General Frederick Steele's Federals were attempting to cross after their failed Camden expedition of the Red River Campaign of 1864. The battlefield itself is now largely used for timber production and is still prone to the same heavy spring flooding that was endured when the Union and Confederate soldiers clashed on April 30, 1864.
1. Pea Ridge National Military Park
This site, arguably the best-preserved Civil War battlefield in Arkansas, focuses on the March 7-8, 1862, battle, one of the largest fought west of the Mississippi. Pea Ridge National Military Park is located at 15930 Highway 62 in Garfield, Arkansas
It’s important to remember the history of our state, and it’s vital that young Arkansans be aware of these locations and know about the battles that took place on their home ground. Be sure to check out these locations in your various road trips for a moment of reflection and learning!