Pea Ridge National Military Park tells the story of the battle that saved the state of Missouri for the Union during the Civil War. This battle occurred seven months after the Confederate army won the battle against the Union at Wilson's Creek approximately 75 miles north.
One of the prime objectives for the federal government was to keep Missouri for the Union. The Confederate army outnumbered Union troops, but they had marched beyond the reach of their supply lines. The Union army took this opportunity to surprise the rebels, crippling their line. With no ammunition to fight back and two dead commanding officers, the rebels retreated in defeat.
You can start your visit at the visitor center and watch a 20-minute video explaining the turn of events before starting a driving tour. The tour starts at the parking lot and follows the arrows. There are a total of 10 stops, starting with a description of a part of the Trail of Tears, where 1,000 natives were forcefully removed from their homelands. Every stop includes information on its significance in the battle.
The tour road will loop around for 7 miles and end at the visitor center. It takes about 30 minutes total. Park ranger driving tours are also available, so check the schedule and join them for a more in-depth learning experience. The road access closes at 4:30 p.m., but the visitor center is open until 5 p.m.