War Ain’t Pretty!

I’m a history nut.  I’m compelled to stop each time I see a historic site road marker. Recently paid a visit to:

Pea Ridge is located in northwest Arkansas –20 minutes from Bentonville on the way to Branson, MO. Civil War battlefields are rare in the Midwest. This battle was key to keeping Missouri in the Union.  It involved soldiers from a multitude of midwestern states many of whom were recent immigrants:

The armies met in March 1862.  The Union won the battle — the war of course, ended in 1865. For a the next few years. It was the remains of the southern army — Quantril’s Raiders (using guerrilla tactics) who seemed to win as they wreaked havoc the remainder of the war through Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas. The most famous raider was Jesse James.  James as everyone knows was an infamous outlaw who robbed banks, stole livestock and murdered many.

The Civil War was one of the last wars fought in the style of the 18th Century.  Men marched at each other in tight ranks and were either shot or blown to bits by cannons.  Cannons were and are situated throughout the battlefield:

 Interestingly, more soldiers died from disease or injury than from gunshots.  Soldiers charged at each other in broad. daylight in open fields — even the language of the times suggested a different level of warfare:
Still to truly understand the horror of this particular war one should read:

Then it may be easier to comprehend this comment by a local civilian::

Elkhorn Tavern was located in the midst of the battleground.  It was a solitary respite for each side depending on the flow of the battle.  This is how it appears today — peaceful like a cemetery:

Today for so many war is merely a concept.   All Americans fighting in todays’s wars are volunteers who recycle through the war zones on a regular basis.   The Civil War was the first true “total war” our country endured.  Perhaps if more of us were engaged in today’s wars we be less cavalier about getting involved? 


About tourdetom

I'm retired. Travel a lot.
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