"The Battle Raged... with Terrible Fury": Battlefield Archeology of Pea Ridge National Military Park


Pea Ridge National Military Park is located in northwest Arkansas about 40 miles north-northwest of Fayetteville. The battlefield, located in Benton County, includes the 4,300-acre site of the battle. Pea Ridge National Military Park was created by act of Congress on July 20, 1956. The Civil War battle is the primary interpretative emphasis of the park. However, several prehistoric sites have been documented within the park boundaries as well.

Human occupation of northwestern Arkansas began by 5,000 years ago and continued uninterrupted until the present. This project focuses on one aspect of that occupation, the March, 1862 battle between Federal and Confederate armies. The detritus of battle, the physical evidence for conflict, is a wellspring of archaeological data that can greatly further our understanding of the battle. This effort describes the findings of a multi-year inventory of those artifacts relating to the March, 1862 battle.

The entire battlefield and remnants of trenches overlooking Little Sugar Creek, both parts of the NPS property, are designated as 3BE184. The battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1969.

The battlefield inventory was limited to those areas open enough to allow metal detectors to efficiently sweep the landscape for battle evidence. Some large block areas were inventoried, such as Cox’s and Oberson’s Field, while Morgan’s Woods and the belt of trees between Oberson’s and Foster’s fields was too densely packed with trees and underbrush to be able to use metal detectors effectively. The inventory efforts focused on those areas open enough to use metal detectors effectively, thus a substantial area of the core battlefield was successfully inventoried, but some areas were only covered at a reconnaissance level and others not at all, resulting in a bit of a patch work of inventoried zones.

Cite this Record

"The Battle Raged... with Terrible Fury": Battlefield Archeology of Pea Ridge National Military Park. Carl G. Carlson-Drexler, Douglas D. Scott, Harold Roeker. 2008 ( tDAR id: 375667) ; doi:10.6067/XCV82J6BKJ

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.126; min lat: 36.392 ; max long: -93.927; max lat: 36.522 ;

Record Identifiers

MWAC Accession Number(s): 925; 1011; 970

Pea Ridge National Military Park Accession Number(s): 156

File Information

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battlefield-archeology-of-pea-ridge.pdf 8.81mb May 8, 2012 10:22:14 AM Public