4th Mo Co E, Pea Ridge, AR March 9th-11th, 2012

 

Cpt. Daniel Keith:

Pea Ridge National Military Park's 150th.  I galvanized and fell in with the Union infantry.  They had a good company of about 50 rifles and man, did we burn some powder!  The best thing about it was the park provided seemingly unlimited bags of  rolled cartridges whenever we ran low (and caps too).  Holmes Brigade, 24th Missouri, 8th Kansas, 3 guys from Chicago (36th Illinois), and believe it or not, one guy from Oxford, England (he belongs to an American Civil War reenactment group in Britain!).  We camped on the lawn of Elkhorn Tavern and did drill and firing demonstrations in an adjacent field.  The guys representing the Missouri State Guard got to stay in the tavern itself but I never saw them do any drill or firing.  There were approximately 8 to 10 of them.  I talked to them several times during the weekend.  They were the 15th Arkansas and 21st (?) Arkansas and were all from the area (Bentonville - Fayetteville).  Two guys from Missouri helped too on Saturday, Mike Patrick and "Trooper" Repass from McDonald County.  They are really good guys and always eager to help portray MSG on our local stuff down here.  Way over on the other side of the battlefield at the Leetown location were a few guys portraying Louisiana troops (I don't know what unit).  A couple of Holmes Brigade members galvanized to help them out on Saturday afternoon so they could have a squad for firing demonstrations.  I didn't encounter any Southern cavalry but there was some Yankee troopers with some unit from Iowa.  There were two artillery pieces, both Federal.  One good crew from Iowa and the Wilson's Creek park crew as well.  They did quite a lot of firing also.

To everyone's surprise, the visiting crowds were very large Saturday.  The head ranger personally thanked us in camp this morning and said that their estimate on the number of visitors reached the 20,000 mark!  We were told this was a record number for the park.  He told us that not only were we portraying history, but we actually made park history.  Today a steady rain settled in about 1:30 so the Sunday afternoon activities came to an end early.  Saw Harold and Shirley Sites Saturday.  Didn't see any other 4th Missouri folks though.

Best wishes for your success at Shiloh,
 
Steve Cottrell
 
Editor's note:
Also in attendance were John Duff and Ryan Truster
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