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The Logistics of Getting to Wilson's Creek Reenactment: Best Tip? Allow Plenty of Time

Major reenactment is expected to draw tens of thousands of spectators; many from East and West coasts are already here
Wilson's Creek Civil War Reenactment
Two women from St. Louis made period clothing to wear at the reenactment site; they're seen walking to the shuttle next to a man dressed in more casual (and modern) attire. (Photo credit: Jennifer Moore, KSMU)

Tens of thousands of people are expected to flock to the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield this weekend for the historic 150th anniversary reenactment of the battle.  Many of them are already here. 

But such an influx of people means roads may get congested, as they did Friday morning near the battlefield.  To ensure you get to see what you came to see, you’ll need to allow plenty of extra time.

If you’re coming from Springfield, don’t make the mistake of turning onto ZZ highway off of State Highway M.  Normally, ZZ would take you to the park entrance, but to get to the reenactment, you’ll need to keep going straight on State Highway M. 

Eventually, you’ll make a right on Farm Road 107, and follow the signs to the reenactment site.

Friday morning, one of the spectators standing in line to get a shuttle to the reenactment after parking her car in a field was Jane Missledine.

"There could have been more signage on M Highway, to direct people, but everything's gone real orderly, and so far no problems. It's just a beautiful day to be out here," she said.

Another person standing in line was Chuck Sheiber from Prarie Grove, Arkansas, just outside of Fayetteville.

"I recommend that people get up early and get out here, becuase even on a Friday, it's packed. Saturday is goign to be even more so," he said.

Also standing in line were people who came all the way from California and Illinois specifically for the reenactment.

Two women dressed in full period clothing—full skirts, long flowing sleeves, brooches, bonnets and parasol—were making their way to the shuttle, too.  They told me they had made their costumes themselves, and had come all the way from St. Louis to “support the Union troops.”

Bart Wayne Pierce, a World War II veteran, was standing in line. He himself flew planes over the Pacific, but today he came to see where his great-grandfather, General Nicholas Pierce, led the Arkansas troops into battle at Wilson’s Creek 150 years ago.

"It's a great feeling to be here and see this reenactment.  It feels like family," he said.

Those heading out to the reenactment this weekend are strongly advised to allow plenty of time to reach the reenactment site.  They should also consider bringing sunscreen, water, and a hat.

A schedule and directions can be found on the website www.wilsonscreek150.com.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.