Civil War

Preserving Wilson’s Creek; 155 Years and Counting

May 23, 2017
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Ryan Welch / KSMU

Since Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield opened to the public in 1960, the staff there have made preserving its land a top priority.

Summer touring hours are now in operation at the park, which is open daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

“We are probably one of the best preserved parks in the United States,” says Park Superintendent Ted Hillmer.

The Battlefield, Hillmer notes, has been maintained to appear the same as it did over 155 years ago. He says during that time, citizens planted 18 trees per acre, which is what you see at the Battlefield today.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

“You’re looking at about two-thirds of the battlefield from up on top of this vantage point up here,” says Troy Banzhaf.  

Atop the East Overlook at Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwestern Arkansas, you get a sense of the scope of this battlefield, where roughly 2,000 Union and Confederate soldiers lost their lives in March 1862. I’m standing alongside Troy Banzhaf, chief of interpretation at the park, as he describes the capabilities of the cannons scattered across the grass below.

Carthage Press

A Civil War veteran was interned in Park Cemetery in Carthage over theweekend.  Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield staff and volunteers took part in the ceremony for Major Raphael Guido Rombauer Saturday afternoon.

Rombauer was a native of Austria-Hungary who immigrated to St. Louis in the late 1840s.  With tensions rising in the spring of 1861, he enlisted in Company A, 1st Missouri Infantry.  He was discharged before his unit’s participation at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek.  But he enlisted in an Illinois artillery and ended the war with the rank of major.

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