Presentation by Ed Bearss – Chief Historian Emeritus – National Park Service
Location: UNT Health Science Center, MET Building, 1000 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107
Dinner: 6 PM Program starts at 7 PM
(Menu: Braised Pot Roast with Petite Vegetables, New Potatoes, Salad and Dessert. Cost – $13. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling or texting to 817-307-9263.)
The Pea Ridge Campaign was arguably the most significant campaign of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi region. The Union Army of the Southwest under Brigadier General Samuel Curtis defeated the Confederate Army of the West led by Major General Earl Van Dorn. The Battle of Pea Ridge was fought on March 7-8, 1862. It played a significant role in claiming Missouri for the Union and opening Arkansas to Union occupation.
The battle took place over two days near the small communities of Leetown and Elkhorn Tavern. It involved 10,500 men in the Union ranks and 16,000 men (including 800-1,000 Native Americans) on the Confederate side. Unlike other Civil War battlefield sites, Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park encompasses almost the entire battle – over 4,000 acres.
Our speaker, the incomparable Ed Bearss, was instrumental in the formation of this impressive site. Ed started with the NPS in 1955. By 1958 he was made regional historian for the Southeast region. In preparation for the Civil War Centennial new battlefield parks were being planned. Ed became the point man to do the research. He was the one that walked the battlefields, did the historical research, drew the maps and helped define the boundaries. When the time came to lay out the battlefield at Pea Ridge, Ed was put on the team to do it. Ed’s presentation will cover the basics of the battle and then cover his work in making the Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park a reality.
This is a rare chance to hear how our study of the Civil War and our appreciation of where it was fought were changed forever. Don’t miss it!