Jill M. Rohrbach
The smoke, the smell, the cannon shot ringing in your ears, the thunder of horse hooves pounding the earth, men shouting in the chaos of the Civil War – the Battle of Prairie Grove re-enactment set for 1 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday (Dec. 6 & 7) at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is an absolute must-see event.
Outside of the fact that the re-enactment only takes place on even numbered years, this year also marks the 100th anniversary of the battlefield park and the 75th anniversary of the Arkansas State Parks system. It is the 146th anniversary of the actual battle.
Battle demonstrations begin at 1 p.m. each day, featuring charges and counter-attacks by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry on the actual battlefield near the historic Borden House. Various military drills and other living history activities also take place throughout the weekend at various times and locations.
The anniversary of the Battle of Prairie Grove will be celebrated with the unveiling of a new original oil painting by Andy Thomas, who will be onsite to sign limited edition prints of the painting that will be for sale at 11: 00 a.m. Re-enactors and spectators alike participate in guided tours through the Union, Confederate, and civilian camps; various military drills, cooking, spinning, lace making demonstrations, and living history programs.
Admission: Free. Parking $4 per vehicle.
To find out more about the park visit www.arkansas.com or phone 479-846-2990. The park is located at 506 E. Douglas St. in Prairie Grove.