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152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

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  • 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

    The 24th Missouri Volunteer Infantry has formed an authentic minded Federal company for the 152nd Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, the weekend of Dec 6th and 7th, 2014. The battle, originally fought on December 7, 1862, saw approximately 22,000 soldiers fighting most of the day, with roughly 2,700 killed, wounded, or missing. We are actively recruiting Trans Mississippi Federal types who may have otherwise concluded their campaigning season, yet wish to get out in the field one last time in 2014.

    Our guiding impression will be the 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry (the "Fremont Rifles"). Along with the Holmes Brigade, we will form one of several companies comprising the Independent Volunteer Battalion commanded by Steve Dunfee of Kansas. This battalion is fresh off a highly successful campaigner effort at Pilot Knob, Missouri, and seeks to end the 2014 season with a fine winter event at Prairie Grove.

    The 37th Illinois spent much time campaigning in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas during 1862. It was the only Federal infantry regiment that fought at both Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, which makes it one the most significant Federal units in Arkansas during the war. Here is the capsule history of the regiment’s early war action, leading up to the fighting at Prairie Grove:

    Organized at Chicago, Ill., and mustered in September 18, 1861, the 37th Illinois moved to St. Louis, Mo., September 19, and on to Booneville, Mo., October 2, 1861. It served on the expedition to Arrow Rock, Mo., October 10-14, 1861 (Cos. "C" and "K"), and Fremont's Campaign against Springfield, Mo., October 13-November 3 (Cos. "C" and "H,") at Rolla, Mo., until February, 1862. The regiment was attached to the Dept. of Missouri up to February, 1862, and then with the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of Southwest Missouri, to May, 1862, with service in Curtis' Campaign against Price in Missouri and Arkansas February and March, 1862, and saw action at Springfield February 12, Sugar Creek and Bentonville February 17, and Pea Ridge, Ark., March 6-8.

    From there, the 37th Illinois was assigned to the District of Southwest Missouri until September, 1862, guarding the frontier in Southwest Missouri, and operating against guerrillas. It served on the expedition from Ozark to Forsyth August 14-17 (Cos. "A" and "K"), was involved with the march to Osage Springs September 29-October 24, the occupation of Newtonia October 4, and the expedition from Osage Springs to Fayetteville, Ark., October 27-30. It marched with the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of the Frontier to relief of Blunt, December 3-7, and fought at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Ark., December 7.

    Our portrayal will be rough Trans-Mississippi Federal troops in December 1862, therefore an early-war Western impression is encouraged. Please note, although the fatigue blouse is the first uniform impression choice, frock coats and state jackets are also quite appropriate for this scenario. Although greatcoats are recommended, we ask that for the sake of uniformity these not be worn in formations unless authorized due to abnormally cold weather. Although some men of the 37th had Colt Revolving Rifles, these were carried only by the color guard and the two flank companies. The rest of the regiment had mostly second-rate Austrian or Belgian rifle muskets, though by no means is this rifle a required weapon of choice.

    1st choice – Forage Cap
    So- called Type 1 (typically a smaller curved brim) which is preferred or so- called Type 2 (typically a larger rectangular brim) patterns acceptable. Made of finely woven indigo dyed wool flannel, with a polished cotton lining of black or dark brown, hand sewn sweatband, thin painted leather black brim, chin strap, and two 5/8 inch general service eagle buttons attached on each side of the chin strap.

    2nd choice - Undecorated U.S. Pattern 1858 Dress Hat
    Made of black rabbit or wool felt, with a 2.5 inch black leather sweatband, the hat has a 3 inch brim, 5.5 inch crown height, has double row brim stitching at 4 stitches per inch, a black silk grosgrain ribbon surrounding the base of the crown, and a black oilcloth or paper crown label.

    3rd choice - Black Hat, citizen's (civilian)
    Their use should be limited to a popular style of hat available to troops such as the plug, porkpie, or slouch. Correct brim edging, lining, and sweatband per original specimens.


    1st choice –Fatigue Blouse (or Sack Coat):
    Indigo dyed (a rich dark blue with a greenish tinge, NOT the blackish navy blue which fades to an even more unacceptable purple color) wool flannel with a diagonal weave, a kidney shaped or square corner interior pocket, four 3/4 inch general service eagle buttons, small cuff vents, and a falling collar. Either lined or unlined, but lined fatigue blouses (which were in the majority) are preferred. Wool flannel lining can be tan, gray, brown, or blue with corresponding cotton muslin sleeve lining. All buttonholes should be entirely hand sewn using blue, black, or logwood faded (brown) linen or cotton thread. Approved styles include Schuylkill Arsenal Pattern (entirely hand sewn), J.T. Martin contract pattern & other documented arsenal and contract patterns.

    2nd choice - Dress Coat (frock): Indigo dyed woolen cloth (broadcloth or uniform cloth as documented in original specimens, NOT being the blackish navy blue which fades to an even more unacceptable purple color), a standing collar, skirt with two rear pockets, 1/4 inch padded black or brown polished cotton chest lining, cotton muslin sleeve lining, hand sewn sleeves between body of the coat and sleeve lining, Saxony blue/sky blue (not baby blue) welting on collar, cuffs, and a vertical welt along the cuff split. Eyes and hooks should be attached at the collar and corners of the skirt. There is no internal pocket in this coat, and there is no lining in the back of the coat body or the skirt. Buttonholes should be all hand sewn using blue, black, or logwood faded (brown) linen or cotton thread. Uniform coats must have nine 3/4 inch general service eagle buttons on body front, two 3/4 inch general service eagle buttons in back (above the skirt tails), and two 5/8 inch general service eagle buttons on each functional cuff.

    3rd choice - State Issue Jacket


    Federal Issue Shirt: Made of domet wool flannel, completely hand sewn rectangular body with square gussets. It is off white or cream-colored flannel (wool on a cotton warp) with a reinforced slit front opening, a squared collar closed by a single stamped sheet iron button, tapered sleeves with internally faced cuffs formed as part of the sleeve and closed by single buttons. Also acceptable are the gray wool flannel contract variant issue shirts, which may feature a three-button placket, no sleeve gussets, machine-sewn body, and the use of stamped tin buttons.

    Civilian Shirt: Must be of period fabric and construction.


    Sky-blue Foot Pattern (kersey): Some basic features include a greenish cast sky blue kersey wool with a diagonal weave, correct rise of trousers in the seat (back yoke), right side watch pocket, narrow tapered waistband, four or six stamped paper backed tin suspender buttons, five small paper back tin fly buttons, and side seam pockets. Buttonholes and tieback grommet holes should be hand sewn with dark blue or logwood-dyed cotton or linen thread. Approved styles include Schuylkill Arsenal pattern (entirely hand sewn), J.T. Martin contract pattern, William Deering contract pattern & other documented arsenal and contract patterns.


    1st choice - U.S. Pattern Jefferson Bootees: Black dyed, semi roughed out leather, squared front, one inch heels, four sets of shoelace holes with one in the vamp, accompanied with leather shoelaces. Leather soles can be either pegged or sewn. Heel rims, inlet heel rims, and hobnails are all acceptable.

    2nd choice - Infantry Boots

    Drawers: Either Federal Issue pattern or civilian patterns acceptable. Federal issue drawers should be made of cotton canton flannel, with cotton tape ties in the rear and the ankles. Hand sewn paperback tin buttons, buttonholes, and tieback grommet holes

    Socks: Either wool or cotton, hand knitted or period machine construction, with period tops and side seams, available in varying lengths. It is preferred members stick to dull colors such as gray, brown, cream, blue, dark green, tan, or dark red.

    Suspenders: Must be of documented style and construction. Since the Federal Army did not issue these, soldiers had to either purchase a pair from a merchant, have them sent from home, or simply went without them. They were made out of cotton drill or linen, with differing degrees of sophistication. Common styles ranged from simple straps with hand-sewn buttonholes (poorboys), to sewn straps with two or three tined brass adjustments, featuring leather ends on each side. Cheap, sutler row suspenders are not allowed.

    Spectacles: For those individuals who need vision correction, you MUST purchase a set of period eyeglasses filled with your prescription, wear contact lenses, or go without. This is not negotiable. Period spectacles of the mid-19th century had features such as oval or rectangular frames, arch or crank bridges, and straight or sliding temple pieces with a small teardrop final. Frames were commonly made out of brass, silver, or gold. Lenses were invariably made out of glass.

    Cold Weather Clothing (optional): Due to the inclement weather expected, we urge individuals to bring as much cold weather clothing as they desire, to include woolen shirts, gloves, caps (not to be worn on duty!), and scarves. In the expected event temperatures reach sub-freezing levels at night, the 24th Missouri will waive authenticity guidelines for sleeping equipage, strictly in its quest to ALWAYS place safety first with our members. However, ALL modern coverlets, blankets, bags etc. MUST be placed in private quarters and out of sight of the company streets at all times.

    Foot Pattern Overcoat (greatcoat): Some features include a greenish cast sky blue kersey wool with a diagonal weave, standing three inch collar, two sets of hooks and eyes, body lining of dark blue kersey wool or a light brown wool & cotton/linen mixed lining, sleeve lining of cotton muslin, cape with six 5/8 inch general service eagle buttons, front with five 3/4-inch general service eagle buttons, back half belt with two 3/4-inch service eagle buttons attached, two piece cuffs, and a un-hemmed skirt bottom.


    Cartridge Box: U.S. Pattern of 1855, 1857, & 1861 .58 caliber cartridge boxes are all acceptable. Cartridge boxes should be sewn by hand using waxed linen thread, comprised of tanned leather, dyed black, with tins, and cartridge box plate attached with a small piece of leather.

    Cartridge Box Belt: Made of bridle leather and dyed black. The cartridge box belt should be shortened so the top of the cartridge box is no lower than the bottom of the waist belt. The round eagle cartridge box belt plate (breastplate) should be attached using a small piece of leather.

    U.S. Pattern Cap Box: Made of bridle leather, dyed black, has an outer flap with latching tab, wool strip hand sewn to the back of the inner flap, cone pick loop, riveted brass finial, and two waist belt loops which were hand sewn to the back of the cap box.

    U.S. Pattern Bayonet Scabbard: Must be of U.S. Pattern, no British Enfield Scabbards allowed. Only early war pattern two rivet sewn style allowed. These bayonet scabbards were made of black dyed bridle leather and featured attached frogs of either bridle or buff leather. All bayonet scabbards must have a secure brass tip.

    U.S. Waist Belt: Made of bridle leather and dyed black. Either early-war leather (recommended) or late-war metal keeper and US oval buckle (allowed).

    Rifle-Musket Sling: Leather rifle-musket slings should be of documented patterns only. The US regulation sling was a leather strap, 46 inches long and 1 1/4 inch wide, with a captive loop at one end, and a brass hook at the other, and a sliding keeper between.

    Field Equipment:

    U.S. Pattern Haversack: Some basic features include machine sewn construction, black tarred exterior coating that seeps into the interior, cotton or linen inner bag attached by three hand sewn 5/8 inch tin buttons, hand sewn inner bag button holes, black 5/8 inch roller buckle, and a one piece shoulder strap of 40 to 45 inches in length. Haversacks should ride at the small of the back, with the top of the haversack no lower than the waist belt.

    U.S. Pattern Smooth side Canteen: Must be a U.S. Pattern 1858 Smooth side Canteen, with correct brownish/gray jean wool cover (kersey blue being reluctantly accepted), pewter spout, leather or cloth strap (see below), jack chain (New York Depot only!) or string stopper attachment. The canteen should ride at the small of the back.

    U.S. Pattern 1855 Double bag Knapsack (optional but recommended): Hand or machine sewn linen body tarred black with a glossy appearance, black dyed shoulder straps, blackened buckles, hand sewn buckles & keepers, reinforcements of split leather, and overcoat straps. Wartime documented contract versions are also acceptable.
    Knapsack (double-bag) or blanket roll

    U.S. Issue Blanket: Must be of a documented pattern. The blanket can be either the gray issue wool blanket with black woven end stripes & 4 to 4.5 inch US letters stitched in the middle of the blanket, or the brown issue blanket with woven brown end stripes & 4 to 4.5 inch US letters stitched in the middle of the blanket. Blankets should not have bound edges. All blankets should have a noticeable diagonal weave, especially visible in the end stripes. Dimensions should be close to 7 feet x 5 feet, six inches, weighting about five pounds. Due to the probability of cold temperatures, it is strongly encouraged that each individual pack AT LEAST one blanket.

    U.S. Issue Rubber Blanket or Poncho: To be constructed of rubber with a white linen backing, featuring small brass grommets. Ponchos were mainly used by the cavalry, but there are accounts of infantrymen using them. Ponchos have a reinforced slit in the middle of the spread, with a tin button closure. Same small brass 9/16 inch diameter grommets are also used. We will accept both, but the Rubber (or Gum) Blanket is the preferred choice.

    U.S. Issue Shelter Half: Shelter halves were generally made of 8 ounce cotton duck, with varying dimensions in the area of 66 inches long x 65 inches wide (original shelter halves did shrink quite a bit, so there is dimension differences between original shelter halves), had twenty three hand sewn bone or tin buttons & buttonholes of waxed cotton thread, and eight hand sewn grommets holes (includes the guy rope and pole grommets). Prairie Grove will be a heavy encampment, therefore the tent of choice is the A-Frame tent. These will be available on a limited basis for rent from the company, for $25 per tent (this can be split among the men occupying.) In the interest of uniformity, ALL shelter halves will be set up on a separate company street from A-Frame tents.


    1st choice - Austrian or Belgian rifle-musket (not required)

    2nd choice - The M1861 Springfield rifle-musket or the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket are preferred. All muskets must have three-barrel bands. If the Enfield rifle-musket is used, the bluing must be removed. We also suggest that modern makers marks should be removed and any necessary modifications be made to ensure the accuracy of your rifle-musket.

    Rifle/Musket Bayonet: Individuals MUST possess a corresponding pattern bayonet for your rifle-musket. Ensure compatibility with your rifle-musket before signing on. All modern markings should be removed.

    Ammunition (suggested supply):
    80 rounds .58 cal blanks
    96 percussion caps (4-wing only)

    (Recommended) Rations:
    1/2 pound cured bacon
    1/2 pound hardtack (five pieces)
    1/4 pound coffee (ground or whole bean)
    Foraged items - Apples, Pears, Peanuts, Eggs, Potatoes, Onions, Turkey, Chicken, Beef, Sausage, Carrots, Radishes, Rice, Peas, etc.

    Mess Furniture: Mess items should consist of a tin cup or fruit can boiler, knife, fork, & spoon (or combination set), and a plate/canteen half. All equipment must be of documented patterns, construction, and materials based on original artifacts. Stainless Steel items are highly discouraged.

    Pipes: Stick with simple pipes that an enlisted man of limited means would carry. These were commonly made of briar, clay, or wood with corresponding reed or wood stems. The use of Period tobacco is highly encouraged. Plain rolled cigars are also allowed, but absolutely no modern cigarettes. There is a zero tolerance policy in the 24th Missouri for smoking modern cigarettes in any area where we are live in impression.

    Personal items: Penknives, watches, jewelry, etc. must be of period style. PLEASE NO MODERN EYEWEAR. Period personal hygiene items permitted. Prescription medications/contact lens care items should be concealed in period containers. Smoking items permitted, except for modern cigarettes.

    We have secured a fairly secluded campsite located in the small field north of the fence line, which runs north and parallel to the village. This camp is surrounded by trees on two sides, which will help shield us from modern intrusions and the mainstream camps. However, it remains in close proximity to the sources of water, firewood and modern sinks. Prairie Grove is a winter event. Therefore our company will be in an encampment style setup, with the enlisted men quartered in common ("A") tents. For the sake of uniformity, only tents that are 6'9" high or higher will be set up on the company street. Smaller 6' tents will be placed on a secondary company street. We have the correct-sized tents for rent for $25 per weekend, and up to four men can share one of these and split the cost. Due to the likelihood of sub freezing cold temperatures, especially at night, we will ease our usual authenticity standards to allow for modern sleeping gear. Please keep these concealed in your tent and under period blankets at all times.

    The cooking will be done individually or utilizing a ‘mess’ structure, the men providing for themselves with light frying pans, camp kettles and coffee pots. Each man is expected to bring his own food, and there will be no mess fee.

    After the Battle of Prairie Grove, the Union army brought up its wagon trains, which contained the tents and camping equipment, and encamped on or near the battlefield for about the next three weeks. We believe that the 37th Illinois probably occupied the very ground where we will be camped, or somewhere very close to it, on December 25th, 1862. Our camp for the weekend will simulate that scenario, with our theme being "Christmas in Camp, 1862".

    We will have a Christmas tree decorated with hand-made paper ornaments, and volunteers are needed help make these! The boys are encouraged to bring natural garlands and other period decorations to place on their tents. We will have food and punch (anyone know how to make wassail?), and a period mail call to exchange letters and gifts from home consisting of cakes, pies, candy and personal items. Start thinking now about what you would like to bring. We hope to enlist the Holmes Brigade Minstrels and have a singing of period Christmas songs, and maybe even go caroling around the other camps. We hope to make this a real "down home Christmas". It should be a unique period camp experience, one that we only get to do every few years, and a bully way to end the campaigning season.

    This year, a special attempt is being made by the park to produce engaging battle scenarios for the participants. Rather than re-enact the main battle scenario on both days (Herron's Action around the Borden House) that clash will be scripted on Saturday, with Blunt's Attack (which was about a half mile west of Herron's) portrayed on Sunday. The latter will take place along the base of Battle Ridge below the village and Federal camping area, with both engagements will being on original ground.

    As part of Colonel Daniel Huston’s Second (Missouri) Division, the 37th Illinois force marched to the field from near Fayetteville on the morning of the battle. With aching muscles and empty stomachs, they hurried toward the sound of the guns. Huston’s men crossed the Illinois River at a ford upstream from Herron, and after lying on the cold ground for hours during the first assault, went into action across Crawford’s Prairie and up Battle Ridge towards the Borden House. The 37th Illinois was the only veteran regiment in the entire division, having fought at Pea Ridge. With colors flying and drums beating, the regiment ascended the hill at the left oblique, with its sister 26th Indiana, the ground littered with corpses, cripples, and discarded weapons from the earlier attack. Led by Lieutenant Colonel John Black, who was grievously wounded that day, the Illinoisans advanced into the Borden Orchard. There they slugged it out with troops from Adam’s Arkansas brigade before being overwhelmed and driven off the hill. Black’s skill in withdrawing the regiment probably saved the lives of most of his men, and an 1896 review by congress of numerous actions during the war resulted in his being awarded the Medal of Honor for his duty at Prairie Grove.

    The 24th Missouri will comprise one of the companies of the Independent Volunteer Battalion (IVB) commanded by Maj. Steve Dunfee. Other units of the battalion include the Holmes Brigade and the Army of the Pacific. Our battalion will co-ordinate action with the 1st Federal Division, while operating in an adjunct fashion.

    All individuals wishing to sign on with the 37th Illinois adjunct must contact Cal Kinzer personally at

    The event registration fee is $8.00 if paid in advance by November 17th, or $10 if paid after or at the time of registration on-site. Pre-registration is not required, but may be done by mail using the individual form found on the sponsor's website. This can be located at:


    Upon arrival at Prairie Grove National Battlefield Park, you will register at the Latta Barn. Enter at the main entrance near the visitor center, on U.S. Highway 62 at the east end of the town. Follow the circle drive to the barn, located on the east end of the circle. Registration is open all day Friday and until 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. It closes prior to the Saturday battle, but then reopens at 4:00 p.m. Saturday through 11:00 a.m. Sunday.

    The bypass around the south side of Prairie Grove is now open. If coming from the east (Fayetteville), take the bypass and turn right at the first stop light. If coming from the west (Oklahoma), take the bypass and turn left at the third stop light (probably marked as Sundowner Road and/or HWY 62B).

    Battlefield personnel have strict policy of not allowing late arrivals to participate in the battles, failing a weapons inspection. All re-enactors MUST be registered prior to each battle in order to participate, and will receive an identification badge inscribed with, "Battle of Prairie Grove Dec 7th 1862 - Heroic Deeds Hallowed Ground". This badge must be kept at all times, in order to draw supplies (firewood and straw) and the take part in battles. The park has historically been generous with split firewood and straw.

    RE-ENACTMENT TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (Based on the 2012 Event Schedule)
    [Note: Our company's schedule will not mirror the following and will most certainly vary.]

    Saturday, December 6th
    All Day - Sutlers' Row open along the historic stone wall
    6:00 a.m. - Reveille
    8:00 a.m. - Hindman Hall Visitor Center open with exhibits, gift shop & book store
    8:00 a.m. - Late arrival registration opens at the Latta Barn
    9:00 a.m. - Camps open to the public; battalion officers' call
    11:00 a.m. - Bayonet Drill (special demonstration by picked squad); late arrival registration closes until after the battle; camps closed to public
    11:30 a.m. - Federal troops march to Illinois River ford, lunch from haversacks
    12:00 p.m. - Spectator viewing line opens at battlefield
    12:15 p.m. - Form for battle, final arms inspection
    1:00 p.m. - Battle demonstration near the Borden House (Herron's Action)
    2:30 p.m. - End of battle scenario; camps reopen to public; late registration reopens at the Latta Barn
    5:00 p.m. - Camps closed to the public
    7:00 p.m. - Period Dance at the Latta Barn

    Sunday, December 7th
    All Day - Sutlers' Row open along the historic stone wall
    6:00 a.m. - Reveille
    8:00 a.m. - Hindman Hall Visitor Center open with exhibits, gift shop & book store
    8:00 a.m. - Late arrival registration opens at the Latta Barn
    9:00 a.m. - Camps open to the public; battalion officers' call
    10:00 a.m. - Company Drill; church service at log church; Catholic mass at the Jim Parks Shelter
    11:00 a.m. - Late arrival registration closes; camps closed to public
    11:00 a.m. - Bayonet Drill (special demonstration by picked squad)
    12:00 p.m. - Spectator viewing line opens at battlefield
    12:15 p.m. - Federal troops stage for battle (below the village/camp area), final arms inspection
    1:00 p.m. - Battle demonstration below the village/camp (Blunt's Action)
    2:15 p.m. - End of battle scenario; camps reopen to public
    3:00 p.m. - Camps closed to the public
    3:30 p.m. - Inspection of campsites by park staff


    Corbin Askew
    Scott Askew
    Erik Auger
    James Beck
    Bryan Brooks
    Pete Byfield
    Ron Cate
    Kevin Dally
    Dustin Darby
    George Delisle
    Patrick Emde
    Luke Garrett
    Michael Ilgenfritz
    Cal Kinzer- Captain
    Jack Lynch
    Joe Musgrove
    Mike Phineas- Corporal
    Zachary Reese
    Steve Shore
    Aaron Siltman
    Frank Siltman- 1st Sergeant
    Jonathan Siltman- Lieutenant
    Scott Sproat
    Chuck Steeves
    Jeffrey Stewart
    Ben Vlahos
    Mark Vlahos- 2nd Sergeant
    Vol Woods
    Vol Colten Woods

    Other related websites:

    For official information from the sponsor, go to:

    37th Illinois adjunct website for this event:
    24th Missouri unit website:
    24th Missouri Facebook page:!/24thMissouriVolInf

    37th Illinois.jpgBorden House.jpg
    Last edited by Strawfoot; 11-10-2014, 12:08 PM.
    Mike Phineas
    Arlington, TX
    24th Missouri Infantry
    Independent Volunteer Battalion

    "Oh, go in anywhere Colonel, go in anywhere. You'll find lovely fighting all along the line."

    -Philip Kearny

  • #2
    Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

    I always attend the dance just to sit there and be warm. :)
    Michael Comer
    one of the moderator guys


    • #3
      Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

      Prairie Grove... it ain't no disco.
      Mike Phineas
      Arlington, TX
      24th Missouri Infantry
      Independent Volunteer Battalion

      "Oh, go in anywhere Colonel, go in anywhere. You'll find lovely fighting all along the line."

      -Philip Kearny


      • #4
        Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

        One very appealing thing about Prairie Grove is your not reenacting in some cow pasture near the battlefield. You are on the actual battlefield. One of the battle scenarios will include fighting at the famed "Borden House" that was the site of some of the heaviest fighting.

        Joseph Musgrove


        • #5
          Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

          You're correct Joe, and for the first time that I'm aware we will also be re-enacting Blunt's action farther west, and also on original ground on the second day.
          Mike Phineas
          Arlington, TX
          24th Missouri Infantry
          Independent Volunteer Battalion

          "Oh, go in anywhere Colonel, go in anywhere. You'll find lovely fighting all along the line."

          -Philip Kearny


          • #6
            Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

            The date is closing in. Looks like our company is going to be of the utmost quality! Please, if you are on the fence, or just want a quality event with good pards, come join us!
            Jonathan Siltman
            24th Missouri Vol. Inf.
            Bully Boys Mess
            Ft. Sill Museum Gun Crew
            Good ol' Fashion Troublemaker


            • #7
              Re: 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove

              Well the 152nd Battle of Prairie Grove Arkansas is in the books, and with it the 2014 re-enacting season for the 24th Missouri. As per usual experience, the highlight of the weekend was the beauty and scope of the park battlefield itself, the core of which is a wooded ridge just outside the town of Prairie Grove. Confederate veterans from northwest Arkansas held annual reunions here in the shade of the trees in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The United Daughters of the Confederacy purchased 10 acres of the ridge in 1908 and established a Confederate memorial park. In 1971 the state of Arkansas purchased the property, and with Federal and local funds the battlefield park has grown to over 800 acres.

              In late 1862, nearly 22,000 soldiers locked in a death grip over possession of this ground. The Confederates held the wooded ridge, and sustained disjointed attacks by converging Union forces under both Herron and Blunt. The battle ended in a tactical draw, with superior Federal artillery saving the day against determined Confederate counterattacks.

              Last weekend, along with our brothers in the Holmes Brigade under AJ Racine and Charles Hoskins of Missouri, the 24th Missouri represented a micro-battalion of the 37th Illinois Infantry led by Steve Dunfee of Kansas. Our company ranks were swelled with up to 7 or 8 rookie soldiers at any given time (some trickling in from as far away as Fort Sill, OK) which tested our expertise throughout the weekend. We outfitted them, drilled them, and incorporated them into our line in fine fashion. In fact, personally this was the most drill our company has experienced in over ten years. Company drill under Cal Kinzer, battalion drill with Steve Dunfee, and even a bayonet drill given by our captain, who barked the commands in French! It was a wonder to observe various other companies in the brigade out drilling, who'd interrupt their work to stop and watch us.

              The weather was fairly mild, for Prairie Grove standards, with temps hitting into the upper 30's at night. Our battalion set up in a semi-secluded area of Battle Ridge, north of the old school house and above the Fayetteville Road. We simulated a Christmas winter encampment (the men of the 37th Illinois were actually camped close to our site on Christmas 1862), complete with Christmas tree at headquarters and garlands adorning our A-frame and Sibley tents. Men received packages from home containing gifts, and the sound of Christmas song was present throughout the weekend.

              On Saturday the 37th Illinois (recreated) formed up and marched along the Fayetteville Road, out to the Illinois River, and ate lunch out of our haversacks on the Crawford Plateau. As the battle began in earnest we passed through Federal artillery batteries and assaulted up the Borden Hill, pushing the rebel lines back beyond the Borden House. Counterattacked on three sides and flanked, the battalion streamed back down the hill in view of spectators and sought the protection of the massed Federal batteries out on the plateau. It was a reasonable facsimile of the 37th's attack, an a eye opening introduction to living history for our new recruits, and a rewarding result of the hard work put in by the men.

              A planned post-battle picket scenario with like-minded Confederate re-enactors did not materialize on Saturday night. So the unit held it's annual meeting, preparing a Christmas stew while discussing bylaw amendments and our 2015 schedule. A TENTATIVE 2015 schedule is shaping up as follows:

              Helena, AR Mar 2015
              Bentonville, NC Mar 2015
              Mansfield, LA May 2015
              Pea Ridge, AR Sep 2015
              Lookout Mountain, TN Oct 2015
              Honey Springs, OK Nov 2015

              Please check the unit website for further details.

              Pictured below is the 24th Missouri, representing the 37th Illinois Company B, standing tall before our camp in preparation for Saturday's Borden Hill fight. If you look closely, Christmas garland can be seen hanging from the men's tents in the background.

              Prarie Grove - Copy (2).jpg
              Last edited by Strawfoot; 12-08-2014, 11:19 AM.
              Mike Phineas
              Arlington, TX
              24th Missouri Infantry
              Independent Volunteer Battalion

              "Oh, go in anywhere Colonel, go in anywhere. You'll find lovely fighting all along the line."

              -Philip Kearny