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Elkhorn Tavern - Gateway, Arkansas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 36° 27.209 W 094° 00.940
15S E 408985 N 4034727
Quick Description: This two-story log and weatherboard building was the scene of a major Civil War Battle on 7-8 March 1862.
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 7/5/2019 8:41:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM10X8J
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member BK-Hunters
Views: 1

Long Description:
Right on State 72 to ELKHORN TAVERN, 1.8m., site of the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas' most important engagement in the War between the States.

Federal General Samuel R. Curtis' maneuvers in Missouri in 1861 led Southern leaders to fear an invasion of Arkansas, and troops that had been concentrated near the State Line retreated below Fayetteville in the hope of drawing him into the Boston Mountains. Northwestern Arkansas became a no man's land, harried by detachments from both sides. When Curtis had proceeded from Springfield as far south as Pea Ridge, just across the Arkansas Line, General Earl Van Dorn, who was in charge of the Southern forces, determined to wipe out the Federal army. Accordingly, Sterling Price's Missourians and Ben McCullough's Texans advanced northward to meet Curtis, burning rail fences along the road at night to light their march. From Oklahoma, General Albert Pike brought a brigade of Cherokee to join the Southern armies.

Near Bentonville on March 6, 1862, Van Dorn found Federal General Franz Sigel with a small artillery detachment. Sigel retreated until he reached the main body of Curtis' troops. Meanwhile, Curtis had time to fell trees across the roads and erect camouflaged shelters for his batteries. March 8, 1862, on a snow-covered field, thousands of ill-trained Confederates hurled themselves gallantly against withering Federal grapeshot. Two Confederate generals, McCullough and James I. McIntosh, were killed and General W. Y. Slack mortally wounded, thus leaving the Confederate troops confused. Though the battle is considered by Southern historians as a victory, it failed to destroy Curtis's force.

The Confederate soldiers went southward; Van Dorn and Price rallied them, but were shortly ordered to Mississippi, leaving Arkansas virtually undefended. Curtis proceeded southeastward and occupied Batesville; a gesture from that point toward Little rock in July was opposed by Hindman, so Curtis continued southeast and took Helena, on the Mississippi.

The Tavern itself, built in 1833, and once a stop on the Springfield-Van Buren stage route, was burned by guerillas. The present building, a two-story white painted structure with an overhanging pediment, was erected in 1886, against the original chimney. In the yard a walnut tree whose top was shot away in the battle has spread out to a width of more than 100 feet; 16 inches in diameter when the tavern was first built, the tree trunk is now 4 feet thick.

- Arkansas : a guide to the state.,1941, pg. 264, 266



The Elkhorn Tavern, situated just east of Pea Ridge, was originally constructed c. 1835, as a two-story log house with two stone chimneys and a full-length porch running along the front side on both stories. In the 1850s, the house was weatherboarded and painted white, and an outside front staircase was added on the northeast end of the porch. These changes, along with a set of elkhorns mounted on the ridgepole, gave the building the appearance it presented during the Battle of-Pea Ridge. After the battle, bushwhackers burned the building to the ground, leaving only the foundation and the two chimneys. Upon these remnants a new tavern, a one-story wood frame structure, was erected immediately after the War. By the 1880s a second story had been added, and the building had assumed an appearance very similar to that of the pre-Civil War structure. Notable differences included the absence of an outside front staircase and the addition of two extra windows on the upper story of the front (east) side of the house.

- National Register Application



Book: Arkansas

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 264, 266

Year Originally Published: 1941

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