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Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Growing by 42 Acres


This is a scene from a new interpretive movie being shown at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield this year. NPS photo.

The site of the first Civil War battle west of the Mississippi is growing by 42 acres thanks to an infusion of federal dollars and work by the battlefield's foundation.

The acreage, which is being purchased for Wilson's Creek National Battlefield for $450,000, includes land on which Union and Confederate troops fought. Running through the acreage is a creek where the men no doubt got water.

According to National Park Service historians, "the Battle of Wilson's Creek (called Oak Hills by the Southerners) was fought ten miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri on August 10, 1861. Named for the stream that crosses the area where the battle took place, it was a bitter struggle between Union and Southern forces for control of Missouri in the first year of the Civil War."

The land being added to the battlefield was acquired by the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foundation, which in turn sold it to the federal government. With the land transaction complete, the foundation now is turning its sights to acquiring 500 more acres in the area for addition to the national battlefield.


It's good to see that the National Parks can actually expand and preserve some of our nation's history.
I first visited the Wilson Creek battelfield in November of 1983 while on a business trip to Springfield. While visiting the country side, I came upon the battelfield site and drove into the park. At that time I was the only person in hte park so I was able to take my time and visit all of the interruptive sings along the roadway and peeked inside the Ray house. I also walked up a trial to where one of the cannon embattlements took place. I was in awe to learn how many men lost their lives in such a small battelfield. I also was able to envision the battles and sounds by reading the inturprative signs. It is hard to believe that such a battle could and did take place in this country. I relaize it may of been small when compared to others that occured, but still, i got chills when trying to visualize the incident.
Cudos to the Battlefield Foundation and the National Park Service for the new accuisiton of land. Keep up the good work.

Maybe 42 acres doesn't seem like much land in the overall scheme of the NPS, but that land was paid for long ago in blood and tears. It is better that this hallowed land is set aside now. Otherwise in 50 years it will have a strip mall built on it.

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