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Diary From Civil War Soldier Turned Over To Pea Ridge National Military Park

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The diary of a Civil War soldier was donated by Fred Angwin and Susie Angwin Heflin to Pea Ridge National Military Park/NPS.

A personal diary from a Confederate soldier who saw action at the battle of Pea Ridge has been donated to the Pea Ridge National Military Park in Arkansas.

The diary was kept by Private William E. Vaughan, a soldier from Christian County, Missouri who fought in the 7th Division of the Missouri State Guard Confederate States Army. The small, leather-bound diary was kept by Private Vaughan from December 14, 1861, through May 27, 1862, and includes his first-hand description of the battle of Pea Ridge and the Confederate retreat all the way to Memphis, Tennessee.

The diary was donated by Mitzi Angwin O'™Hara, Fred Angwin, and Susie Angwin Heflin; the great grandchildren of William E. Vaughan. The diary will be put on display in the park museum in March 2015 for the battle anniversary.

'œThe park is deeply grateful to the families for their generous and wonderful donation,' said Pea Ridge National Military Park Acting Superintendent Brenda Waters. 'œThis unexpected donation will enrich the park'™s interpretation and our visitor'™s understanding of the battle.'

Pea Ridge National Military Park preserves and commemorates the March 1862 Civil War battle that helped Union forces maintain physical and political control of the state of Missouri. The park is located 10 miles north of Rogers, Arkansas, on U.S. Highway 62.


A great idea. A lot of similar first-hand accounts are probably stored and forgotten in closets and attics, and eventually lost when the owners downsize their households or pass away.

Gifts of this type can provide a valuable resource for park interepretive programs and publications. If a transcription of the diary isn't already available, that would make a great project for a volunteer or a researcher; posting at least excerpts of that information online would be a nice "gift that keeps on giving" to both amateur and professional historians and genealogy buffs.  

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