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YOU can help protect your national parks!

Help us reach our $401,000 goal by 12/31 so we can start 2015 strong defending them.

The national parks are yours.

Make your year-end, tax-deductible contribution to protect them today!

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Photo: National Park Service

Civil War National Parks: The Battles for Missouri

Center for the State of the Parks: Park Assessments

Published June 2009


View Full Report(PDF, 3.8 MB, 60 pages)

Fact Sheets

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (PDF, 79 KB, 2 pages)

Pea Ridge National Military Park
(PDF, 200 KB, 2 pages)

The Civil War battles of Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge were fought for the control of Missouri, a state flush with natural resources and strategically located on two of the country’s main rivers—the Missouri and the Mississippi. Months after the Confederate victory at Wilson’s Creek, the Union gained and maintained control of Missouri following the Battle of Pea Ridge. These two battles for Missouri are interpreted at two national parks: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in southwest Missouri and Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwest Arkansas.

According to an assessment by the Center for State of the Parks, cultural resources at both Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge are in “fair” condition. Natural resource conditions also received “fair” scores at both of the parks.

Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge face several common challenges. Primary among them is development adjacent to the parks that mars historical and scenic views that are essential to interpreting the battles and providing visitors with a memorable experience. The parks are also experiencing funding shortfalls that limit the Park Service’s ability to preserve historic structures that help tell the stories of our American heritage. The entrenchment of invasive non-native plant species and the encroachment of eastern red cedars, which have overtaken open fields and glade habitats after decades of fire suppression, are also of critical concern at Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge. 

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