By Kevin McClintock
The 150th anniversary of the 1862 battle at Newtonia isn’t the only Civil War event slated for the region this fall.
A site dedication and sesquicentennial celebration will take place in late October at the Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site near Butler. A re-enactment also will take place at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Northwest Arkansas in December.
Island Mound events begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, when Brig. Gen. Donald Scott and retired Missouri State Park historian and author James Denny will share their impressions and interpretations of the Battle of Island Mound, which was the first battle in which black soldiers saw combat during the Civil War.
The battle itself was fought Oct. 29, 1862.
That talk will take place at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway, in Kansas City.
The dedication will be Saturday, Oct. 27, at the historic site west of Butler in Bates County and will include living history activities and military demonstrations. Gates open at 10 a.m. and the dedication ceremony begins at 11 a.m., said Jim Rehard, district supervisor for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which oversees state parks and historic sites.
A Civil War Symposium is scheduled for Saturday evening at the Bates County Museum, 802 Elks Drive, Butler.
Alan Thompson, museum registrar with Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, said the 150th anniversary of that battle will be remembered on Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2, with re-enactments taking place at 1 p.m. each day, featuring charges by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry.
They typically have had about 800 volunteers for past re-enactments, he said.
“We really don’t know what to expect yet. With this being the 150th anniversary, it could be significantly more.”
Unlike battlefields that are managed by the National Park Service, which do not allow re-enactments on federal property, this event will occur on the actual fields where the 1862 fight occurred.
“We do it on site, which I think is one of the big draws for re-enactors,” said Thompson.
The original battle, fought on Dec. 7, 1862, saw about 22,000 soldiers from both sides participating in the fight, with about 2,700 casualties reported on both sides.
The event is free, but there will be a charge for parking, he said.
The park is located in Washington County, Ark., near the community of Prairie Grove.
Visitors to Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park can join a guided tour through the historic Morrow and Latta houses on the site. The Morrow House was a Confederate headquarters prior to the Civil War battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. The Latta House belonged to John and Jane Latta, who arrived in Arkansas Territory in 1834 and raised 12 children.