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Photo of the Month

 

The Last Reunion of Pea Ridge Veterans

By Nathan Redman, Research Assistant

 

Then let us clasp in friendship true

The hand that once we sought to slay

One flag for all. Red white and blue

One country for the blue and gray.

 

This verse, which was found in History of Benton County by J. Dickson Black, sums up the sentiment of the pictured men.  These men returned many times to Elk Horn Tavern to honor the battle that they fought in.  The Battle of Pea Ridge, also known as the battle of Elk Horn Tavern, was fought on March 6, 7, and 8, 1862 in the vicinity of Elk Horn Tavern and Leetown.  Pea Ridge was the largest and bloodiest battle west of the Mississippi River and a turning point in the campaign for the west and the Civil War as a whole.

 

Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn had intended to sweep the federals off the field at Pea Ridge on his way into Missouri.  His plan was to capture St. Louis, allowing him to gain control of the Federal supply lines and thus cripple the Union Army.  The Union victory at the battle ensured that Missouri remained in Union control, and that the federal supply lines remained intact.  On March 9th as the Confederate Army was in retreat and the Union Army was regrouping, many a soldier no doubt felt lucky to have survived and happy that the battle was over.

 

Little did these Pea Ridge veterans know that their experiences at Elk Horn Tavern and with each other were far from over.  Twenty-five years after the battle, a meeting was held at Bentonville, Arkansas to schedule a reunion, which was to coincide with the unveiling of a monument honoring the Confederate dead.  This, the first of many reunions at the battlefield was held on September 1, 1887. During the reunion, people noticed that many Union soldiers from the battle had attended ceremonies. 

 

These men who had been enemies of the Confederate soldiers being honored asked to be allowed to pay their respect to the Confederate dead.  A speaker that day said, “The white dove seemed to spread her wings alike over all.  And harmony reigned supreme as men form both armies honored the dead at this battlefield.” 

 

This first reunion sparked the creation of the Reunion Association of the Blue and the Gray.  The initial reunion held by the Association occurred on Oct 16, 17, and 18, 1888.  The following year another reunion was held; this one with an even better turnout.  At this reunion a large monument, topped with the Goddess of Liberty was unveiled; honoring the men of both sides. The inscription on the monument reads:

 

Spirit of eternal light,

Keep silent vigil o’er the brave

The untarnished Blue

The unsullied Gray

In peace and love unite

 

Proud heroes have fallen,

And Over their grave,

Our hearts are united,

Our country to save.

Over the dead the living bend,

And up to their God their voices send

That in Liberty’s crown of eternity’s day,

The Blue and the Gray.

 

Many more reunions were held over the years; men who had been bitter enemies on the field of battle became lifelong friends at these reunions.  The photo this is reported to be the last reunion of the veterans of the battle of Pea Ridge, 64 years after the battle.  This wonderful photo came from the Oct. 26, 1926 addition of the Rogers Democrat.  The pictured men are identified from left to right top row as:

 

  • Captain J. Wade Sikes, Rogers, AR., 2nd AR Mounted Rifles
  • Peter Woodring, Waterloo, Iowa, Co. H, 37th Illinois Infantry
  • G. W. Lewis, Garfield, AR, member Guibors Battery, 1st MO Artillery
  • Julius Heidenrich, Chicago, IL, Co. K, 59th IL Infantry
  • Captain C. L. Pickens, Pea Ridge, AR, Co. F, 14th AR Infantry
  • Henry Williams, Rogers, AR, 2nd AR Mounted Rifles
  • F. H. Foster, Pea Ridge, AR., Co. F, 14th AR Infantry
  • A. J. Callis, Bentonville, AR Co. 9, 2nd AR Cavalry
  • E. W. Mullins, Springdale, AR, 2nd AR Mounted Rifles
  • J. B. Ausmud, Rogers, AR, Co. 2, 119th Illinois Infantry
  • E. W. McClure, Cross Timbers, MO, Co. B, 115th MO Infantry
  • E. B. Test, Gentry, AR, Co. G, 2nd Kansas Cavalry
  • Reed Brown, Gentry, AR, Co. K, 33rd Wisconsin Infantry
  • J. W. Lewis, Garfield, AR, Co. D, 2nd AR Mounted Rifles 

Seated from left to right:

 

  • E. L. Morgan, Garfield, AR, 64th MO Infantry
  • R. B. Pratt, Porter, OK, 3rd Iowa Cavalry
  • Juliuw Krueger, Iola, KS, Co. F, 37th Illinois infantry
  • A.E. Gage, Chicago, Illinois, Co. F. 37th Illinois Infantry
  • R. W. Woods, Bentonville, AR, Co. F, 14th AR Infantry
  • Captain Orin Parker, Bentonville, AR, 10th AR Battery
  • G. W. Gamble, Rogers, AR, Co. F, 14th AR Infantry
  • W. A. McCurdy, Miami, OK, Co. E 16th MO Cavalry
  • E. E. Taylor, Paden, OK, Member Guibors Battery
  • M.T. Harris, Garfield, AR, Co. F, 37th AR infantry
  • Tom Roughton, Gentry, AR, Co. L, 2nd Kansas Cavalry

 

This photo conveys the importance of these reunions.  These men went from being sworn enemies, fighting in the bloodiest period of American History, to a group of old friends sitting around reminiscing about the glory days.  People today can learn a lot from these veterans.  They harbored no ill feelings toward one another, they understood that each and every man, Union or Confederate, Blue or Gray, had shared similar experiences and had served with honor and bravery on the field of battle.

 


 

More Photos of the Month

People:
Rogers Academy Class of 1896
Applegate Family
Bingham, George H.
John Black and Hugh “Tater” Black
Blackburn, J.A.C.
Blaylock, Sarah
Carter, C. Jimmie
Clarke, A.O.
Curry, Dr. William Jasper
Decker, Charles
Felker, William R.
Ford, Edsel
Funk, Erwin
Harvey, Coin
Hawkins, Harold and Frank Jr.
Hill, Fred
Jacobs, Thomas
Keck, Jack
Key, Vera
Kirksey, Birch
Lingle, Greer
Lockhart, Tracy
McNeil, Tom
Means, Joe
Morgan, Tom
Morsani, Al
Myler, John
The Sagers
Sikes, J. Wade

J.L. Shinpaugh, Rogers City Marshal
Steele, John Bell and Mary Van Winkle
Thaden, Louise
Rice, Dr. Rufus S.
Rogers, Betty Blake
Rogers, C.W.
Rogers Dough Boys
Rogers, Will

Tribble, Letsie
Truman Boling, Master Builder

Vick Will

Places:
Beaver Dam
Beaver Lake
Butterfield Trail
Camp Joyzelle
Confederate Monument
Coin Harvey’s Spring Lake and Falls
Lake Atalanta
Monte Ne
Old Highway 12 Bridge
Park Springs Park
War Eagle
The Amphitheater at Monte Ne
Silica Mining
Frisco Tunnel at Winslow
Wonderland Cave in Bella Vista
The Ozark Bluff Dwellers
Fisherman's Camp
Kruse's Gold Mine
Highway 71
Hanging Tree

Businesses:

The Apple Industry
Callahan's Station
Cattle Ranching
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Daisy Manufacturing
Decker Motor Co.
Dyke Lumber Co.
Hailey Motor Co.
House of Webster
McNeil Chevrolet
Munsingwear
Poultry Industry
Pressing Sorghum Cane
Rogers Champion
Rogers Hardware Co.
Rogers Transfer & Storage
Suzie-Q Malt Shop
Wal-Mart

Wendt-Sonis

Schools:
Rogers Academy
Rogers High School
Sunnyside Elementary School

Buildings:
The Applegate house
112 South First Street
Bank Of Rogers Building
Benton County Jail
B.F. Sikes Log Cabin
Central Methodist Episcopal Church
J.B. Steele House, 303 South First Street
Juhre Building (1894)
Golden Rule Building (circa 1894)
Lane Hotel
Love's Sanitarium
Mutual Aid Union Building
Palace of the Ozarks
Rogers City Hall
Rogers City Jail
Rogers Milling Company
Rogers Opera House
Rogers Post Office
Rogers Wholesale Grocery Company
The Key Wing
The Stroud Building (1899)
The Victory Theater
James and Sally McDaniel Home

The Stroud Home
The Tribble House
The Rocky Branch School

Organizations:
206th C.A. A.A
Home Demonstration Club
Rogers First Elks Lodge
Rogers Garden Club
Women's Study Club/Mas Luz Club
Benton County Possum Hunters
Rogers High School Football Team 1921
Rogers High School Marching Band 1942
936th Field Artillery Battalion in the Korean War
1960's Rogers High School Spirit
Arkansas State Guard in WWII

Events:

Apple Blossom Festivals
Benton County Fair
Bolin Murder Inquest 
Ozark Golden Jubilee
Rogers Centennial Posse
Rogers Diamond Jubilee (1956)
Santa's Rocket Sleigh
Sledriding
The Arrival of Santa Claus (1945)
The Brightwater Train Wreck (1907)
The Great Car Skate on Lake Atalanta (1940)
Thanksgiving (1904)
The Last Reunion of Pea Ridge Veterans

Other:

Baseball
Cars
Chemical Engine
Christmas Memories
Frisco Railroad
Halloween
Mining in Northwest Arkansas
Natural Resources
Rogers' Congregational Church
Rogers Fire Department
Rogers Police Cars
St. Mary's Hospital
Tobacco and Benton County
Still Busting near Bentonville
Roadwork
John Boat
Quilts
Tall Tree Tales

Civil Defense in the 1960's
Early Cars
Rogers Yuletide
Brick Streets
Rural Road Work

 


 

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