Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park commemorates the location of the Battle of Prairie Grove fought on December 7th, 1862. In the Spring of 2011, the park museum in Hindman Hall was completely renovated with new displays and exhibits. The new interactive exhibits which include the battle animation presented on this website bring the events of the battle to life for the park visitor.
After visiting the museum, visitors are encouraged to walk the battlegrounds or drive the driving tour. Visitors can tour the historic Morrow and Latta houses. The Morrow house which was originally located nine miles to the south was the Confederate headquarters where Hindman stopped to rest on the eve of the battle. The Latta house and associated outbuildings is a period style home originally owned by John and Jane Latta that was dismantled and moved to the park in the 1950's. Both homes are an excellent representation of Civil War period architecture.
From the Latta House, visitors are encouraged to walk the ridge to the Borden house and orchard where the heaviest fighting took place. While the original Borden home was burnt by the Union troops on the day following the battle, the house was later rebuilt in 1868 and is reported by Caldonia Ann Borden (daughter of Archibald Borden) to have closely resembled the original. While the restored version of the home has been painted white for years, the home has been recently renovated by the park and painted a soft yellow color to more accurately reflect the original descriptions of the house. Numerous renderings of what the Borden House may have looked like can be found in the Gallery section of this site.
The park also features a self-guided driving tour that takes the visitor through the battle grounds with stops at 14 key locations. The tour is a wonderful way to experience breadth of the battle grounds and to learn about the position and maneuvers of the individual troops. Audio segments from the park driving tour have been included as audio features on the map in the Explore the Battle section of this site.
The park also hosts Arkansas's largest battle reenactment biennially in even-numbered years during the first weekend of December. The event typically attracts around 5,000 tourists each year. Beginning at 1:00 p.m., battle demonstrations feature charges and counterattacks by Union and Confederate infantry and cavalry on the battlefield near the historic Borden House.
Activities include guided tours through Union, Confederate and civilian camps; military drills conducted by reenactors; cooking, spinning and lace-making demonstrations; and living history programs. Throughout the year, the park also hosts hundreds of school groups and educational programs.
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park is nationally recognized as one of the most intact Civil War battlefields in the country. The park protects and commemorates the location of one of the most significant Civil War battles in the west.