Thursday, January 24, 2008

Prairie Grove Battlefield - Latta House and Cellar

After completing the one mile Battlefield Trail, visitors to Prairie Grove can learn more about the battle by following the Self-Guided Driving Tour of the rest of the 3,200 acre battlefield.

At a normal pace, this tour takes about 30-45 minutes to complete. Printed and audio guides are available at the visitor center in Hindman Hall on the battlefield. You can also print out or read a copy online by following this link:

One of the first stops on the driving tour is the Latta House and Cellar. Although the house is not original to the battlefield, it was brought here and restored to represent the four homes that did exist on the ridge at the time of the Battle of Prairie Grove. On the grounds is a stone cellar. During the battle, civilians who fought themselves caught between the two armies took shelter in such cellars. Twenty men, women and children hid in the cellar at the Morton House during the heavy fighting that ranged around that residence. They later wrote of emerging from the darkness to see bodies in every direction.

The interpretive stops on the Driving Tour include:
  1. Shoup Chooses the Position.
  2. Latta House and Cellar
  3. The Ravine
  4. Borden House and Orchard
  5. Carnage in the Orchard
  6. Confederate Right Flank
  7. Borden Wheat Field
  8. Illinois River Ford
  9. Borden Cornfield
  10. Position of the 20th Iowa
  11. Morton Hayfield and West Overlook
  12. Morton House Site
  13. Confederate Left Flank
  14. Prairie Grove Church

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