|Crawford County Courthouse in Van Buren|
The launching point for this planned campaign was Van Buren, a charming town on the Arkansas River. The location of important steamboat landings and a ferry that crossed over to Fort Smith, Van Buren had supported the Southern cause since the earliest days of secession.
Militia troops from the city had joined in the taking of Fort Smith from U.S. forces in 1861 and it had served as a base of operations for troops moving north across the mountains before both the Battle of Wilson's Creek and the Battle of Pea Ridge. Wounded Confederate soldiers were brought back to Van Buren after both battles and the graves of those that did not survive can be seen today in rows at Fairview Cemetery.
|Van Buren from above.|
|Downtown Van Buren, Arkansas|
I will continue posting on the Prairie Grove Campaign over coming weeks. Until the next post, you can read more about historic Van Buren at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/vanburen.
Read more about the Battle of Prairie Grove at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ArkansasPG1.