The Battle of Pea Ridge, March 7 & 8, 1862, was the first battle of the Civil War in which Indian troops participated. About 1,000 Cherokee, the 1st and 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles, fought for the Confederate Army led by Brigadier General Albert Pike. During the battle, these two Cherokee regiments routed two companies of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. Stand Watie, a Cherokee Colonel, commanded the 2nd Cherokee Mounted Rifles.
Watie was promoted to Brigadier General in May 1864, making him the highest ranking Indian in the Confederate Army.
The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. However, the Indian troops reserved the right to surrender on their own terms. It wasn’t until June 23, 1865 that Stand Watie surrendered, making him the last Confederate General to surrender.
The Battle of Pea Ridge was the only major battle in which Watie fought.
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Pea Ridge National Military Park Travel Details
The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to dusk. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Entrance fee is $7.00 per person or $15.00 per vehicle, $10.00 per motorcycle.
Directions: Pea Ridge is just north of Rogers, Arkansas. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 36.44862763004054,-94.03369903564453