Living Historians Recreate Battle of Pea Ridge

Posted on: 9:40 pm, March 22, 2013, by

They’re celebrating the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Pea Ridge this weekend not far from where the actual battle took place.

They are Doctors, Dentists, Lawyers and Laborers during the week, but on the weekend they are living historians. They bring to life battles fought by farmers and business owners more than 150 years ago.

A passion for some, it’s personal for Jim Kuhn from Eureka Springs. “I got involved in this by actually studying my family’s history in Arkansas that dates back to 1848,” said Kuhn.  “I had many family members that participated in this struggle both Confederate and Federal.”

Jim’s great-great-great-grandfather was 54 years old when he fought in, and survived, the battle of Pea Ridge. He was a member of the Second Arkansas Mounted Rifles. The Financial Advisor has been a Civil War Reenactor for two years.

Phil Sample is a veteran Civil War Reenactor.  History isn’t just his passion, it’s his profession. He’s a History Professor at Rogers State University in Claremore Oklahoma. “I got into Civil War reenacting in 1989 and it’s hard to get out of your blood,” said Sample.

Blood was shed at Pea Ridge. It’s estimated that there were as many as three thousand four hundred casualties. Some of those casualties came from the Third Iowa.

They came from the Hawkeye state today to recreate the battle.  Carrying a flag replicated from the original, and hand painted by a member of the Iowa contingent.

They wear period uniforms, sleep in replicated tents, and carry weapons, in some cases from the civil war, so people can truly experience the War Between the States.

“We do theater only it’s on a grand scale with a really large stage and all the props that go with it,” said Iowan Brice Clark.

With family who fought here 151 years ago, Pea Ridge is special to Jim Kuhn. “This is just something we would do on a weekend,” said Kuhn “They lived it every day for years and the conditions were unbelievably difficult for them.”