The sound of war was heard and felt across the battlefield as hundreds honored the nearly 6,000 men who shed their blood at Pea Ridge during the Civil War.
Men and women transformed into Union and Confederate soldiers to re-enact the 151-year-old battle Saturday (March 23).
“It should always be remembered,” said Denis Cousley, who traveled from Northern Ireland to watch the re-enactment. “It should always be re-enacted forever long.”
Cousley was one of hundreds who felt the blast of the cannons as Civil War soldiers marched and fired their weapons from the hills of Pea Ridge. Cousley said his ancestors left Northern Ireland in the 1830s because of the poor economy.
“I have a good historical interest in the Civil War because some of my relatives in the past fought in it, came from Northern Ireland in the Civil War,” Cousley said.
Branden Robertson, 12, traveled from Kansas to be a Union re-enactor for the first time.
“I like history and this is a good way to show people how life was back then,” said Robertson.
Roberston stood with a pistol in hand ready to battle in a Union infantry. He was shot in the shoulder during the demonstration.
“In the middle of the battle I was running around and I was like ‘oh I’m scared that I’m really going to die, there are people shooting at me,’ so it was a little scary for a moment but it was really fun,” Robertson said.
Robert Ross, 12, from Fayetteville, was also a Confederate re-enactor for the first time.
“Most of the time you are just thinking about how fun it is, but then sometimes you have to think about back then in the battle every time they fire the gun it could have been three or four soldiers’ lives,” Ross said.
The young re-enactors said it’s a way to bring history books to life in an important piece of our past.
“You want to teach people about what happened in history,” Ross said. “You don’t want that history to be lost.”
The young re-enactors said history should never be forgotten with an old phrase.
“Those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it,” both said.
There’s another re-enactment 1:30 p.m. Sunday.