Voice from the Past: "Nothing to Remind me of The Treacherous Days in March of '62"

Posted: 3/8/2012
Author: Laura June Davis
Battle of Pea Ridge-Federal Forces Under Generals Curtis, Sigel, and Asboth; Confederate Army Commanded by Generals Van Dorn, Price and McCullough


Good Morning! The sesquicentennial of the Battle of Pea Ridge continues today. As such, we bring you a special Voice from the Past: Asa Payne’s—of Company E, 3rd Missouri Infantry, 1st Missouri Brigade—remembrance of the battle, written in 1911 after he revisited the battlefield:
 

After a lapse of forty nine years, I again visited the Pea Ridge battle ground and it may not be out of place here to give my memories of that historic field on that occasion." 

I was, yet I was not the beardless boy that marched away, but an old, gray bearded man.  I was surprised to find how little it had changed, what seemed to be the same old tavern with its elk horns was standing there still, but the barn was gone and in its place an apple orchard grew.  There was nothing to remind me of the treacherous days in March of '62 but two monuments about twelve feet high which stand about a hundred yards southwest of the tavern, inscribed on one of them are the names of General Schlack and of General McIntosh and General Ben McCullough; the other one is in memory of the Federal commanders.

I stayed all night in that old tavern but all was quiet, the booming of cannon and the wails of the wounded were hushed forever.  While seated on its porch beyond the eastern hills the full moon rose like a copper disk and shed its light just as fifty years before over the bloody field.  I was lulled to sleep by the tinkling of cow bells in the near by mountain and was awakened only by the hoot of owls which seemed to me were hooting their last long hoot in memory of the past.

 
Source: NPS.org

Image Credit: Frank Leslie's The Soldier in Our Civil War (1893).
 
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