*Whayne, J., Arkansas: a narrative history, p. 174.
The City of Bentonville commemmorated the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Pea Ridge with a reenactment in downtown Bentonville on Friday, March 9, 2012. Everyone was invited, and since the school where I am currently substituting is two blocks from downtown, then we were all going! Yes! The entire school was dismissed to walk downtown to view the reenactment. Fortunately the weather was perfect and also, security is not an issue here. We simply walked out of the building with our class, and 5th grade classes followed 6th grade classes. No streets were closed and traffic was not stopped. No added security was necessary. Just teachers, parents that wanted to attend, and students, walked from D Street up 2nd Street to Main Street and then we stood near the podium in the town square to observe the battle. It was fun, and I'm so glad that I got to experience this with the 5th graders in Bentonville!! The boys especially loved it, the girls squealled and covered their ears when the guns and cannons roared!
Here are a few photos from the 150th Commemmorative Reenactment of the Battle of Pea Ridge in Bentonville, Arkansas.
As you can see, it was a beautiful day. The night before the low temperature was 27 degrees Farenheit. But by 10:15 am when we set out to walk downtown, the weather had warmed to around 50 degrees, and continued to warm throughout the day.
Here we are just starting out.
Here we have reached downtown.
This Confederate Memorial is in the center of the downtown square.
Here we are facing the Courthouse.
This man was the storyteller. He would tell the story of the Battle as it was being acted out.
The other people are the town dignitaries/politicians.
The lady on the right is a news reporter. She is videoing the event.
The children on the steps are 6th graders. They had the best view.
The doves (or homing pigeons) were released as a tribute to those who died here in the battle long ago.
A Union Soldier.
The Federalists arrive in Arkansas.
Ready for battle!
They had to re-load!
The skirmish continues.
Crowds around the square.
The battle was fought all around the square so that everyone had a chance to see at least part of it.
Arkansas still considers itself a Confederate State in the Civil War, even though it was so far north and west,
most citizens of Arkansas sided with states rights and the south.
Time to return to school! The kids were all great, stayed together, no behavior problems at all.
They all lined back up, and we walked back to school.
This is just a pretty building we passed along the way back. This is also where we had to cross the street.
Since I have been substituting in the Rogers / Bentonville Arkansas area I have also been to the Walton Arts center to see a cultural arts program called "Stomp!" (I think that's the name of it.) And, I've participated in celebrating Ground Hog's Day! with a school in Rogers where the local celebrity Meteorologist Dan Skoff came to Emcee the event which also included the mayor and the crowning of the annual King and Queen of Ground Hog Day. I think the kids who attend school in this area are very fortunate that they have such a relaxed environment and because there are not any major problems they get to have a lot of fun at school.
After the reenactment, we returned to school, took a quick bathroom break, grabbed our sack lunches and went out to the playground for lunch together. We stayed an extra long time which included their usual Encore time (specials) and then we went back inside and resumed class for the afternoon. It was a great Friday!
Side note: Just off the downtown area in Bentonville is the new Crystal Bridges American Art Museum. We could have walked there from the downtown square. There are many nice walking trails and biking trails near downtown. The kids in school in Bentonville and the surrounding area are getting the opportunity to visit Crystal Bridges with their classes this year too, thanks to Wal-Mart.