The state of Arkansas offers plenty to see and do regardless of whether your interests are recreational or cultural and the city of Centerton is no exception. One of the biggest tourist attractions in the area is the Pea Ridge National Military Park which is home to what remains of the site where the Battle of Pea Ridge took place during the Civil War in 1862. This played a fundamental role for the Union as it helped them secure Missouri and left Arkansas open to Union occupation. This took place on 7th& 8th of March in that year in the fields beneath the Pea Ridge Mountain and the nearby Elkhorn Tavern, which resulted in one of the bloodiest battles west of the Mississippi between 16,000 Confederate troops and just over 10,000 Union troops. The former were led by General Earl Van Dorn while General Samuel R Curtis was at the helm of the Unionists but surprisingly, given how much they appeared to be out numbered, the Union troops only suffered 1,384 casualties while the Confederates had over 2,000 wounded or killed in battle. Thanks to conservation efforts in the centuries that followed, the battlefield has been preserved today exactly as it was then and visitors to the area can experience an aerial view of the site from the tower on Elk Horn Mountain.
Many visitors to the area who are interested in the region’s history – especially those who want to know more about Native American Tribes in the area – may also consider the historical Trail of Tears which is located along US highways 62 and 71 and also connects with Washington County’s US route 412. After the federal Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830, the decade that followed saw many Native Americans forced to leave their ancestral lands that they had inhabited for centuries and moved west of Arkansas to what was known as Indian Territory, an area designated in Oklahoma for this purpose. The metamorphic trail consists of a network of routes over land and by river which saw what is estimated to be around 60,000 Indians from tribes such as the Muscogee (previously known as Creek), Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole and Cherokee forcibly removed and sent into exile. The journey undertaken was particularly arduous and many walked bare foot and in rags, which left them vulnerable to the severe weather conditions that occurred in what was one of Arkansas coldest winters and direst summers, while many simply succumbed to hunger or disease. Infectious diseases like cholera, dysentery, measles, and smallpox were rife and it is unknown how many thousands died along the way and it is believed that many of these bodies were buried on the trail along the way.
There are also several museums in the Centerton area dedicated to its history where you can find out more about the heritage of the Native Americans in the area and discover all about the town and its early settlers as well as learning more about its involvement in the Civil War and its development into the 20th and 21st centuries.