Near Garfield in Benton County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
Lifeline for Two Armies
Pea Ridge National Military Park
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
Elkhorn Tavern overlooks a highway of vital importance for Arkansas and Missouri during the Civil War. Union and Confederate leaders both wanted this 20-foot-wide dirt road to move men and supplies. Alongside the road ran 3-year-old telegraph wires, the latest way to send information and fast.
In the week before battle broke out here, both armies had hurriedly marched southward past this crossroads and tavern. The night before the shooting started, Union troops from Missouri set up a small rearguard outpost here. The soldiers had stockpiled food in the barn and tavern. Provost guards watched a handful of captured Confederates nearby.
A Road with Many Names
First built in the 1820s as a military road to link St. Louis, Missouri to Fort Smith, Arkansas, this highway served as the northern route of the Trail of Tears during the Indian removals in 1837 to 1839. It was known as the Butterfield Overland Stage Route from 1858 to 1861. Civil War troops called it the Wire Road or the Telegraph Road.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical Roads & Vehicles • War, US Civil.
Location. 36° 27.202′ N, 94° 0.949′ W. Marker is near Garfield, Arkansas, in Benton County. Marker is on Military Park Road (County Road 65), on the left when traveling south. Located at stop eight, Elkhorn Tavern, on the driving tour of Pea Ridge National Military Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Garfield AR 72732, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pea Ridge and the Trail of Tears (within shouting distance of this marker); Vulnerable in Victory (within shouting distance of this marker); Disastrous Retreat (within shouting distance of this marker); Elkhorn Tavern Taken (within shouting distance of this marker); Remembrance and Reunion (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Butterfield Overland Mail Route (about 300 feet away); Pea Ridge (about 300 feet away); Reunited Soldiery Monument (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Garfield.
Also see . . . Pea Ridge National Military Park. (Submitted on September 12, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 939 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 12, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on September 13, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.