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Park Day Clean Up

Battlefield Reopened

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield has re-opened to visitors today.  Visitors can access public areas and roads immediately while facilities and other public services are brought back online.  The battlefield has been closed since October 1, 2013, due to the lapse in Congressional appropriations.

This weekend, on Saturday, October 19, the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation is hosting the first 8K Bloody Hill Run/Walk, starting at 7:30 a.m.

Tour Road hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. until October 26, 2013.  Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the battlefield being open 7 days a week.  An entry permit of $5.00 per adult or $10.00 per family is required for all persons using the battlefield including walkers, joggers and bicyclists.  Entering or remaining in the battlefield during other than the posted times is not permitted. Additional information can be found on the internet at\wicr.

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Foot Bridge

Battlefield’s Fall Hours Announced

Fall hours of operation for Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield were announced today.  Tour Road hours will change to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. effective Tuesday, September 3, 2013.  Visitor Center hours will remain at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

An entry permit of $5.00 per adult or $10.00 per family is required for all persons using the battlefield including walkers, joggers and bicyclists.  Entering or remaining in the battlefield during other than the posted times is not permitted. Additional information can be found on the internet at\wicr.

Free Admission on August 25th

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be joining other national park sites around the country on Sunday, August 25, 2013 in celebrating the founding of the National Park Service with a fee-free day.  Established on August 25, 1916, The National Park Service cares for over 400 national park areas which preserve our nation’s natural, historical and cultural heritage.

“This is a great time to come and explore your local national park.  The National Park Service provides these special places, which are preserved for citizens and international travelers, to enjoy”, according to Supt Ted Hillmer.

The fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tour of use of concessions.  Interagency Senior and Annual Passes are available for those who wish to purchase them.

For additional information, please call the park visitor center at 417-732-2662, extension 227 or visit the battlefield’s website at

Moonlight Tour Tickets

Tickets for the battlefield’s popular “Moonlight Tour” will go on sale Saturday, August 10, 2013. The tour will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013 between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.  Tickets are $7.00 per person and proceeds are used to cover the cost of the program. The annual Moonlight Tour is a night time guided tour featuring four historic vignettes. Each scene will represent events from 1863 that had local and/or national significance. The various roles will be portrayed by park staff and local living history volunteers. As in previous years, each vignette is presented in a “ghosted” format meaning there is no direct interaction between the visitors and scene participants.  This year’s tour will incorporate several scenes and will represent events associated with the Civil War in 1863—150 years ago.

Tickets may be obtained in person at the battlefield visitor center or by mail (for a limited time).  The mailing address is:

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
6424 W. FR 182, Republic, MO 65738
attention:  “Moonlight Tour.


Please make checks payable to:  “Eastern National.”  Mailed ticket requests must be received by Friday, September 6, 2013 in order to be processed and returned via USPS mail service prior to the tour. Tours of 35 persons will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will continue every 15 minutes until 10:00 p.m.

All visitors will be transported, via buses, from the visitor center to & from the Ray House.  In addition, those taking the tour should be prepared to walk a total of ½ mile and dress appropriately.  Due to the terrain strollers will not be allowed.  No flash photography is allowed.

2013 Anniversary Programs

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will observing the 152nd Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek over the weekend of August 10 and 11, 2013, with a variety of programs and activities.

On Saturday, August 10, at 10 a.m., at Tour Stop 5, the anniversary program will begin with music and a presentation of land purchased by the Civil War Trust and WICR Foundation.  “This acquisition of land is the continuation of preserving the past for future generations”, according to Superintendent Hillmer.  “Come and enjoy this special presentation.”  Refreshments will be provided.

Visitors attending the anniversary program are encouraged to arrive early, due to the additional time necessary to drive from the visitor center to Tour Stop 5.  Entrance fees for August 10 will be waived.

Living history programs will be presented at Tour Stop 5 depicting the various Southern troops that fought at the battle of Wilson’s Creek.  “Generals McCulloch and Price forged a coalition army consisting of Confederate troops from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, Arkansas state forces and the Missouri State Guard in order to oppose General Lyon’s federal troops”, remarked Chief Park Ranger John Sutton.  “The purpose of these programs is to relate the soldier’s combat experience during the battle to the visitor.”

Artillery and infantry small arms demonstrations will take place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the hour.  A special night artillery firing program will take place on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Tour Stop 5 to conclude the day’s observances.

Artillery Demonstrations

Artillery in the Civil War will be the theme of living history programs hosted at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield on Saturday July 6, 2013.  Come experience your local National battlefield and learn about the history of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek!

Firing demonstrations are scheduled hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at tour stop 5.  During the demonstrations, visitors will be able to learn about the role of artillery at the battle, see cannon drill and experience a Civil War cannon being fired.   Additional artillery demonstrations are scheduled on July 22 and the weekend of August 10 and 11.

Ray House Jamboree 2013

The Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation’s annual music jamboree at the historic Ray House will take place on Saturday, June 1, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come out and enjoy the view from the hilltop while you listen to local groups playing a variety of Civil War and old time Ozarks tunes on the Ray House porch.

Schedule of Performers

Time Artist Description
11am The Back Porch Players The Stickley family performs Civil War and traditional music
12pm Rowan’s Crossing Jennifer and James Bennett play and sing traditional Irish and Civil War tunes
1pm Playground Old time music with Gail Morrissey on hammer dulcimer
2pm Ripplin’ Creek Traditional Ozark music with Bill and Ann Riggs, Bill Wood, Mike Latshaw, Fred Keil and Dennis McBride
3pm Ozark Mountain Dulcimers Dennis Norwood

Bring your lawn chairs and plan to stay a while. The Foundation will be serving period refreshments, Janet Caudillo will be doing hand spinning demonstrations, and the Ray House will be open for visitors. The event is free with regular battlefield admission of $5 per person or $10 for a carload. For more information, call the Foundation office at 417-864-3041.

Free Admission During National Park Week

The National Park Service invites everyone to get to know their national parks during National Park Week by waiving entrance fees during April 22-26, 2013, so visitors can enjoy all 401 national park areas.  Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will waive the usual $5.00 per individual or $10.00 per vehicle entrance fee for the entire period of time.  This year’s theme is “Did you know…” provides a way to discover the wonders of America’s national parks.   Did you know that the Battle of Wilson’s Creek:

  • …was the first battle of the Civil War west of the Mississippi River.
  • …resulted in the death of the General Nathaniel Lyon, the first Union general to be killed during the Civil War.
  • …saw the Ray House used as a hospital for treating wounded following the battle.
  • …involved soldiers from Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, Iowa and Missouri.
  • …was called “Oak Hills” by the Confederates.

Also, Saturday, April 27, is National Junior Ranger Day, with special programs offered for the younger visitors.  We encourage you to bring your children out to earn their very own Junior Ranger badge!  The park’s regular fees will apply that day.

Junior Ranger Day at the Battlefield

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, the National Park Service and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be celebrating National Junior Ranger Day.    Designed for children ages 4 yrs to 12 yrs old, the Junior Ranger program, at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, introduces our young visitors to the various resources and the many stories and events associated with the Civil War in SW Missouri.  According to Supt. Hillmer, “Make your plans now to attend this family event designed to educate our youth about the Battle of Wilson’s Creek”.

During this special Junior Ranger Day event, the staff and volunteers at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be providing different presentations on civilian and military life during the civil war as well as providing tours at the Ray House.  Activities will be available continuously between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.  Children who complete the activity book will receive an official “Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield” Junior Ranger badge, and certificate.  The regular entrance fee will apply:  $5.00 per individual or $10.00 per vehicle.

The National Park Service is dedicated to conserving, unimpaired, the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Junior Ranger photo is provided courtesy of the National Park Service.

Park Day Clean Up

Park Day Clean Up 2013

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will be holding its twelfth annual “Park Day” clean-up event in partnership with the Civil War Trust on Saturday, April 6, 2013.  Work will consist of cleaning and landscaping the areas around the picnic area, the visitor center, the park’s cemeteries and the Ray House.  A highway clean up along State Route ZZ is planned provided enough volunteers are present.

“Park Day is a great time to be part of Wilson’s Creek NB in making the park a better place to visit”, says Superintendent Hillmer, “Come and enjoy the outdoors and make the battlefield a special place in the greater Springfield area.”

Volunteers are asked to meet at the Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Volunteers should wear appropriate outdoor work clothing, work shoes or boots, and to bring work gloves, hat and sunscreen.  Work will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until about 3 p.m., depending on the project.  Persons wishing to volunteer for Park Day should call Park Ranger David Hutson at 417-732-2662, extension 385 to pre-register.

Park Day is an annual event sponsored by the Civil War Trust and the History Channel.  The day is an opportunity for local communities to improve the quality of Civil War battlefield areas in their area.  Volunteers will receive a t-shirt courtesy of the History Channel for their participation.

The Civil War Trust is America’s largest non-profit organization devoted to preservation of our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefield lands.  The Trust also promotes educational programs and heritage tourism initiatives to inform the public about the war and the fundamental conflicts that sparked it.

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