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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 www.nps.gov/wicr.

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.

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.


Volunteer Recruitment Fair

On Saturday, March 9, 2013 Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is hosting a Volunteer Recruitment Fair from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The day’s activities will begin with a short video introducing the NPS Volunteer in Parks (VIP) program followed by a thirty-minute presentation to address some of the specific volunteer needs for the 2013 spring and summer season. Anyone interested in volunteering at the battlefield is encouraged to attend.  Volunteers should be at least sixteen years of age to participate in activities.   Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are not required for the meeting.

After the 9:00 a.m. presentation, visitors and prospective volunteers will have the opportunity to stop by several volunteer exhibition tables set up throughout the visitor center. Each station will be hosted a park staff member or one of the current volunteers at Wilsons’s Creek NB and provide opportunity for the public to learn first-hand about the various volunteer positions. In addition to answering questions the volunteers will also share personal in-sight as well as some of their own experiences with the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield volunteer program.

According to Superintendent Ted Hillmer, “The programs presented, at the park, are strongly supported by volunteers.  Come and be a part of preserving our nation’s history.”  A registration table will be staffed where new or ‘prospective’ volunteers can stop by for additional information and pick up or fill out the appropriate paperwork.

There is an immediate need for volunteers to assist during the busy spring school season (April/May) with providing educational tours of the historic Ray House as well short programs on Civil War medicine and other Civil War topics. These and other 2013 opportunities to volunteer will be discussed in further detail during the fair.

Wilson's Creek National Battlefield Ray House

Fall Into Wilson’s Creek History

The oranges and reds of autumn are on display during these warm days and cool nights at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.  Visitors who explore the interconnected trails will be rewarded with cooler weather and pockets of deciduous trees, which change to rich reds, orange, and yellow in the fall.  You can bring history alive as you visit the battlefield and experience the environment that has been preserved for all America. Whether your mode of transportation is walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding, and/or how the majority of our over 200,000 visitors enjoy the park, driving in your favorite vehicle, you will not be disappointed as you experience the battlefield as the soldiers did on that morning of August 10, 1861.

The battlefield has several key interpretive media and artifacts to assist you in creating a memorable experience for your visit:  the finest Trans-Mississippi River collection of artifacts in the United States, an electric map that describes battle tactics, the largest Civil War library in the National Park Service system, a great Visitor Center to assist you with your visit, the friendliest Park Rangers, a 26 minute film, and a 5-mile tour road with eight wayside stops to explain what occurred on that warm and humid morning of August 10, 1861.  Recently, a cell phone tour was added to our tour road.  You can use your cell phone to access our self-guided driving tour.  Just stop by the Visitor Center to obtain the access number.

Whether you drive or walk, your visit to the park will be filled with the spectacular autumn colors. One can almost hear the soldiers wake from their shelters, prepare the morning coffee as they look around the camp sites with the morning fog laying low to the ground with the sun streaming through the trees.  Come out to the battlefield to learn about the history of this special place located in the greater Springfield area.

Moonlight Tour

Moonlight Tour At The Battlefield

The tour will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, between 7:00 p.m. and
10:00 p.m.  Tickets are $6.00 and proceeds are used to cover the cost of
the program.  The remaining tickets are available on a first-come,
first-served basis and are available at the visitor center.  The visitor
center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

In order to prepare for the Moonlight Tour, the battlefield’s tour road
will be closed to ALL entry by vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians at 5 p.m.
the day of the event.

Tours  of  35  persons  will  begin at 7:00 p.m. and will continue every 15
minutes  until  10:00 p.m.  The length of the tour is one and a half hours.
All  those taking the tour are requested to report to the visitor center at
least  30  minutes  before  their  scheduled  tour.   Visitors will then be
transported  via  busses from the visitor center to and from the tour site.
In addition, those taking the tour should be prepared to walk approximately
½  mile on terrain that is grassy and sometimes uneven.

Wheelchairs and strollers are not recommended and the use of flashlights or
illuminated photography/video-taping during the tour is also prohibited.

The Foundation will be serving dessert and coffee from 6:30 to 9 during the Moonlight Tour.   Please come by and learn more about what we do!

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