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civil war

Civil War Veteran Burial

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield staff and volunteers will be participating in the internment of a Major Raphael Guido Rombauer on Saturday April 11, at Park Cemetery in Carthage, Missouri. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with graveside service at 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

“If you have a love of history, especially the Civil War, you need to attend this ceremony, or at least pause at 1:30 p.m., to give honor to this father, husband, and Civil War Soldier, who will finally be laid to rest on Saturday”, according to Supt Hillmer. He continued, “This may be the last Civil War soldier buried in your lifetime.”

A native of Austria-Hungary, Rombauer immigrated to St. Louis, Missouri in the late 1840s. With tensions rising in the spring of 1861, he enlisted in Company A, 1st Missouri Infantry. A ninety-day unit, Rombauer was discharged before that unit’s participation at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. Rombauer subsequently enlisted in an Illinois artillery unit and ended the war with the rank of major. Following the war, he settled in the Carthage area and became involved in coal mining and railroads. He eventually lived in Kirksville where he died in 1912 at the age of 75. His remains were sent to St. Louis for cremation, where they remained unclaimed for 102 years. His remains were brought to the attention of Elizabeth Young, his great granddaughter who claimed them. Rombauer will be interned in his family’s plot at Park Cemetery with full honors.

“A number of organizations have working together over the past few months to ensure that Major Rombauer’s remains are finally interned with dignity”, remarked Chief Park Ranger John Sutton. “The Carthage Community Band will provide music, the Holmes’ Brigade, a federal Civil War reenactment unit, will escort the remains. The Sons of Union Veterans and the Daughters of Union Veterans, the U.S. Army and the staff of Park Cemetery will all have a role. The National Park Service has been requested to fire an artillery salute, representing his artillery service during the Civil War.” Major Rombauer will be interned almost 150 years to the day after the surrender of Confederate forces at Appomattox, Virginia which essentially ended the Civil War.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Anniversary Program

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield will observe the 153rd Anniversary of the Battle of Wilson’s Creek over the weekend of August 9 and 10, 2014, with a variety of programs and activities.

On Sunday, August 10, at 2:00 p.m., at the Visitor Center, the anniversary program will start with a presentation of colors, recognition of guests, and a special presentation by the battlefield’s Foundation. “The main speaker,” according to Superintendent Hillmer, “will be author James W. Erwin.  He will talk about his books and the importance of preserving these special places and educating the next generation about their important history.”

“Come and enjoy this special presentation by a Missouri author,” says Superintendent Hillmer.  Refreshments will be served and entrance fees for August 9 &10 will be waived.

Artillery and infantry small arms firing demonstrations are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, at tour road stop 5.  Volunteers will be depicting the Missouri State Guard, pro-Southern state militia that fought at Wilson’s Creek.  “The purpose of these programs is to relate to visitors the soldier’s combat experience during the battle,” remarked Chief Park Ranger John Sutton.  A special sunset artillery salute will take place at 8:15 p.m. at tour road stop 5 to honor the soldiers who were killed during the battle of Wilson’s Creek.

Guided tours of Bloody Hill will be offered at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.  Visitors should meet at the Bloody Hill parking area for the tour, which should last about an hour.  An exhibit on Civil War prisoners and full scale prints of the new exhibits will be available for viewing at the visitor’s center.

Daughters Donate to Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Mary Whitney Phelps Tent (Chapter) No. 22 Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865, of Springfield, Missouri, recently donated funds to purchase rare prints that will supplement the collection of trans-Mississippi Theatre items that Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield has within their collection.

Daughters of the Union Veterans

“Wilson’s Creek is very grateful to the members of the Mary Whitney Phelps tent No. 22 for donating these funds to purchase items within this unique history of the Civil War”, said Superintendent Hillmer, who is pictured along with Doris Jones, President, and Fran Black, Treasurer, of the Daughters of Union Veterans Mary Whitney Phelps Tent No. 22.

Mary Whitney Phelps Tent No. 22, the local chapter of the national Daughters of Union Veterans organization, was formed in 1999. The Daughters of Union Veterans are direct descendants of Veterans of the Union Army of the American Civil War, 1881-1865. They work to preserve our personal ancestral history and assist others to do the same. Abraham Lincoln stated, “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from this earth.”

Volunteer

Volunteer Program Meeting & Orientation

On Saturday, March 8, 2014 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 2014 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 by a park staff member or one of the current volunteers at Wilsons’s Creek NB to provide an opportunity for the public to learn first-hand about the various volunteer positions. 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 rich cultural history.”  A registration table will be available to pick up the necessary forms and information.

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 volunteer opportunities for FY 2014 will be discussed in further detail during the fair.

10th Annual Memorial Luminary Driving Tour

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield presents the 10th Annual Memorial Illumination Ceremony, featuring over 2,539 luminaries, representing those killed, wounded, or missing at the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, August 10, 1861.  Admission is FREE!

WHEN:  Saturday, December 14, 2013.

WHERE: Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Republic, Missouri.  Directions: Travel west on the James River Freeway (Hwy 60) to exit Hwy M.  Go south on M for about ¾ mile to Wilson’s Creek Blvd. (Hwy ZZ).  Turn south on Wilson’s Creek Blvd., go one mile to Farm Rd 182.  Then, turn east on Farm Rd 182 and the first right is the entrance to the park.

 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

4:30 pm   Opening Ceremony at the Visitor’s Center

5:00 pm   Volunteer Procession through Illumination

5:15 pm   Memorial Illumination Tour Opens to Public

Over 2,000 people expected to tour Illumination from 5:15 pm to 9:30 pm

 EVENT DETAILS:  Over one hundred volunteers, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Foundation members, Ozark Civil War Roundtable members, and other community organizations will participate in this event, assembling the luminaries and distributing them along the five-mile tour road through the park.

 A luminary is a paper bag filled with sand and a lighted candle. A special candle will be utilized this year to honor our park volunteers.

 Living history volunteers, carolers, and re-enactors at the Ray House will bring the past to life.  Visitors are encouraged to tour the Ray House and learn about the hardships faced by local families during the Civil War.  Music, refreshments, and information will be provided at the visitor center.

 Vehicles will use parking lights only for the five-mile driving tour through the National Battlefield, with stops at the Visitor Center and the Ray House. There are no restrooms along the tour route.

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.

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.

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