Tour Stop

Artillery Duel Interpretive SignDirections: The artillery pieces and interpretive sign marking the location of the battery [ Waypoint = N36 27.414 W94 00.805 ] are located about 500 yards north of Elkhorn Tavern on the Wire Road. Continue walking north along the Wire Road for about 300 yards and you will come upon the battery [ Waypoint = N36 27.414 W94 00.805 ] and its associated interpretive sign [ Waypoint = N36 27.409 W94 00.809 ].

“Artillery Duel” Interpretive Sign text reads as follows:

“'For about two hours, we stood in the tempest of death...three of our ammunition chests were blown up, and several men burned...I believe every man at the guns had made up his mind to die there, for it did not seem possible for any of us to get out alive.' – Samuel Black, Lieutenant 1st Iowa Artillery”

“Smoke filled this hollow as six Union cannon positioned here slugged it out with 21 Confederate guns on the high ground a few hundred yards ahead. Colonel Carr later reported that a 'perfect storm' of shot, shell, splinters, and rocks showered down on his hard-pressed Iowa gunners.”

“Eugene Carr was 28 years old when he fought here. Years later he received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valor at Pea Ridge, one of four men so honored. A West Pointer, he survived the war and served 28 more years in the frontier Army on the Great Plains.”

1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery On Narrow Ridge South of Elkhorn TavernDescription: You are standing near the location where Union Colonel Eugene Carr deployed the 1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery Battery commanded by Captain Junius A. Jones. Union General Eugene CarrThe enemy would be approaching up the Wire Road from the north. Carr had to prevent the Southerners from advancing past this point. Look to the west and you can see Tanyard Ravine as the high ground drops off. Look to the east and you can see the Middle Ravine as the high ground drops off.

Carr had decided to move forward instead of waiting for the Confederate attack. But the Southerners were deploying a 21-gun battery to the northeast that would have devastating effects on the Federal battery. Carr positioned the 1st Iowa Artillery Battery here on the high ground overlooking the Tanyard Ravine and Williams Hollow. But the battery was in an exposed position because Carr could not spare any infantry to protect the battery.

Captain Junius A. Jones wrote in his official report:

“Upon arriving, at the Elkhorn Tavern, by order of Colonel Carr, commanding division, I sent Lieutenant Gambell, with the left section, some 200 yards farther north, on the Springfield [Wire] road, to take position against the rebels. [We were] actively engaged, the rebel guns having [us] in perfect range of grape, shell, and shrapnel. The fire of the rebels was galling in the extreme. Just as I delivered my second round Reese Parkhurst, acting as No. 3, was killed, a cannon-ball taking off his left leg and a piece of rock striking him in his head... one of my caissons was exploded by a shot from the rebels, and another was lost to me by a runaway team...By this time the rebels fire began to tell on my men. Kirk W. Henry was disabled by a piece of shell striking him in the mouth; Sergt. II. R. Horr was severely hurt by a spent round shot striking him in the groin; W. F. Conner was slightly wounded in the hand; D. J. Duvall was struck over the eye with a piece of shell, disabling him for a time; Thomas Brown was injured by a piece of shell, wounding him in the right side; I. B. Nelson was wounded in the right hand and back; Clark Woodmansee was wounded in the right shoulder by a grazing ball; Samuel Black was wounded slightly in the ankle by a grazing solid shot; James Molesworth was disabled by a spent round shot striking him in the hip, and John Easton, detailed from Company , Fourth Iowa, was wounded in the right arm slightly by a grape shot. After these casualties the limber of a second caisson was exploded by the rebels, burning severely E. Skivinki, the driver of the wheel team. About this time Lieutenant Gambell was disabled by a grape shot passing through his left leg above the knee and between the bone and tendons. My ammunition becoming exhausted, I began to fire retiring. The second piece had nearly reached the road when I was hit by a spent round shot below the groin on the left leg, which compelled me to retire from the field, being unable to sit on my horse. When I left the scene of action the last piece was in the act of retiring. We were keeping up the fire.”

1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery Looking East Toward Middle Ravine1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery Looking East Toward Middle Ravine

1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery Looking East Toward Middle RavineLooking West From Middle Ravine Up Toward 1st Independent Battery, Iowa Light Artillery

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