Wilson's Creek Battlefield

We spent our Labor Day weekend hanging out with friends who were gracious enough to put us up for the night and agreed to be dragged out into the heat all in the name of education.

Wilson's Creek Battlefield is one of a few places in Missouri where kids can earn a Jr. Ranger badge. It also happens to be the site of a Civil War Battle. The first Union General was killed here.

We started off by watching a 30-minute documentary which was well done. Then we grabbed the Jr. Ranger books and toured the museum, which was also well done. Lots of info and neat artifacts.

After being informed that the Ray House tour guide was running late, we decided to drive into Springfield for lunch. Our friends suggested we eat at the Bass Pro Shop. The food was wonderful and the store itself was incredible! The boys just oohed and aahed. We viewed the gun museum and browsed the camping section and then braved the heat again.

Upon entering the park, we drove straight to the Ray House. There was just a bit of a walk up a gravel path and around a bend.

[caption id="attachment_2229" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Ray House Ray House[/caption]


The house was built in the 1850s and was considered very nice for it's time. It was furnished throughout with some items being original to the house.

[caption id="attachment_2230" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Front Row Seat Front Row Seat[/caption]

The battle could be seen from the front porch and at one point a cannonball flew over the house and decimated a chicken coop.

[caption id="attachment_2235" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Front porch visitor Front porch visitor[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2231" align="aligncenter" width="300"]The bed is original to the house. The bed is original to the house.[/caption]

Gen. Lyon's body was accidentally left behind by the Union troops. It was brought here to the house and laid in this bed.

[caption id="attachment_2232" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Simple Abundance Simple Abundance[/caption]

For the weeks and months following the war, the Ray House served as a hospital for wounded soldiers. The soldiers ate everything and the battle destroyed many crops. The corpses contaminated the water supply and the Rays lost their daughter in the year following the battle.

[caption id="attachment_2233" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Spring House Spring House[/caption]

The spring house was located just a short walk from the house. Of course, it probably did not feel short when carrying a bucket or two of water.

[caption id="attachment_2234" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Passionflower Passionflower[/caption]

These passionflowers grew along the path down to the Spring House.

There were a few other stops along the road. It was really hot out so we didn't get out again. Really, there wasn't much else to see. I'm so grateful that the Ray House was open and that the museum was so well done because I would have felt terrible driving all that way otherwise.

At the end of the day, we stopped back at the museum so the boys could present their finished books to the ranger. She swore them in and presented them with badges, patches, and trading cards.

[caption id="attachment_2236" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Another badge! Another badge![/caption]

The boys had begged for a souvenir all day, but we decided against it. There was definitely some neat things there, but nothing that they really needed. We headed out. Our friends asked us if it would be okay if they bought the Jr. Ranger badges for the boys and we agreed. It was a really sweet thought and the boys were so thrilled and grateful. When they outgrow them we can pin all of the badges on and put it all in a shadow box and it'll be a great keepsake for them.

Before we knew it we were back on the road. We didn't make it home until well after 10, but we'd had such a good time that it was worth it!


Popular Posts