Wilson’s Creek commemorates an important civil war battle fought between troops led by Confederate General Benjamin McCulloch and Union General Nathaniel Lyon. Located just southwest of Springfield, Missouri, it preserves the battlefield and includes a visitor’s center and an auto- tour loop that takes tourists to the major points along the battlefield.
Wilson’s Creek is much like other National Battlefield sites in most ways. Tourists will likely start off at the Visitor’s Center where they can view a short, educational film about the battle, view some exhibits, visit the library, and buy a few souvenirs in the gift shop. When I visited with the family, we spent some time in the book store and viewing other things, plus devoted a substantial amount of time to the library where we attempted to look up ancestors who may have fought in this battle.
This battlefield is great for students of history and especially for Civil War buffs. I found it nice, but not necessarily anything amazing. I have been to other battlefields where I felt a greater sense of awe and inspiration. I didn’t get that feeling at Wilson’s Creek, even though I agree fully that the site does its best to educate visitors about the battle and its outcome.
National Battlefields are a nice deviation from the usual tourist sites, but unless you’re a serious fan of Civil War history, serve in the military, or have some other interests or affiliation that would make this site appealing, you may find little to peak your interest at Wilson’s Creek. It’s an okay place, but some may find it less than exciting.
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