Our Region of Missouri is steeped in civil war history. Fort Davidson State Historic Site serves as a memorial to those who gave their lives in the Battle of Pilot Knob in 1864. The Visitor's Center provides detailed information about the battle through the use of artifacts, a diorama, and film. Additionally, a self-guided driving tour around the Arcadia Valley directs visitors to some of the most significant points on the battlefields. Each stop is marked by a red granite monument. Maps for this tour are available at Fort Davidson and online here.
Because of its strategic importance as the southern terminus of the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad, Union soldiers occupied Pilot Knob and the Arcadia Valley throughout the war. Fort Davidson, the target of the Battle of Pilot Knob, is a hexagonal earthwork constructed by the Union Army and stands 300 yards from the base of Pilot Knob Mountain. The assault on Fort Davidson by Confederate troops left 1,500 soldiers dead or wounded. The fort and site are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The civil war era in Iron and Reynolds Counties presented tumultuous times for early settlers, and in many cases pit brother against brother and fathers against sons. Many notable historic landmarks and the remains of early settlements are also present in Reynolds County including Fort Barnesville, in Deer Run State Forest near Ellington. Fort Barnesville was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.
To read much more about the civil war in our region and the Battle of Pilot Knob and to learn about the many civil war sites to visit while you're here, please visit www.missouricivilwar.net. Make your reservations at Log Cabin Inn soon for the 150th anniversary Battle of Pilot Knob reenactment in September.