Haunting Pea Ridge Battlefield


Pea Ridge Battlefield in the mountains of Arkansas is a place haunted and hallowed by both the Civil War battle that took place there in March of 1861 and the Trail of Tears the path of suffering that eastern nations of Native Americans walked when forcibly removed from their lands east of the Mississippi which crosses through the park. It seems especially so if you visit when their is a veil of mist and rain cloaking the woods and fields. When touring the park put aside politics and sides and put yourself in the place of the men, Americans on both sides, who displayed the courage and devotion that we would use to form a nation and save Europe from tyrants in the two world wars. Put yourself in the place of men, boys really who for most of them were farther away from home and family  than they had ever been before. Marching through steep, wooded, tangled, dark mountains. Imagine the temperature is well below freezing there is a blizzard blowing. The Confederate army to speed movement allowed their soldiers only arms ammunition and one blanket. There sit the boys and soldiers far from home, cold, hungry, worn out from marching to a place where awaits another group of boy soldiers just as hungry cold and lonely who will be doing their best to kill them the next day. It will be a chaotic messy confusion of a battle where 26000 men will come together in a fight that will 3000 wounded or dead. 2 Confederate leaders will be killed increasing the confusion caused by muskets firing, dense terrain limiting vision and movement, cannons roaring, rebel yells, and Indian war cries. The rebels had a brigade of tribal warriors from the Indian Territory of Oklahoma.

SONY DSC

Elkhorn Tavern–a lot of history the elk antlers mounted on the roof  that gave the hotel its name are long gone. It served as a way station on the trail of tears march. Indicative of the confusion of the civil war battle is that the tavern served as hospital and headquarters for both Confederate and Union armies during the battle.

SONY DSC

Example of the dense woods the armies marched through and fought in. Look close and you can  see two little white tail deer grazing peacefully.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Some confederate troops took shelter in the rocks. They found out they had made a terrible mistake when artillery opened up and exploding shells and rock shards took a terrible toll.

Below are rows of cannons that show different artillery positions through the battlefield. Imagine braves on ponies, and lines of young men lining up in neat rows to charge directly into the dreadful and deadly fire coming from the cannons or from hundreds of muskets firing at less than a hundred yards at you and trying to capture those guns.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

This little rutted depression is a part of the Trail of Tears taken by so many eastern Native Americans after being forced from their lands. The whole sad treatment and broken promises of our government toward Native Americans peoples past and present should be a source of national shame.

SONY DSC

One of my favorite signs to see driving: Let the adventure begin!

SONY DSC

Ozark Mountain Lake where I campe

SONY DSC

Ozark Mountain Scene

SONY DSC

Picnic spot for lunch

 

Morning Hike-Warriors Path State Park


Warriors Path is named for the great Native American Highway that ran from the northeast to the deep south and connected to the Wilderness Road carved by Daniel Boone and his axemen through to the Cumberland Gap.

DSCN0340DSCN0327 DSCN0328 DSCN0329 DSCN0331 DSCN0332 DSCN0333 DSCN0334 DSCN0335 DSCN0336 DSCN0337 DSCN0338 DSCN0339  DSCN0342

Flowers in the Mountains


DSCN0158 DSCN0161 DSCN0233 DSCN0146 DSCN0148 DSCN0152 DSCN0154

I have lived a lot of places and I think spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains is amazing. Redbuds and Dogwoods in early spring giving way to wild roses and honeysuckle growing on every country fence that leave the air perfumed in late spring into early summer. Crepe Myrtle, tulip trees and magnolias and every imaginable shade of little wildflowers everywhere.

Lament of the Grandfathers–Vision of Native Elders


13653306_1008502322603120_2808178534974195013_o

In the smoke, in the smoke,

I see them come.

In the smoke of cedar and sage, I see them draw near.

They come from each direction

each from their place

They come they form a circle,

they form a sacred circle.

There are many that come,

they come from all directions

they come from all Peoples

they are many, they are one.

It is with one voice they speak,

It is with one voice they cry out.

They are angry and they are sad,

they weep for their hearts are sad.

They bring their rattles, their drums,

they have their pipes the sacred pipes of the People

they have their lances, their tomahawks their bows.

They beat the ground with them, they are angry.

I see them they are many,

they are many but they are one

they form a circle and dance,

they dance in the sacred circle.

I see many I don’t know and many I know

I see Tecumsheh, Dragging Canoe, Cochise,

There is the Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull.

Geronimo, Sequoyah, Joseph, Red Cloud,

I see them together in a circle.

I see Roman Nose, Wildcat, Osceola, they have all come.

I see Hiawatha, Cornplanter, I see them they have come,

they have come to the council from north east south and west.

I see many, I hear them speak,

they speak in many tongues but with one voice

with one voice they cry out their questions.

They ask many questions of the Peoples.

Why do you not hear our voices?

Why do you not seek our wisdom?

We have much to say to you!

We have much to teach you!

We must make them hear us!

We must make them call on us!

Who will teach them? Who will make them hear?

They are forgetting us, forgetting the sacred way!

They are going down wrong paths,

they are going to bad places,

they live in strange lands.

We must call to them, we must call them back.

We will call on our power to lead them,

we will call on our vision to teach them,

we will strike them with the bow to warn them,

we will share our vision to make them strong again.

Let us dance. Let us dance.

Let us sing now we will call our power.

We will share it we will share our vision,

we will turn them from dark ways.

I see them dance in the vision,

I see them dance I hear their voices,

I see a great cloud, a great cloud of dust.

I see it through the smoke of cedar and sage.

There are many animals coming

they raise dust like clouds

they come with their power

they come and form a circle to dance.

Beaver is there and deer comes

I see dragon fly and bright kwis kwis

I see buffalo and bear and turtle.

Raven is there with coyote.

I see them all I see all kinds

there is fox otter and cougar

Eagle is there and wolf all animals have come

they dance  they dance in a circle.

I am worried for the animals,

They look weak, they are afraid.

They are angry their faces are sad

they do not understand.

They cry out, they cry out to the Peoples the tribes.

So few seek us, so few come to us.

Where are they? Why do they not seek us?

Our power is here to help them!

They do not seek us we will fade away.

The Grandfathers call out,

they call to the elders,

they call to the leaders,

they call to the warriors,

they call to the young men and women.

Why do you not seek us?

Why do you not seek our vision?

Why do you not seek our power?

What is wrong are you sick?

They do not seek our visions, no!

They want to use bad medicines to see strange dreams.

These are strange dreams they poison you do not use them.

They say no no let us alone let sleep through life.

They have lost their way, they have lost their home.

They must not say of their land, it is not our place not our home.

They must say here we will stand here is our home our land,

We will make it grow, we will make it strong. We will be proud.

Listen to us, listen to our voices.

From many People come our voices

Our voices sound as one. We have come together.

Together our voices go strong again.

The People say we have no hope, no future, our voices our to weak to small.

You must listen to us, listen to what we say. We will teach you. We will bring you together,

we will make many small voices into a great voice a great noise to shake the heavens.

You must come together you must unite the Peoples.

You must not say they are not of our tribe, we do not know them, they are enemies, or their ways are strange.

You must unite together You must share your vision, your power, your voices.

You must turn back your hearts to the way,

You must come back to the sacred way.

You must remove the bad strange ways from your hearts your homes.

You must return to the ways, the sacred ways of the people.

You must seek the vision and power of your people,

See us now speak to you a voice with many faces but one message

You must not seek visions of power and greed of strange people.

Return to the sacred power of the People.

Get rid of the bad ones among you.

Strike them with the bow to warn them.

Say your heart is bad, your way is wrong, you make our people sick.

If they will not come back to the way then say to them

We will not listen to you, we will not speak of you, we will not hear you.

You will not sit at our council or eat at lodge we do not know you.

Do not live the easy way, but be strong have courage.

Call the warriors for a new fight.

Not a fight of lance and bow of axe and knife

It is a fight of heart and mind a sacred fight for the soul of a people.

You must be strong the tribes must unite.

You must call a great council.

A council of all peoples.

A sacred council such as never has been done.

You will find a vision for the People, a sacred path.

With your new voice your new council your new power

you will meet the strangers with a new power

you will make your terms known you will make them listen

you will tell them what must be done.

A vision, a new vision in the smoke of cedar and sage.

Many lodges their were a great village,

It is filled from east to west from north to south.

It is filled with the People, all the People they have come together.

All manner of lodges I see, lodges of wood, of earth, of skins. The lodges of all the Peoples.

They are set up in the great circle.

They are set up in a sacred circle.

It is a great village you cannot walk around it it is too far.

In the center I saw it.

A lodge, a sacred lodge.

All the grandfathers were there.

They are mounted on horses.

The animals all the animals are there.

Come inside they cried out.

Come and take council together.

Do not wait, do not delay,

think of the people at home who depend on you.

Let the drummers make music!

Let the dancers come forward!

Let the flutes play, bring out the singers, shake the rattles.

Bring forth the medicine, the pipes, the sacred pipes.

Come into the lodge sit together and smoke.

Let us talk and share council.

We will teach you our vision the sacred vision.

We will give you power the sacred power.

When they said this the horses neighed.

They neighed and their voices were loud and ground shook with it.

The sacred earth trembled with their power.

All the animals cried out and begin to dance.

They cried out with joy, “They will seek us again and we will give them power.”

The villages will grow, the nations will be strong again!

They will become one voice, a might voice for their Peoples.

All others will know the People have risen again. The Peoples have found their voice,

they have found their vision, they have found their power.

Others will say, we must listen to the Peoples.

We must respect them. We were mistaken they are not a nation of children, they are

a nation of warriors a nation of power a nation with vision.

The grandfathers cried one last thing:

Do not forget us, do not fail to hear us.

If you do it will be a long time til we come again.

Come brothers hear us. Without vision the People perish,

Without power they fade away, without a voice they are not heard.

We will teach you

We will teach you

We will teach you the sacred way.