Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site

118 E Maple Street, Pilot Knob, MO 63663 - United States



Free Everyday

Today, the Arcadia Valley in Iron County is a peaceful setting in one of Missouri’s most scenic areas. But in September 1864, the valley was the scene of one of the largest and most hard-fought battles waged on the state’s soil—the Battle of Pilot Knob. During the battle, Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price led an army of 8,000 men against the Union post of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob. Battle of Pilot Knob State Historic Site preserves Fort Davidson and the battlefield where so many Confederate and Union soldiers lost their lives. The earthworks of Fort Davidson are still in place and open to tour. A visitor center and museum interprets the conflict with exhibits, audiovisual presentations and a fiber optics diorama of the battle. The site’s playground, picnic area and hiking trail provide relaxing ways to spend the afternoon.


The visitor center features displays, exhibits and audiovisual presentations that showcase the development of Arcadia Valley, Missouri in the Civil War and Gen. Price’s raid into Missouri in 1864. A fiber optic diorama and a model of the key battlefield structure interpret the Battle of Pilot Knob itself. Artifacts help tell the story. Among the Civil War artifacts are Gen. Ewing’s field sword and the sword used by Capt. Pinckney Power, a Union soldier in the southern pit during the battle. Visitors will also see restorations and reproductions of Civil War-era rifles, infantry gear, cannons and other items that tell the story of the Battle of Pilot Knob. Part five of the site's six-part rotating exhibit series "Why This Valley" will be featured, highlighting artifacts and items that interpret the reasons why people came to the Arcadia Valley to live settle, work and fight. A major portion of this exhibit will be original Native American artifacts from the valley. In addition to exhibits, the visitor center offers one of the largest research libraries, complete with microfilm capabilities, for information on Civil War military actions west of the Mississippi.

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