Dordt College News

Experience Civil War battlefield tactics and strategy

January 28, 2013

Experience history through the eyes of those who fought and strategized in the Civil War battles. Dordt College is sponsoring a Civil War Staff Ride May 15 to 18 in the Springfield, Missouri, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, area.

Dordt History Professor Paul Fessler will lead the group on an experience that goes far beyond a simple tour. A staff ride involves participation in the unfolding of history, where each person is assigned to play a role of an original battle participant. Fessler has led this tour with students in the past, and this opportunity is now available for Civil War buffs of any age.

Participants will learn about those who fought and will discover how political, social, and religious factors shaped the military outcome. The battles of Wilson’s Creek and Pea Ridge are the focus of the trip. These early battles were significant in deciding the outcome of both the Western Theatre and the war as a whole, and they offered tactical and strategic lessons that both sides would need for future battles. Important themes will emerge about leadership, decision-making, and responsibility that extend to other battles and beyond.

The tour will begin and end in Springfield, Missouri. The four-day, three-night adventure costs $550 for single occupancy and $425 for a double occupancy stay. This price includes lodging accommodations (including a two-night stay at the historic Manor House in Eureka Springs), meals, bus transportation, and a battlefield guidebook.

To learn more, view the itinerary, or register for the trip, visit or contact event coordinator Dianne De Wit at (712) 722-6029 or Space is limited.

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