Fort Davidson State Historic Site
Fort Davidson State Historic Site preserves Fort Davidson and the Pilot Knob battlefield where so many Confederate and Union soldiers lost their lives. A visitor center interprets the battle and Maj. Gen. Price’s raid. It features exhibits, a research library, an audiovisual presentation and a fiber optics diorama of the battle. Nearby, a playground and picnic area make Fort Davidson State Historic Site an ideal place to get away with the family. Today, the Arcadia Valley in Iron County is a peaceful setting in one of Missouri’s most scenic areas. But in 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.
Confederate Maj. Gen. Sterling Price invaded Missouri from Arkansas, leading an army of 12,000 men. On Sept. 26-27, 1864, while en route to the St. Louis area, Price attacked the weakly defended Union post of Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob.
This proved to be a mistake. Fort Davidson was defended by a garrison of 1,450 men led by Gen. Thomas Ewing Jr., the brother-in-law of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. The Confederates lost nearly 1,000 men in attacking the small earthen fort and its 11 cannons.
P.O. Box 509
Pilot Knob, MO 63663