Arcadia Valley Region and Black River Recreation area are rich
in Missouri Civil War History. The towns of Pilot Knob,
Ironton and Arcadia were of strategic importance as the southern
terminus of the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Railroad.
Union soldiers occupied Pilot Knob, the Arcadia Valley region
and Black River area throughout the war. Fort Davidson,
the target of the Battle of Pilot Knob
in 1864, 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 1,300 soldiers dead, missing or wounded. The fort
and site are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
To read much more
about the Battle of Pilot Knob and other interesting Missouri
Civil War information regarding our region, please click here.
Davidson State Historic Site
serves as a memorial to those who gave their lives on the battlefield
and 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 towns of
Arcadia, Ironton and Pilot Knob, 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 State Historic Site.
a virtual tour and information about Missouri's Fort Davidson
State Historic site, click here.
Full-scale reenactments of the Battle of Pilot Knob are staged,
attracting tens of thousands of spectators to the Valley.
Be sure to make your plans now to attend the next reenactment September
22-24, 2017. Make your lodging
Iron County Courthouse, built in 1861, still bears the mark
of a cannon ball fired on its roof during the battle. Both the
courthouse and a gazebo on the lawn are listed in the National
Register of Historic Places. In 1861 Ulysses S. Grant received
his commission as a Brigadier General at Ironton and a monument
at the nearby Catholic church marks that location.