Ozarks Public Television (OPT) will premiere a locally produced documentary on the history and highlights of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
“The Past and the Park – Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield” will air on OPT at 8 p.m. Nov. 30 and 6 p.m. Dec. 3.
Significance of battlefield
Wilson’s Creek is historically significant as the site of the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi, and the second major battle of the Civil War. A Confederate victory, the Aug. 10, 1861, battle was also the site of Nathaniel Lyon’s death, the first Union general killed in the war.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Park was established in 1960 to preserve the land and history.
“All the people we interviewed or talked with about this project called it ‘A hidden jewel of the Ozarks,’” said Jason Ferber, producer, writer and editor. “We hope this documentary can shine some light on that hidden jewel and let people experience what the battlefield has to offer.”
Today the battlefield is a national park administrated by the National Park Service. It features a wide variety of historic, natural and recreational opportunities for visitors.
“It’s truly a remarkable experience to visit this national park, one of those special occasions where history seems to come evocatively alive,” said OPT Programming and Production Manager Tom Carter.
See Wilson’s Creek in the past and present
Archival and current images and video show the park as it was and as it appears now. First-person perspectives help tell the story of the origin of the park and the early grassroots efforts to preserve this hallowed ground. Scholars add additional historic context.
“We hope viewers will enjoy learning about the history of Wilson’s Creek and the many opportunities the park provides for education activities and exploring nature,” said OPT General Manager Tammy Wiley. “OPT is dedicated to telling the stories of the people and places of the Ozarks—and we are so grateful to the individuals and businesses that help us fulfill that mission.”
The program is presented as part of OPT’s commitment to local productions that document, present and preserve significant aspects of regional Ozarks history. The program is made possible through the participation of many individuals and area archives, and the financial support of project funders.