REPUBLIC, Mo. — The Battle of Wilson’s Creek was fought more than 160 years ago and on Veterans Day, the national park is hosting its 19th annual Memorial Luminary Tour.

The event commemorates the 2,539 soldiers who fell during the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River.

Alicea Powell, the chief interpreter for Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, said she’s excited to see locals come out to the tour and learn about the history of the battle and honor those who lost their lives.

“We want to make sure folks know about this place and whether they want to come out and learn individually, walking through our exhibits or going through the battlefield and reading the signs. This is a way for folks who want something more guided,” said Powell. 

Visitors will board a bus that will take them to three locations around the park and listen to stories about soldiers who laid down their lives.

There will also be opportunities for you to get off the bus to see over 2,500 luminaries, representing all those who died in the Battle of Wilson’s Creek. 

The tour will last about an hour and Powell tells KOLR 10 she hopes this event creates a deeper connection for visitors as they make their way around the park. 

“Both to visually see the lights that represent the people who fell during the battle as well as hearing those perspectives and giving people the opportunity to learn about what happened here and to get people thinking about our history and continuing thinking about how it affects us today, ” said Powell.

With the event beginning at 5:40 p.m., Powell wants to remind visitors to dress for the weather and to call the Visitors Center if they need to cancel their reservation since there are no open spots remaining.