Tuesday, Jul 4, 2006
With people coming from as far away as California, 15 descendants of Corporal William A. Austin, Company K, 9th Iowa Volunteer Infantry returned to Northwest Arkansas to present the park with the Model 1851 Colt revolver that Austin carried in the Battle of Pea Ridge. Accepting the pistol for the park was Superintendent John C. Scott.
The pistol, which is in near mint condition, and had been passed from son to grandson to great grandson and is now part of the parkâs museum collection. The last owner of the pistol, William Steller, William Austinâs Great-Grandson, , thought that Pea Ridge National Military Park would be the best place for the weapon and would help honor his great grandfather and all those who fought in the 9th Iowa.
The 9th Iowa was heavily engaged in fighting around the Elkhorn Tavern on March 7, 1862 and had more casualties then any other unit engaged in the battle. Corporal Austin was among the wounded and because of his wounds, he was discharged from the army in the fall of 1862. He went of to father 13 children and died in 1922.
Superintendent Scott upon accepting the gift expressed the gratitude of the National Park Service and the nation, on this our 230th Birthday, for the thoughtfulness of the family in presenting this pistol that helps to tell the story of Pea Ridge to the park.