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Sequoyah Research Center

William Reddick

Cherokee Removal contingents that crossed the Mississippi near Cape Girardeau, Missouri, ultimately traveled by way of Springfield and then southwest toward Fayetteville, Arkansas, on what was called the Missouri Road. Cannon’s, Taylor’s, and Hildebrand’s contingents were the first to reach this point. The first stop for Cherokee removal parties on the road south of the Missouri line was in Section 36 of Township 21 North, Range 29 West, presently within the bounds of the Pea Ridge Military Park, then on William Reddick’s farm. Reddick (1784-1852) was a Tennesseean who had migrated to Arkansas by way of Indiana and Illinois, settling on Sugar Creek apparently in the early 1830s, as did his son-in-law Samuel Burks, a native of Illinois. Reddick built Elkhorn Tavern, the establishment which has dominated the Pea Ridge battle site’s history, but did so after removal, for as late as 1842 his residence was described as a log cabin, though some early descriptions suggest that it was a two-story log structure.

Source:, ged, Entry 757, retrieved November 7, 2001; History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian County, Arkansas (Chicago: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889),. 20, 92, 132; John W. Bond, “The History of Elkhorn Tavern,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, 21 (Spring 1962), 3-4.

William Reddick’s property was a regular subsistence depot and camping point for the groups that took the State Road. The contract for subsistence, made with Lewis Ross on August 10, 1838, required that the rations and forage “be delivered at such points as may be required.” Many of those points, like Reddick’s, had been established by the Cannon party so that by the time the last contingents went over the well used route, gleaning additional subsistence from the local landscape became less possible. A ration consisted of 1) one pound of fresh beef or pork, in lieu of which the contractor could substitute ¾ pound of salt pork or bacon; 2) three half pints of corn meal or one pound of wheat flour, in lieu of which the contractor could substitute three half pints of corn; 3) four pounds of coffee, eight pounds of brown sugar, and four quarts of salt for every one hundred rations; 4) three pounds of hand soap for every one hundred rations. For each horse, ox, and mule, the ration was one peck of corn or twelve quarts of oats and eight pounds of hay or fodder.

Source: Articles of Agreement between Ross et al., and Lewis Ross, August 10, 1838, The Papers of Chief John Ross, Gary E. Moulton, ed. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984), I: 657.

Updated 9.22.2010