Cannons and cavalry rolled in for a chance to relive a piece of Northwest Arkansas history.
"It's cold, real cold," says Patrick Emde while splitting wood for a fire. Emde doesn't mind the weather though, the Civil War reenactor says it adds realism.
"We like to experience what they experienced back then, the cold, the rain, the snow," he says.
Event organizer Steve Bailey agrees.
"During the battle, just like yesterday we had about an inch of snow, they walked from Van Buren to here in the snow," Bailey says. "We had no trouble remembering what they went through... We did it a few hours and it was pretty rough."
On March 6, 1862 more than 26,000 troops began a two day fight for control of Missouri and North Arkansas.
"As a result of that battle, Missouri was saved for the union, and the headwaters of the Mississippi were secured," Bailey says. "We're taking pages out of the history book and we're living them."
He says the weather will likely hurt attendance, but he still expects thousands to show up for the 150th anniversary.
"Our fair weather friends probably won't be out," he says. "(But ) The sesquicentennial... is getting people out in droves. We've never had crowds like we're getting now, or more enthusiasm or interest."
Emde hopes plenty of people will brave the cold, for a chance to feel the past.
"This is whenever it really comes alive," he says. "You can actually feel it. You get there out on the battlefield, and you know, you're cold, you're freezing and you feel that gun barrel get real hot. You don't want to touch it, but it's real hot, and it's comforting sometimes."
The first battle kicked off Friday. Reenactors will battle at 10 am and 2 pm Saturday, and at 1:30 pm Sunday. For more information and directions, visit this site.