By Dennis Seid
BALDWYN – The Battle of Brice’s Crossroads and the Battle of Harrisburg/Tupelo were the final battlegrounds in Mississippi during the Civil War, and the area will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the battles next summer.
Several travel and Civil War writers and bloggers from across the country wrap up a two-day tour of the area today to find out more about the sesquicentennial celebration.
“We wanted to have people help us explain, interpret and promote what we’re doing and our celebration,” said Edwina Carpenter, curator/director of the Mississippi’s Final Stands Visitor’s and Interpretive Center and battlefields.
The Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau is sponsoring the media familiarization tour, taking the group to various sites related to the battles that were part of the Union’s Atlanta campaign.
The Final Stands celebration will be June 13-15, highlighted by a re-enactment on the 1,500-acre Brice’s Crossroads battlefield.
“I’d like to see 10,000 people,” said Bill Cooper, who portrayed Confederate infantryman William Witherspoon on Tuesday, describing the core area of fighting to the writers.
An Arkansas native, Cooper now lives in New Albany but travels around the country to be part of Civil War re-enactments.
“I’ve been doing this since 1968,” he said.
Next year’s three-day celebration will feature a children’s day, a Civil War ball and several educational components.
A “town” will be set up to represent the era, with visitors able to see how life was like during the Civil War.
For more information about the Mississippi’s Final Stands sesquicentennial celebration, visit the website at www.finalstands.com, or contact Carpenter at (662) 365-3969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.