Thousands of Civil War re-enactors have come to Lee County to honor the 145th anniversaries of two battles.
The Battle of Brice’s Crossroads was June 10, 1864, and it was re-enacted on Saturday. The Battle of Tupelo, which was originally fought June 14-15, 1864, will be re-enacted at 2 p.m. today at the Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield Commission off Highway 370, west of Baldwyn.
Edwina Carpenter, curator of the Brice’s Crossroads Visitor’s Center, has immersed herself in Lee County Civil War history. She recently spoke with Sunday Journal’s M. Scott Morris about the past and the future.
Q:What is the historical significance of the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads?
A: Brice’s Crossroads is hallowed ground where many Americans fought and died, consecrating the ground for all who visit. The site of one of the great military battles, the blood of resolute and courageous soldiers was shed here.
Civil War re-enactors dedicate time and effort to preserve and interpret history, and this ground marks an event important in our heritage.
Q:How much effort has gone into preparing for the anniversaries?
A: Thousands of re-enactors have made special efforts to participate in this National Western event to commemorate the 145th anniversary of the battles. Many months of planning and preparation are necessary to produce an event where spectators experience history and participants enjoy a successful opportunity to enjoy their hobby.
Participants from 36 states, representing both Confederate and Union troops, will join volunteers and staff to educate, entertain and enlighten the public this weekend.
Q:What are future plans for the visitor’s center?
A:Through a $1.5 million grant, the Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield Commission will expand the Brice’s Crossroads Visitor’s Center, adding a wing to interpret the Battle of Tupelo.
In addition to preservation and interpretation of the Tupelo battlefield and additional property at Brice’s Crossroads, this grant will enhance the local sites as heritage tourism destinations, allowing us to share in the heritage tourism dollars generated in other communities like Corinth, Okolona and Iuka.
NEMS Daily Journal