Brice’s Crossroads to host 145th anniversary re-enactment
Five thousand re-enactors. 1,500 hoop skirts. 400 horses. 35 cannons.
All will be under the same June sun on the same open battlefield where Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest and Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis met 145 years ago.
This June 12-14, Cleburne’s Division of re-enactors take on the 1400-acre Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield west of Baldwyn to present two full-scale scripted battles with historically authentic scenarios. On Saturday, June 13 at 2 p.m., they will re-enact the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads as it actually happened and on Sunday, June 14 at 2 p.m. they will play out the Battle of Tupelo on the battlefield property.
Both battles were part of the Federal’s Atlanta Campaign. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s plan was to destroy the Confederate army by dissecting the south and occupying Atlanta while keeping Forrest away from his supply lines.
Fought June 10, 1864, Brice’s Crossroads resulted in a decisive victory for Gen. Forrest, however, Gen. A.J. Smith succeeded in beating back Forrest’s charges in the July 14, 1864, Battle of Harrisburg.
Cleburne’s Division of Civil War re-enactors, hosts of the event, promotes education and authenticity through the hobby. They have participated in re-enactments across the country with recent successful appearances at the 145th Anniversary Gettysburg and Chickamauga events in 2008.
Cleburne’s contacted officials at Brice’s Crossroads with an interest in hosting a national event with thousands of participants to commemorate the battle’s 145th anniversary. The event will also provide family entertainment and education as well as awareness of our local history.
In addition to realistic battles, an activities tent will host a variety of presentations from sewing and music in the Civil War to maneuvers used in the battle. Spectators will witness the Grand Ball on Saturday night as the battles take second stage to an authentic social event. On Sunday morning, period church services including a dedication and memorial to the soldiers will be held in the activity tent.
“Engineering, medical, and military demonstrations will be set up for spectators and programs will run all day on the hour in the Activity Tent,” said Edwina Carpenter, curator of the center and event organizer.
For children ages 8-13, the weekend starts early with a Civil War Discovery Day at the Brice’s Crossroads’ Battlefield. Children will meet on Friday morning beginning at 10 a.m. at the center. Buses will transport the children to the battlefield where soldiers, dressed in period attire will greet them.
Participants will be invited to visit stations or camps to learn about different aspects of life as a Civil War soldier including music, uniforms, weapons and food. The day wraps up at 1 p.m. when they will be treated to a tasting of camp-fire prepared food before returning to the visitors center at 2 p.m.
Parents and the public are invited and encouraged to attend. The $5 registration fee includes lunch. Registration can be done at www.bricescrossroads.com with Paypal or at the center located at 607 Grisham Street, Baldwyn Tuesday-Saturday, 9 .m.-5 p.m.
Also on Friday at 7:30 p.m., cavalry and infantry will parade the Main Street in Baldwyn with a presentation of Colors, drum corps and troops in full attire.
A reception honoring the Officers and parade participants will be at 8 p.m. in downtown Azelea Court with a period band and light refreshments.
Spectator parking is available at the crossroads on Highway 833 across from the Bethany ARP Church for a charge of $5 per car, per day. Shuttle buses will transport spectators to the battlefield site from the visitors center at 607 Grisham Street all day on Saturday and Sunday. Buses will run every 30 minutes to and from the field for $2 per person.
For more information about this event, please contact Edwina Carpenter at 662-365-3969 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, June 11
Registration for Reenactors begins at 8 a.m.
Friday, June 12
10:00 Children ages 8-13, register for Discovery Day at Visitors Center
10:30 Shuttle to battlefield-visit camps, demonstrations and music
12:30 campfire meal for discovery day participants
1:45 return to museum by shuttle bus, Discovery Day ends
7:30 p.m. Parade of Troops downtown Baldwyn
Drum corps, presentation of Colors, Cavalry
Stores will be open late, view Civil War art in buildings
8:15 p.m. reception, Period music prefomed by amp”Time Wasamp”
at Azalea Court –Public Invited
Saturday, June 13
Camps open 10-1 and 3-6
9-10 -Civil War Cavalry Competition, mounted and dismounted, at field behind log cabin
Program Schedule for Activity Tent
9-10 C. W. Music Pat Arinder
10 -11 a.m. Ladies Tea and sewing demonstration: Lisa Hamby and Pat Burkhead
11-12 a.m. – Brent Lokey ‘Able Streight Raid’
12-1 Battle of Brice’s Crossroads- David Wilson
2 p.m. *Battle of Brice’s Crossroads reenactment*
3:30-4:30 Chickasaw Chief Tishomingo and his home near Bethany
4:30-5:30 – Roger Hansen -confederate graves
8 p.m. Grand Ball with period music provided by ‘Time Was’ Public Invited
Sunday, June 14
Camps open 11:30-1
Schedule at Activity Tent
10:30-11:30 Period Church Service
11:30-12:30 Battle of Tupelo- Pete Christopher
12:30-1:30 Brent Lokey ” Forrest at Johnsonville”
2 p.m. Battle of Tupelo