Cleburne's Division of Re-enactors will take on the 1400-acre Brice's Crossroads Battlefield 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. General William Tecumseh Sherman's plan was to destroy the Confederate army by dissecting the south and occupying Atlanta, GA. while keeping Forrest away from his supply lines.
Fought June 10, 1864, Brice’s Crossroads resulted in a decisive victory for Forrest, however, General 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.
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.
“Living history demonstrations are a great way for Tupelo to celebrate its heritage,” said Linda Johnson, executive director of the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are thrilled with the authenticity of this re-enactment.”
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 St. in Baldwyn, Miss. Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.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 held at 8 p.m. in downtown Azalea Court with a period band and light refreshments.
Spectator parking is available at the crossroads on Highway 833 across from the Bethany A.R.P. 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 a complete schedule of events, please contact Edwina Carpenter at 662-365-3969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Tupelo’s festival season, please call 800-533-0611 or go to www.tupelo.net.
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