Glimpse the Civil War on Saturday

Published on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 23:25 - Written by Kelly Gooch, kgooch@tylerpaper.com

A living history event this weekend will give the public an inside look into what things were like during the Civil War.

The event, which takes place together with the Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Camp Ford Historic Park, located northeast of Tyler along U.S. Highway 271, according to a news release. Camp Ford started as a training camp, and “became the largest Confederate Prisoner of War Camp west of the Mississippi,” the news release states.

Johnnie Holley, Texas Division Commander, Sons of Confederate Veterans, said Saturday’s event features a living history show about the time period of the War Between the States.

He said there will be a couple of cannons and various re-enactors.

“Re-enactors from throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana will come together with the Captain James P. Douglas Camp, the Emma Sansom Chapter, TSOCR (Texas Society Order of Confederate Rose) and the Douglas Texas Battery to relive the history of Camp Ford,” according to a news release.

A medical display also is planned, Holley said, as well as an artifacts table with some weapons, such as pistols, knives, swords and guns.

Additionally, he said, clothes and toys from the time period will be on display.

About 2 p.m., a shooting scrimmage will be re-enacted.

“It won’t be many. We’ll have maybe seven or eight (soldiers) on each side. It’s just something to let the people see what it’s like,” Holley said.

On that day, he said, the same people will have their muskets, and will show their weapons and accouterments. He said they will show children how the weapons are loaded and allow them to shoot some blanks.

A cannon also will go off every hour on the hour, and attendees will be able to see the loading drill, Holley said.

About 3:30 p.m., a flag retirement ceremony is planned for Texas or Confederate flags.

Holley said people can also bring U.S. flags to the event that they want retired. He said the U.S. flags will be turned over to the Sons of the American Revolution Tyler Chapter, which does an annual retirement ceremony for U.S. flags.

He said the Smith County Historical Society will have a display and booth at the event, as will other groups, such as Sons of Confederate Veterans, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Texas Society Order of Confederate Rose and Sons of the American Revolution.

Among the other event features are a period blacksmith and flag presentations, according to a news release.

“This event will be enjoyable and educational for both children and adults,” a news release states.

Admission to the Living History Event is free. Donations are welcome.

For more information about the event, contact Holley at 903-725-6774 or Jlh63@flash.net.