Friday, August 16, 2013

Annual Event Commemorates Decatur's Role in the Civil War

Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment returns to Point Mallard Park August 31-September 1.

More than 200 Civil War reenactors will take over Point Mallard Park Labor Day weekend, transforming the 500-acre municipal park into a weekend encampment complete with mock battles. Hosted by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Company G “Wheelers Escort”, the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment commemorates the four day battle which took place in October 1864, telling the story of Decatur’s small, but significant role in the War Between the States. Set for August 31-September 1, the annual event is sponsored by the City of Decatur, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Morgan County Commission and Camp 580 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division.  

The weekend event includes Civil War relic displays and a Civil War camp with displays of authentic equipment, dress, and drills. Camps open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. with maneuvers and battles taking place at 2 p.m. The Union troops will win the day during one battle reenactment while the Confederates will capture the contested ground during the next day’s skirmish.  

Other activities include drill and firing of mid-19th century muskets mounted cavalry patrols and a living history of daily camp life where spectators are encouraged to visit with soldiers and can purchase Civil War related items. The public is invited to a Ladies’ Tea at 10 a.m. and the Military Ball at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a Church Service at 10 a.m. on Sunday. All events are held at The Chapel in Point Mallard Park.

The historical reenactment is held in honor of General Joe Wheeler and Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan, who both resided in North Alabama at some point during their military careers. The City of Decatur was an important transportation site for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War due to the Memphis and Charleston’s railroad bridge crossing the Tennessee River. During the 1864 battle at Decatur, Confederate General Hood attempted to break Union supply lines at the crucial railroad crossing at Decatur. He was not successful and had to cross the river at Florence. Decatur’s involvement in this campaign and the fierce four day battle caused General Hood to refer to the city as “a hard nut to crack.”  

The two-day event is held at Point Mallard Park and admission is free. For more information on the Battle for Decatur reenactment, call Larry Thomson, SCV Camp 580 Adjutant, at 256.520.2906.

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