Civil War re-enactment to take place in Jefferson this weekend
JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - War is coming to Jefferson. Well, a re-enactment, anyway. People from several states have come to take part in the Battle of the Big Cypress Bayou, and re-enactors’ feelings about the history of the Civil War run deep.
There never was a Civil War battle in Marion County, but there have been quite a few re-enactments there over the years. For the first time, Jim McIntosh supervises the setup for the Battle of the Big Cypress.
“One organization wasn’t able to get everything together for a myriad of reasons. And so we talked to a number of the B&B owners, and their thing was, ‘Look, we’ve already got people booked.’ So I spoke with the re-enactment group. They were still willing to come. Well I said let’s put this thing on,” McIntosh said.
He said that was about two months ago, and today they came.
Melissa Hanna, known as Patrick when doing battle, said she traveled from Dallas to Jim’s property in Jefferson because of a love of history.
“My first, really, brush with the Civil War era was visiting the Custer House at Fort Riley, Kansas when I was a child,” Hanna said.
She says the era means a lot to her and that she has a good understanding of the way people feel about the Civil War since she’s lived in the north and the south. And she wants the Civil War monuments around the country to stay.
“These monuments are monuments to the men who never made it home. Those are their gravestones because they are probably buried in a mass grave in Vicksburg, in Gettysburg, Antietam. They never made it home. Their families don’t know where they’re at. They never will know where they’re at,” Hanna said.
“Our history is what our history is, and we embrace it. And we also hope to learn from it. That, in these times that we’re at today where we’ve become really tribal, this is an opportunity to say, ‘Look, this is what happens if we really can’t figure it out between each other,’” McIntosh said.
They both feel it’s more than playing war.
“We see an opportunity to bring people together under what could be viewed as a controversial history. I like to say that the weight of history is too heavy to hang on the shoulders of one man,” McIntosh said.
Melissa said many of the re-enactors have uniforms from the north and the south and are prepared to be on either side to even out the numbers.
Jim just hopes the public shows up to give it a shot.
Former Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, Lt. Colonel Allen West will be a special guest of the Battle of Big Cypress Bayou at eight Friday evening at the first re-enactment. There are three more re-enactments scheduled over the weekend, including a street skirmish in the downtown area.
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