Battle of Reed’s Bridge Reenactment Highlights Civil War Era Lifestyle and Battlefield Preservation Efforts

Booming cannons, cracks of gunfire and soldiers charging Jacksonville’s historic civil war battlefield will provide a realistic experience for visitors during the Battle of Reed’s Bridge Reenactment on September 11 and 12, 2010. The battlefield site, located on Highway 161 south, has undergone nearly two years of restoration work to make it look as it would have nearly one hundred and fifty years ago. The Battle of Reed’s Bridge occurred on August 27, 1863, when Union soldiers advancing towards Little Rock clashed with Confederates.

The soldiers will take to the battlefield at 2 p.m. each day to bring this important battle to life.  The weekend also provides an opportunity to explore the camp and battlefield and learn from reenactors what it was like to live as a Civil War solider. Demonstrations of military drills and musket training will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Examples of everyday life, such as cooking and crafts, will also be happening throughout the weekend. Other special events on Saturday include a Civil War era wedding at 4:30 p.m. and a dance at 7 p.m.

“The reenactment is a great opportunity to gain a sense of Arkansas’ Civil War history, and the battlefield has undergone many dramatic changes,” said DannaKay Duggar, Director of the Jacksonville Museum of Military History. “I’m excited for the community to come out and experience Reed’s Bridge in a new way.”

The first phase of battlefield restoration began in early 2009 and consisted of clearing undergrowth and trees. A new information stand, two Civil War era cannons and a walking trail have since been added. The most noticeable change is the small 19th century homestead nearing completion, consisting of a barn, family cabin and a kitchen cabin and garden. The Reed’s Bridge battlefield is on the National Historic Register and is considered to be the most well preserved Civil War site in Arkansas.

The battlefield will be open on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission and parking are both free. For more information contact Ann Hooper at 501-819-0485 or DannaKay Duggar at the Jacksonville Museum of Military History at 501-241-1943.

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