Sunday, November 2, 2014

Take a Trip to The Battle of Natchitoches

Today the South rose again in the fictional battle of Natchitoches.

The little city of  Natchitoches, Louisiana celebrates its 300th birthday this year and as a result there has been something exciting happening in the area all year long;  this weekend there was a Civil War reenactment in which Confederate and Union forces fought it out on Front Street.

There never was an actual battle for Natchitoches, although of course there were many Civil War skirmishes in the area and there were well known battles at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill roughly 35 miles away.  Grand Ecore was important, too.  There was plenty of Civil War activity around these parts, but never any actual "Battle of Natchitoches."

But today, there was a Battle of Natchitoches!

We got there about 10:30 this morning and the encampments were waking up, finishing off breakfast, and setting up shops and displays.

Steve got a t-shirt.

We walked around and looked at the camps.

And listened to a fellow playing an accordion by the river.

There was a blacksmith there making cool items for sale:

Around noon the Confederate troops marched down Church Street from the riverfront and gathered outside the Immaculate Conception church on 2nd Street where they received a blessing of their standard from the priest.

The ladies followed behind their men:

And then the blessing... front of Lasyone's, where they make the best meat pies in the world.


Then the Confederate troops headed to their bivouac area while the Union troops gathered by the Cane River.   I loved the period costumes the ladies wore...

...but they were all in character with the ladies shouting "Get those Yankees!  Get 'em, boys!"

The boys in gray plotted the battle plan...

...and the Union forces got their final instructions...

The tents sat empty.

Finally the Union forces made it up to Front Street...

...and the Confederate troops began marching up the side streets toward Front Street.

The ladies waited on the sidelines...

and the battle began.

It was fun as a spectator.  These guys were looking around the corner waiting for the Confederate troops to make a move; one guy looked over at us and asked, "Are they coming yet?"  Steve shouted, "Why would we tell you?  We're on their side!"  They laughed -- everyone was having fun.

Soon the air was filled with smoke as the two sides fought it out:

It wasn't long before we had a man down...

(But he got up later, saying "I feel much better, guys!" and rejoined the battle).

I got a kick out of the photographers trying to get a good shot of the "dead man."

He got right on down there with him...

Men were "down" on both sides.

And the battle raged on.

This went on for probably 30 or 45 minutes I guess.  Maybe longer.  There was a lot of firing and the smell of cordite hung in the air.


Finally the Confederate troops captured the Union army's regimental flag... Steve said, right there in front of the Japanese sushi bar on Front street!

And with much cheering, the battle was done.

The ladies were happy:

Then the armies gathered up their "fallen" and off they went.

The troops returned to their "camps"...

...And we went to find some lunch.

It was my first reenactment so I really didn't know what to expect; I loved it!  It was just good fun on a gorgeous fall afternoon.

Many, many groups from all over the country took place in this reenactment.  I was impressed with their authenticity, their good humor, their willingness to share their knowledge and talk history with anyone who wanted to visit.   Families and kids were all involved in it together; kids were shoveling dirt over campfires as the adults broke camp and loaded up to hit the road.

It was a fun day!

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

1 comment:

Renee said...

My guy is on the Confederate side and I was unable to attend (due to school, I really did enjoy your pictures from The Battle of Natchitoches and did come across one that my guy is in. Thank you for the post!