Civil War re-enactors take part in the 2012 Battle of Selma, held last April at Riverside Park. Organizers for the annual event are putting the finishing touches on the 2013 event that will once again be held in late April. The event draws hundreds of participants and thousands of visitors each year. -- file photo

Battle of Selma set for late April

Published 10:52pm Friday, January 18, 2013

After the announcement of a leadership change in the Battle of Selma Re-enactment Committee, a new face stepped in to lead the annual show. Leadership founder James H. Hammonds retired from the position in June of 2012 and Dr. Jack Burns, a local physician and board member for the committee, took over.

In an interview with the Times-Journal following Burns’ position, he said his main goal was to grow and expand the Battle of Selma and so far he has lived up to that pledge.

“Last year I think our total numbers for re-enactors was about 580,” Burns said. “So far this year we are on up into the 800’s, so hopefully we will really get it to grow this year.”

Burns said he and other members of the Selma Re-enactment Committee have traveled to two state meetings. One was in Ashville, Ala. and the other was in Chattanooga for the Clayburn division meeting.

“At each of those we gave a little talk about the Battle of Selma and invited people to come down,” Burns said. “I think it would be a boom for people coming from out of the area bringing money into town and increasing our finances — so that’s always good for any area.”

He said the dates are set for the battle school days, the weekdays in which schools from all over the state travel to learn about Civil War history.

“In the state of Alabama in the third and fourth grade they are studying Alabama history and we have them from as far as Mobile, Prattville, Shelby, Alabaster and of course most of the local schools come,” he said, noting that school days will be on Thursday, April 25 and Friday, April 26. “So far we have had about 30 schools register and that is better than last year.”

The battle scrimmage will be held on April 27 and the actual main event, the Battle of Selma will be held on Sunday, April 28. Burns said this year participants can expect old fashioned kettle popcorn and a lemonade stand at the event, a time-old battle tradition.

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