Record number of students to visit Battle of Selma

Published 8:13pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday shows a 40 percent chance of rain with some scattered thunderstorms on Sunday — the day of the Battle of Selma reenactment. However, Dr. Jack Burns, chairman of the Battle of Selma Committee for the 1865 Society, said the battle will continue on despite any weather that may come their way.

“We will pursue in the rain,” Burns said. “I have been at these things in hail, lightning and I honestly can’t remember too many reenactments that had pretty weather.”

Burns assured that re-enactors, like him, are tough enough to handle all types of weather — but there is one thing they will cancel for.

In April 2011 when tornados ripped through the entire state Burns said he and other committee members reviewed the radar at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. The events scheduled for this weekend starting with the school days on Thursday and continuing to the final Battle of Selma reenactment Sunday, will be rescheduled if there is a threat of a tornado.

But as of Wednesday, committee members were out in full force in the battlefield putting up tents for re-enactors, setting up areas for sutlers and many people were already starting to arrive for the big event. Organizers will stay on site until after dark to prepare for the school children to arrive at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

“This will be the biggest school days we have had since Battle of Selma Re-enactments started in 1987,” Burns said about the 1,200 to 1,300 students who are scheduled to descend on the battlefield between Thursday and Friday.

There will be ten stations for the students to travel to. Burns said students would get to watch blacksmiths make objects, women sew period dresses and a baker make a loaf of bread as they would have during the Civil War.

There is even a medical tent complete with a dummy that lets the students watch a demonstration of leg amputation during battle. In addition they will get to see cannons fired and learn about the artillery, cavalry and infantry that made up the Battle of Selma and other Civil War battles.

Schools will come from north and south parts of the state, coming as far as Mobile. Students from Morgan Academy, Meadowview Christian School, Valley Grande Elementary and Martin Middle School are just several of the local schools that will be in attendance.

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