Confederates win Saturday skirmish

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 25, 2004

The sun beat down upon Union and Confederate soldiers alike on Saturday afternoon. Spectators filled bleachers and stood near a barrier separating them from the Battle of Selma re-enactment as the sounds of gunfire popped across the battlefield.

Lewis Underwood of Montgomery was one of hundreds watching the battle. Underwood arrived late on Saturday, but said he might return on Sunday. &uot;I’m just interested in history, in the Civil War,&uot; Underwood said. &uot;I’d heard about it and wanted to see it.&uot;

Underwood said he believed the re-enactment held importance because of its historic value. &uot;It shows what happened during the war to a certain extent,&uot; Underwood added. &uot;Just to be a part of it, I could probably do it.&uot;

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Re-enacting is filled with emotion because it portrays one of the bloodiest times during American history, Underwood said. Dillon Gully and Thomas Fuller are two re-enactors who can attest to that.

According to Gully, a private with the Confederates, the emotion swelled as Union soldiers broke his army’s defense wall. Gully and Fuller, a captain with the 56th Alabama cavalry, served as couriers of information during the skirmish. When Union soldiers broke through their defenses, though, they were forced to charge to the wall’s defense.

Fuller said that if a battle was smooth and spontaneous, re-enactors got something akin to a runner’s high. &uot;It’s like you’re there,&uot; Fuller said. &uot;It’s a good thing you don’t have live ammunition.&uot;

Melody Swan of Columbus, Ga., came to Selma with her husband, who is with the Seventh Tennessee cavalry. &uot;It was good,&uot; Swan said. &uot;Very good. It’s about history. You need to know what your roots are.&uot;

John Findley of Opelika came to watch the battle with a Boy Scout troop. Findley said the skirmish was one of the better re-enactments he had seen. &uot;This seemed to have more realism to it,&uot; Findley said. &uot;The layout of the battle seemed more real.&uot;