Battle of Selma roars

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 26, 2004

The 17th Annual Battle of Selma ended Sunday like the others before it.

With cheers, handshakes and thanks as the hundreds of assembled fans showed their appreciation to the re-enactors who put on a bang-up show.

As the battle leader Bill Rambo said, it was a day to honor their ancestors and &uot;to have a little fun.&uot;

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On a more somber note, Rambo and the men made a point of honoring the soldiers currently serving overseas.

After spending the morning in a church service and honoring fallen soldiers at Old Live Oak Cemetery, the soldiers took a brief break before returning to get ready for the Battle.

The fans waited as the skirmishes began back behind the hotel and feed store constructed for the Battle.

The cavalry charged back and forth across the field, careful to dodge the roar of the cannons.

The confederate troops waited patiently behind the works for the Billy Yanks to get in range.

The cannon fire shook the hills as the union troops approa-ched, were turned back and returned.

Coming out of the cover of the woods, the blue-uniformed troops marched into the face of the cannon fire and volleys of shots from the entrenched rebels.

Staying true to the history of the real battle, the Union troops overran the Confederate lines.

Outmanned by a 3-to-1 margin and with lines fortified by farmers and townsfolk called out to help protect the town, the Confederates still put up a hefty fight.

In an effort to maintain the realism that re-enactors strive for, some of the farmers and less experienced soldiers turned and ran from the Union lines. Rambo noted that General Bedford Forrest’s inexperienced troops had little chance of turning back the Union invaders.

But at the end of the day, little of that mattered.

Union and Confederate troops lined up together, gave one last massive report and celebrated the day.

It was a testament to the Southern spirit that they knew what they faced and they still faced the overwhelming odds, according to Rambo.

This year’s event was another success for organizers.

Rambo noted that the profits raised each year went to a good cause.