Battle of Selma begins

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 24, 2005

Following the beat of drummers, soldiers marched in formation to the battlefield as onlookers whooped, hollered and shouted “Go Rebs!” from the grandstands.

The Confederates seemed to pay no heed to the crowd. Their stern faces were only focused on the task at hand.

After entering the field, the soldiers took their positions behind a wooden fence and waited.

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Charging up behind them on horseback, waving the Rebel flag, were Gen. Bill Rambo and two other members of his cavalry.

After briefing the crowd about what they can expect see during initial battle on Saturday, Rambo gave the word and the action began.

The cavalrymen made their way up the battlefield to the Union soldiers, firing their rifles at will.

A few minutes later, the cannons boomed and the ground in front of the Confederates went flying into the air. One soldier fell down at the shock of the blast.

The crowd of onlookers went wild. Young boys sitting in the bleachers started shooting their toy riffles pretending to be a part of the live action.

When a few Union soldiers finally made their way to the Confederate side, the crowd could hear the shouts and hollers of the soldiers.

One excited onlooker shouted “Get them Yankees!” causing a great deal of laughter.

After an hour of cavalrymen charging back and forth across the field, the Union soldiers finally tired and retreated.

“I think we saved your silverware folks,” Rambo told the crowd. “We got them on run.”

Once the Union soldiers had fully retreated, the general called for a cease-fire.

“We got to save a few Yankees so we can fight them again tomorrow,” he said.

Mike Reynolds, Battle of Selma Reenactment chairperson, estimated there were around 2,000 spectators at Saturday’s battle.

“We had over 800 reenactors registered,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds said he was pleased with the large crowd and their enthusiasm for the event.

“It was a really good Saturday,” he said. “The weather cooperated.”

The 18th Battle of Selma Reenactment will take place today at 2 p.m. at Riverside Park.