North and South face off for 151st Battle of Selma

Published 9:22 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Battle of Selma 151st anniversary weekend is only a few days away. Re-enactors have already begun to set up camp for the four-day weekend filled with events.

“We just like [everybody] to come out and support us,” said April of 1865 Society president James Hammonds.

The weekend will kick off with Living History School Tours for students on Thursday and Friday at the Battlefield Park. Students will have the opportunity to learn about different aspects of the Civil War up close and personal.

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Hammonds said some of the aspects shown will be those children may not have heard of before or read in a book like how the war affected the daily lives of women.

On Friday, 1860 style food, beverages, jewelry, toys and clothes will be available for purchase.

Later that day at sundown, civil war artillery will be shown off during a demonstration.

After the demonstration, visitors are invited to join re-enactors at the camp dance. Un-Reconstructed String Band, an Alabama independent music group with an interest in history, will provide music and teach period dances such as the Virginia reel.

Both the demonstration and dance are free and open to the public.

On Saturday morning at 9 a.m., the battlegrounds open with a $7 admission fee. Visitors are invited to tour the Confederate, Union and civilian campgrounds as well as watch the soldiers prepare for a skirmish.

At 2 p.m. the skirmish begins. Hammonds said the skirmish is not a re-enactment of a particular battle, but a means to demonstrate how different services would have fought during that time, in a full-sized battle.

“It’s generally just as good as the one on Sunday,” Hammonds said. “This is more of a generic battle.”

That night, the April of 1865 Society will host the Grand Military Ball for society members and re-enactors at Sturdivant Hall to conclude Saturday’s events. Doors open at 7 p.m. and guests are required to wear 1860s formal attire.

The battlegrounds reopen Sunday morning at 9 a.m. just in time for the period worship service. Admission onto the grounds is $7.

At Old Live Oak Cemetery, a memorial service and history tour will be held at 10:30 a.m. The tour is to honor soldiers who served on both sides of the war and will highlight various historical figures including Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee.

At 2 p.m. the Battle of Selma re-enactment at the battlegrounds begins, concluding the weekend’s events.