Old Cahawba to host tour and memorial

Published 5:16 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

Saturday, April 6 will be a day-long celebration of history at Old Cahawba Archeological Park.

The park has two events planned for the day, both of which will provide plenty of opportunities to learn about Old Cahawba’s rich history and role in the Civil War.

This first event is a Civil War Walking Tour from at 10-11 a.m. The tour will be led by Site Director Linda Derry.

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Derry will lead the tour group around the ruins of Castle Morgan, a Confederate Prison that housed Union Troops during the Civil War, as well as through the rest of the town and give the group an idea of what daily life was like for the people of Old Cahawba.

Derry said the tour is one of the most popular tours given at Old Cahawba all year.

“We usually have about 20-25 people show up, most of our tours only see a handful of people,” Denny said.

After the walking tour is over, visitors will be able to continue their learning experience with the annual ceremony to honor the unknown soldier.

According to Derry the unknown soldier was discovered in the 1970s. Though exactly who the unknown soldier was remains a mystery, Derry has a theory has to who he may have been.

Derry says the unknown soldier could have been Maj. Hiram Hanchett, a Union Officer who attempted an escape from Castle Morgan in 1865.

Though Derry believes the unknown soldier could be Hanchett, a DNA analysis would be the only way to know for sure.

“It would be neat to identify him, but the tests [DNA analysis] are quite expensive. We’re working on a way to put together a budget for that,” said Derry.

Cost for the walking tour is $8, however the memorial service at 11:30 a.m. is free to attend.

Contact Old Cahawba at (334) 872-8058 for more information.