Chalk Bluff Battle Re-Enactment Held

Thursday, May 9, 2013
Confederate forces return cannon fire during Saturday's re-enactment of the Battle of Chalk Bluff. Muddy conditions in the nearby fields forced re-enactors to utilize the main park area, which gave the spectators an up close experience.

Rainy conditions failed to dampen the festivities this past weekend, as the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Chalk Bluff was marked with a re-enactment at the site near St. Francis. Some of the logistics surrounding the three day event were adjusted due to the heavy rains, but the re-enactors lived up to the nature of those they sought to honor--and toughed out the wet and cold.

Despite a steady rain throughout the day, many of the re-enactors arrived late Friday and set up camp in a field adjacent to the park entrance. But, due to the wet conditions the adjoining field proved too soft for cannons and the re-enactment was moved to the main part of the park around the pavilion.

With an appreciative crowd of several hundred in attendance, the battle was re-enacted Saturday afternoon. Afterward, the combined troops gathered for the grand review parade.

Re-enactors also set-up a demonstration refugee camp, and there were several peddlers on hand selling period items. Another annual tradition was also observed, as Jeannine Thompson and Bobbie F. Barnett co-hosted the ladies tea Saturday prior to the battle re-enactment.

Sunday morning's schedule included officer's call, and a church service on the grounds. Early in the afternoon a special memorial ceremony was also held to the mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Gen. Stonewall Jackson.

The afternoon, and event, concluded with yet another re-enactment of the battle, which was fought May 1 and 2, 1863 along the banks of the St. Francis River.

The Chalk Bluff Battle re-enactment is held every two years hosted by Clay County, with assistance by the Northeast Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trails Commission, the SCV Shaver Camp #1655 of Jonesboro and the Gen. James F. Fagan Chapter #280 Military Order Stars and Bars, of Jonesboro.

The next scheduled re-enactment of the local battle will be held the weekend of May 1, 2 and 3, 2015.

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