Chalk Bluff Battle Re-Enactment Held
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.