May 2, 2004
The sound of gunshots echoed through the air this weekend as over 100 men and women re-enacted the Battle at Chalk Bluff.
"We are trying to rejuvenate memories of our ancestors."
The actual battle took place in 1863 as troops from the North and the South fought for control of Eastern Arkansas.
Both sides wanted command of this area because it was an easier outlet to the Mississippi river.
However, this battle was unique.
"It was a tactical one. Marmaduke that the town was named after had attacked Cape Giradeau. The federals had attacked him and he was on his way back to Arkansas. They had to build a bridge here at the St. Francis river to get the troops across."
Re-enactors say the reason they perform is simple, it is a preservation of our nation's long history, and it's important to pass on that history lesson to generations to come.
"You can see the flavor of the times, the simpler times....through the war of what these men and women encountered because the history books cannot put everything in the books."
"Absolutely this is our heritage. This is something our children need to know. You need to bring your kids out here. Parents need to pass it on to their kids, because it is their life."
"To reflect on our heritage and legacy that was once given to us by our ancestors. If we don't learn from our past we are apt to repeat it."
"Most re-enactments are not at the actual site of the battles....so what makes this event more special is that this is the actual site of the battle of Chalk Bluff. In fact, even the dates conincide....May 1st and 2nd of 1863."
"How the soldiers actually lived and fought in the 1860's.....it was alot different back then."