This is a nice little event held at the Confederate Reunion Grounds outside Mexia, Texas. This site is a Texas Historical Commission site, so I go up there to help out the site as an employee. I always stay at the Hamilton House B&B. They are very nice and the rooms lovely. I arrived Friday night just in time to meet Dixie, the site manager, was leaving for dinner. She invited me to join them; we went to a little Mexican restaurant in town. It was ok. Went back after dinner to the B&B to rest up and study my part for the event Saturday. Arrived at the site about 9:00 Saturday morning, in time for the parade and flag raising.
Found many friends and Henkel Square participants there. I spent Saturday morning walking the park and visiting with friends. There was a tea late morning with Stephanie Hilgert Ford giving a presentation on first person with a worksheet handout. In the afternoon was the battle. The site tried something new this year and offered some first person accounts before the battle and then reenact an actual battle with a narrative. The battle this year was Wilsons Creek. But as I said, there were a few vignette's before hand. I presented the southern view point and explained Texas' wish to secede.
Silly me, I tried to memorize it and I had five minutes before I spoke, but as soon as I stood up on that trailer and started my talk I went blank. So embarrassing. The other presentations were a Texan against secession, a farmer who just wanted to work his farm and a slave; they all read their parts.
Included during the battle along with the narrative was a brass band, which played during some of the down time of the battle. When the CSA came back and routed the USA, the band played Dixie as the CSA took the field--very entertaining. The crowd seemed to enjoy it and after some initial grumbling so the troops, I believe. The narration and script for the vignettes was written by Don Frazier from McMurry University in Abilene who also narrated the battle.
After the battle the brass band presented a concert in the pavilion. The conductor related information about each piece before it was played, which I found very interesting. The band is the Heritage Brass Band of Dallas.
It was so nice; the weather was beautiful and the music great in a historic pavilion that had brass bands play often.
After the band I took more pictures and visited some more. By then I was getting quite tired, not yet completely recovered as much as I would like to. So I returned to the B&B and rested some more and went to bed for the night quite early.
Sunday I was not up to dressing out. When I arrived to yet more pictures. I found Don Frazier and as the other vignette actors and the band left Saturday, it was decided that I would not try to dress out and Don would make the presentation before the battle.
Sundays are always less crowded than Saturdays so I was able to get more pictures of the battle. Also talked up the May event with some of the well turned out young people at the event. Some of these younger reenactors do so well in there impressions.
It was a beautiful weekend, the park is great and the weather could not have been better. Even though this is a thoroughly main stream event, I wish more Texas reenactors would participate in it. There is a lot of potential and the site could really use the support. Over the 150 years the events at this site will be of various battles in which Texas troops fought. Next year they are planning on reenacting Shiloh.
More pictures are here.