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Civil War buffs offered variety of activities

[03/29/01] Fans of Civil War re-enactments will have a choice of places to go this weekend and throughout much of the spring with events planned near Port Gibson and in Lake Providence, in Vicksburg and near Raymond.

For those taking in the re-enactment at the Grand Gulf Battlefield State Park this weekend, Port Gibson also is offering its Heritage Festival.

Saturday and Sunday, members of West’s Battery and their guests, Company F, 4th U.S. Cavalry will present live fire demonstrations at the Grand Gulf Battlefield Park on Grand Gulf Road.

Activities begin each day at 9 a.m., and the re-enactors will have live firing demonstrations every hour until 5 p.m. Saturday and until noon on Sunday.

West’s Battery is a group portraying the 6th Louisiana Light Artillery, and the members come from north Louisiana, southern Arkansas and east Texas.

Company F is a venture crew of the Longhorn Council Boy Scouts of America from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The members generally portray members of the Federal Cavalry, such as those who served at Fort Richardson during the Indian Wars from about 1865 to 1876. They also portray Federal troops from the Civil War period.

In addition to the hourly live firing demonstrations, the two units will give visitors a feeling of camp life, drills and skirmishes.

The Lake Providence re-enactment will be at the Louisiana Cotton Museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Fourth Battalion Re-Enactors of the Northeast Brigade of the Louisiana Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will participate in the event.

Members of the group are descendants of Civil War veterans and will be wearing authentic uniforms from the period.

They will be re-enacting the Battle of Port Hudson.

The Port Gibson Heritage Festival will be Saturday and Sunday, but some activities will begin Friday. Music will begin at 6.

Saturday’s events begin at 8 a.m. with the Dilla Dash. The arts and crafts sale also begins at 8 and historic tours begin at 9, leaving from RiverHills Bank.

Along with the street fair, venison cooks will vie for prizes, which include a $1,000 prize for first place in the Venison Cookoff. The cookoff also will feature competition for camp cooks, the People’s Choice Award and showmanship.

While all that is going on, there will be music performances.

For information on the Grand Gulf re-enactment, call the park at 601-437-5911 or at the park’s Web site www.grandgulfpark.state.ms.us.

For information on the Port Gibson Heritage Festival, log on to the Port Gibson Web site at www.portgibsonmainstreet.com.

Later in April, more activities are planned in the area for Civil War buffs.

In two weeks, the 9th Annual Civil War Show is planned from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 14 at the Battlefield Inn. Admission is $1.

Dealers and collectors will display and sell dug relics, coins, weapons, bottles, documents, books, prints and memorabilia.

Scheduled for Raymond April 20-22 is the Discovery Tour of the Vicksburg Campaign. The tour will feature some of the sites of battles between Union and Confederate troops as Gen. U.S. Grant made his way from Bruinsburg near Port Gibson to Vicksburg where he lay siege to the city.