Civil War demos today at VNMP

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 6, 2010

It’s 1863 again in Vicksburg, or at least it is today at the Vicksburg Military Park, where a group of volunteer re-enactors will re-create scenes of Confederate soldiers defending Vicksburg during the siege of the city in 1863.

If you go

Today’s Civil War re-enactments at the Vicksburg National Military Park will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission to the park is $8 per vehicle. Call 601-636-0583 for information.

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“The re-enactors strive for absolute authenticity,” said Tim Kavanaugh, chief park ranger and park safety officer. “They spend hundreds of hours reading on the Civil War. They hand-make their own uniforms, and cook their own food.”

He said a group of about 50 volunteers from surrounding states will showcase live demonstrations of soldier life during the Civil War, including weaponry, drill, cooking and camping, as well as war tactics and skirmishes.

Encampment will be near tour stop No. 11, the Gen. Tilghman statue on Confederate Avenue.

Battle re-enactments will take place at various locations throughout the park, including Battery DeGolyer, the old Jackson Road and the Stockade Redan. Acting soldiers will use replicas of old rifles and shoot black powder to give the effect of a live battle.

Kavanaugh said he is currently training volunteers in Vicksburg for the park’s own re-enactment program.

“We’re looking to do the living history program on the weekends and, right now, we’re training them,” he said. “There is no set time frame on when we will begin.”

Volunteers are training to fire a real cannon, as well as learning to shoot a rifle loaded with black powder.

Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at