Though the Battle of Helena was actually fought on the Fourth of July 1863, the re-enactment of the 150th anniversary of the battle took place on Memorial Day weekend so as not to be overshadowed by two larger battles – Vicksburg and Gettysburg – that took place that same fateful date. However, local Civil War enthusiasts are planning a special commemoration of the battle on the actual date this July the Fourth.
According to Paula Oliver, public relations coordinator for the Delta Cultural Center, activities will take place at several sites around town.
A first light viewing from Confederate Memorial Park will begin the day's events at 4:30 a.m. This will observe the start of the Battle of Helena, which was beset with confusion that caused hundreds of Confederate casualties. The disorder centered on different interpretations of the order to attack at “daylight.”
Confederate Park is located just south of the Moore-Hornor House on Beech Street. Oliver stated that participants should bring their own seating and flashlights.
Civil War re-enactors at Fort Curtis and the Moore-Hornor House will discuss the battle between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon. On the grounds of the Moore-Hornor House re-enactors will demonstrate how to load a cannon. Also at the house, there will be a slide-show presentation of the re-enactment of the Battle of Helena. Tours of the house also will be conducted, added Oliver.
“The scene will shift to the DCC Visitors Center from noon to 1 p.m.,” reported Oliver. “There, the re-enactors will conduct hands-on activities for youngsters. The demonstrations will include how to make a bullet. However, coffee will be used instead of gunpowder.”
The inspirational family film, “The Light of Freedom,” will be shown from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Delta Sounds Room of the Visitors Center. The film centers on the Underground Railroad.
“The film promises to educate as well as entertain as it urges the viewer to stand up for the freedom of every person,” commented Oliver.
More information about the film can be found at http://thelightofffreedommovie.com.
Oliver added that the DCC Depot and Visitors Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors are reminded of the Civil War exhibit on the top floor of the Depot.
All events are free and open to the public.
For more information, please call the DCC at (870) 338-4350 or toll free at (800) 358-0972 or visit the DCC online at www.deltaculturalcenter.com.
The Fourth of July is a unique American holiday that is set aside each year as a day of remembrance of the price that was paid for liberty and freedom. Make this a special Fourth of July and bring your family out to observe the memory of a battle in which so many people died to help make others free.