Helena native Todd Phipps, a member of a Civil War Reenactment Unit in Central Arkansas, will

be participating in the upcoming 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Helena set to take place this


“I’m excited that we will be participating in the Battle of Helena in April, because Helena is my

home town and I’m looking forward to seeing friends and my family,” said Phipps. “Our unit is

the 1st and 2nd Arkansas Light Artillery Battery, which was a big part of the southern regions

campaigns during the Civil War.”

The 1st and 2nd Arkansas Light Artillery Battery was started by Mark Pollack of Little Rock. Pollack personally finances the majority of the expenses. The unit just just had a 36-foot Sundowner trailer built for hauling cannons, equipment and supplies. “He is a good man with a passion for the hobby,” said Phipps. “He is very knowledgeable and detailed oriented in making sure our unit is as authentic and realistic as possible in order to provide the spectators an accurate impression in every way.”

Phipps, who currently lives in Little Rock, went to Central High School his freshman and

sophomore years. He transferred to and graduated in 1986 from DeSoto High School. He

played football, basketball and ran track at both schools and played American Legion baseball

for the late, Gene Bearden before he continued his education at Arkansas State University.

“I’m proud to have the opportunity to be a part of such historical and great battles of the Civil

War era,” said Phipps. “I am the Commanding Officer of our Battery, with the rank of Captain.

As the Commanding Officer of an Artillery Unit, as they were during the war, I will be a mounted

officer on horseback.”

“We take what we do very seriously,” said Phipps. “We train, drill and continue to work in order

to provide the most accurate and authentic impression of the soldiers during that time.”

The uniforms, equipment, guns and camp site items are made, built and constructed by the

patterns, blue prints and materials that were worn and used 1860’s, from the soldiers socks,

camp site cots, and furniture to the saddle and tack Phipps uses on his horse.

“We take the role of living soldier from that time,” said Phipps. “We use this role to give the

spectators, not only an action event, but also a history experience before, during and after the


“I have learned a great deal about the American Civil War since getting involved in

campaigning,” said Phipps. “I also find myself wanting to learn more and more about the war that

saw more evolution and influence on following warfare than any other war ever fought.”

Phipps mother and step-father reside in Phillips County. “I look forward to seeing them and my

friends at the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Helena reenactment,” said Phipps.