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FOR to Sponsor the National 150th Anniversary Vicksburg Campaign Reenactment in October 2012
The Friends of Raymond will sponsor a national level re-enactment of the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign as part of the commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. The reenactment, hosted by the Blue-Gray Alliance of reenactors, will feature several military actions of the Vicksburg Campaign is planned for October 19-21, 2012, with up to 5,000 participants.
Over the past decade, the Friends of Raymond has preserved 136 acres of the battlefield, added interpretative trails and placed reproduction artillery pieces of the correct type on the artillery positions of the Battle of Raymond on May 12, 1963.
Three of the campaign's engagements, the Battles of Raymond and Champion Hill, and the May 22 assault at Vicksburg, will be re-enacted on portions of, or adjacent to, the actual Raymond Battlefield. The event is being staged in October, rather than May, to avoid conflict with other scheduled sesquicentennial events and to take advantage of the favorable fall weather in Mississippi.
The event will begin on Thursday, October 18,
2012, with educational field programs for schools, which will continue on Friday. On Saturday, October
20, the re-enacted battles for the general public will begin with the
Battle of Raymond at 10 a.m. on the actual battlefield. At 3 p.m. on
Saturday the program will continue with the Battle of Champion Hill,
which was the largest Civil War battle in Mississippi and was one of the
most decisive of the Civil War. The final re-enactment will commemorate
a portion of the ill-fated assault by Union forces on the works of
Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. This event will depict the attack on the
Second Texas Lunette, a crescent-shaped fortification that was located
near the modern Visitors Center in the Vicksburg National Military Park.
This fortification will actually be reconstructed on property near the
Raymond battlefield. After his unsuccessful assault of May 22, Grant
decided to take the city by siege.
>>>Reenactor Registration CLOSED
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Annual Park Day at Raymond Battlefield Park
Almost exactly 150 years after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, another wave of volunteers is about to descend on America’s storied battlegrounds – only this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags, and weed whackers.
On Saturday, April 2, 2011, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America’s historic battlefields, cemeteries, and shrines. The nationwide effort – dubbed Park Day – is underwritten with a grant from History™, formerly The History Channel, and has been endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
FOR Continues Artillery Mission
With the acquisition of ten additional cannon carriages, Friends
of Raymond has set its sights on attaining the unique status of
becoming the only Civil War Battlefield in
Doug Waters and his father, Ed Waters, donated a rare and valuable artifact, a Confederate Whitworth cannon shell, to Friends of Raymond during an October 21, 2006, Raymond battlefield tour attended by Doug, who works for Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc. in Plano, TX. The younger Waters, who is intensely interested in Texas’ participation in the American Civil War, has often visited Raymond, where Colonel Hiram Granbury’s Seventh Texas Infantry Regiment fought on May 12, 1863. On his most recent visit Waters came bearing the prized Whitworth shell, which was manufactured in England; was shipped to the Confederate States in America; and was dug out of the ground near Warrenton, VA. The non-explosive shell was manufactured to exacting specifications and was designed to be fired by the English-made Whitworth rifled cannon.
The first walking trail to be constructed on the Raymond battlefield—an asphalt ribbon that encircles the 23.6 acre Friends of Raymond tract located at Fourteenmile Creek west of modern Highway 18—has been completed.
Funding for the nearly $250,000 trail comes from a Tea 21 federal grant to the State of Mississippi. The one mile trail, with visitor parking lot, will serve as the lynchpin for battlefield visitation and interpretation. Upon completion of the trail, plans include battlefield interpretive signage and Civil War cannon.
In October 2009 the 25th annual West Coast Civil War Conference convened in Clovis, California. The event, which focused on the 1863 campaign for Chattanooga, Tennessee, drew attendees from across the United States and hosted some of the most recognizable historians on the subject. By weekend’s end, the symposium had consummated a modest victory, earning just over $7,500 for battlefield preservation. Impressed with the model grassroots preservation achievements of the Friends of Raymond Battlefield in Mississippi, all of the proceeds have been donated to help further their continued efforts. The event was hosted by the San Joaquin Valley Civil War Round Table of central California.
Raymond National Military Park?
Permanent preservation of the Raymond, Port Gibson, and Champion Hill battlefields of the Vicksburg Campaign is being sought through legislation sponsored by Mississippi's Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker. The bill was introduced on February 3, 2011, in order to preserve endangered battlefield properties, and while the timing may be viewed as inopportune due to the current round of budget cuts, it is in reality well-considered. If the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the American Civil War is not the appropriate time to save key elements of the Vicksburg Campaign, when is?
Madison Middle School Junior Historical Society Donates to Friends of Raymond
Thursday, May 20, 2010, members of the Junior Historical Society (JHS) of the Madison Middle School, Madison, MS, were guests at the monthly Friends of Raymond (FOR) Board Meeting where they presented FOR with a check for $497.00 plus $3.00 cash.