The streets of downtown Natchitoches will be filled with Confederate and Union soldiers engaged in an authentic reenactment on November 1st and 2nd, 2014 as part of the Natchitoches Tri-Centennial Celebration.
This is the inaugural reenactment of a bi-annual event to honor the history of the Civil War, including an actual battle in downtown Natchitoches, 150 years ago. The City of Natchitoches will welcome visitors to observe actual skirmishes on Front Street and the Church Street Bridge. Troops will be camped on the downtown riverbank where visitors can join them around a campfire to discuss the Civil War. In addition, students in area schools will be invited to tour the area on Friday, October 31 to discuss the Civil War and witness firsthand encampments, uniforms, weapons, all authentic and exact replicas from the originals. A replica gunboat will cruise the Cane River Lake during the reenactment.
There are several battles planned on Saturday beginning at noon. Camps will be open to visit at 10 until the troops form at 12 Noon to begin marching through town prior to the initial battles and skirmishes from 12:30-2 PM. There will be additional events with the 12th Louisiana String Band Concert and reenactments including gentlemen pistol duels, a military trial and firing squad and more skirmishes all on Front Street and within a few feet of the spectators.
A period dance is provided for reenactors at the Downtown Riverbank Stage at 7:30 PM. The public is invited to join the period dance. The riverbank will include reenactor campsites and vendors selling food, candy, toys, and items from the Civil War period.
On Sunday the reenactment will continue at 12 AM with a blessing of the battalion at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Church, an event that actually took place during the Civil War, 150 years ago. The original speech that was given 150 years ago will be used to bless the troops by the clergy. Reenactors will parade and battle again at 1:30 PM with visitors observing the battle on the streets of downtown Natchitoches. Visitors will observe the battles behind barriers but close to the action.