To Arms! To Arms! Federal Troops Advance on Jefferson

Gen. Nathaniel Banks and his Federal forces spent the spring of 1864 slowly making their way up the Red River but were repulsed by Confederate forces in battle near Mansfield, Louisiana.

Had U.S. troops managed to fight through and capture Shreveport, the East Texas supply depots in Marshall and Jefferson would have been targeted next, cutting off Texas and her war material from the Confederate effort.

150+ years later, a slightly less wild-and-wooly Jefferson celebrates American history by hosting the largest Civil War reenactment in Texas. The one-time "King of Spades" river port becomes a palette for living history, with troops, civilians and sutlers camped throughout the downtown historic district and at Cypress River Ranch, the site of this year's full-scale battle.

The production of this event is a partnership between the re-enactors affiliated with the Trans-Mississippi Volunteer Infantry and a special committee of Jefferson volunteers under the auspices of The Jeffersonian Institute.

A portion of the proceeds from the 2017 event will be used to support historic preservation and restoration projects in Jefferson and Marion County. Remaining funds are used as seed money for the 2018 event.

All in all, the Battle for Jefferson is a fine flight of fancy played out in the field and on the streets. For this one magical weekend each year, the historic river port returns to her commercial heyday.


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