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The Friends of Fort Defiance holding Living History Encampment at Rotary Park

The Friends of Fort Defiance

The Friends of Fort Defiance

With Fort Defiance being closed due to the construction of the new interpretative center, the Friends of Fort Defiance were forced to move the Living History Encampment, one of their signature events to Rotary Park this year.

The primary purpose of the Living History Encampment is to educate people about the history of Clarksville, and the Civil War. Many people living in Clarksville know absolutely nothing about the history of our city, something the friends of Fort Defiance hope to change. Clarksville is located in an area of intense activity during the Civil war,   with Fort Donelson and Fort Henry  in nearby Stewart County, and the city of Nashville just a short distance up river.  Fort Defiance was intended to help guard the river approaches to Nashville.

An image from the past, nah just one of the many reenactors

An image from the past, nah just one of the many reenactors

The Confederates started building the Fort in November 1861, but before the construction is complete Fort Donelson and Fort Henry were taken by the Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Feburary 1862. A few days later faced with Union Troops advancing up river, The Confederates fled the city. Both the Fort and the City of Clarksville was surrendered without anyone firing a shot. After the Union occupied the area, the Fort was renamed to Fort Bruce.   In August 1862, for a short time the Fort and the City of Clarksville was retaken by Confederate troops. Days later Union Soldiers dispatched from Fort Donelson re-took both the Fort and the City for the final time.

The Living History Encampment gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of soldiers and civilians through reenactors dressed in period costumes, with period equipment. Demonstrations include quilting, dress making, medical care, childrens toys and games, and of course military activities.

Mock gun battles were staged, giving visitors a feel for what combat was like during the Civil War. The battles also  included hourly firings by a 4 gun battery of canons.

Flame erupts from a canon as it is fired, at the Living History Encampment at Rotary Park

Flame erupts from a canon as it is fired, at the Living History Encampment at Rotary Park

The Living History Encampment continues tomorrow at 9:00a.m. with a Church service. The camp will be open from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.

The Civil War activities continue next weekend at Fort Donelson.

Date:  9/4/2009, 9/5/2009
Time:  10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, 1:00 AM to 1:00 AM
Location:  Battlefield

Interpretive programs and Civil War musket firings will be the highlight for Labor Day Weekend at Fort Donelson National Battlefield. This year’s programs, hosted by the 50th Tennessee Infantry (CSA), will also include a Civil War surgeon’s program. The Civil War camps will be set up on September 4 and 5, 2009.  The historic Dover Hotel will also be open for visitation during Labor Day Weekend from noon – 4:00 p.m.  All events are free.

The 50th Tennessee Infantry was organized as a regiment on Christmas Day, 1861 at Fort Donelson, and they comprised part of the Confederate garrison until February 1862. The 50th Tennessee Re-enactor regiment has been conducting programs for over 30 years at the park. Their camps will be opened from 10 am – 3 pm on September 4th and 5th, 2009.

Photo Gallery

About the Friends of Fort Defiance

The Friends of Fort Defiance seek to preserve our history for future generations and one of their major projects include the construction of the Fort Defiance Interpretative Center. They meet on the second Tuesday of every month at the Pardue Memorial Free Will Baptist Church, at 6:30 p.m. across from Moss’ Cafe on Memorial Drive. They welcome anyone who is interested in promoting Clarksville’s Civil War past and preserving and improving Fort Defiance.

Membership dues are:

  • $15.00 per year for individuals
  • $25.00 for families
  • $100.00 for a corporate membership

For more information please contact Phyllis Smith

About Bill Larson




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