published Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Siege at Bridgeport

Battle re-enactment this weekend in Jackson County, Ala.

Union artillery fires at the Confederate defenders during the 18th annual Siege at Bridgeport Civil War re-enactment in Bridgeport, Ala. The 19th annual re-enactment will take place this weekend.
Union artillery fires at the Confederate defenders during the 18th annual Siege at Bridgeport Civil War re-enactment in Bridgeport, Ala. The 19th annual re-enactment will take place this weekend.
Photo by Robin Rudd.
SCHEDULE

Note: All times are Central.

Saturday, March 23

* 10 a.m. Camp opens to public

* 11 a.m. Ladies tea (big tent)

* 12:30 p.m. Mortar shoot

* 1 p.m. Anvil shooting

* 2 p.m. Battle re-enactment begins

* 4 p.m. Camp closes to public

* 7 p.m. Civil War Ball (open to public, but period attire expected)

Sunday, March 24

* 8:45 a.m. Church service (big tent)

* 10 a.m. Camp opens to public

* Noon. Cemetery ceremony

* 12:30 p.m. Mortar shoot

* 1 p.m. Anvil shooting

* 2 p.m. Battle re-enactment begins

* 7 p.m. Camp closes to public

Close to 2,000 Civil War re-enactors will gather in Jackson County, Ala., this weekend for the 19th annual Siege at Bridgeport. The re-enactment, on a farm near the original battle site, commemorates the skirmish held 151 years ago in April 1862.

The camp will open to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24. Live mortar shoots and anvil shoots will take place both afternoons on the battlefield. Battle re-enactments begin at 2 p.m. both days (all times are Central).

According to published histories, the Confederacy controlled Bridgeport and its key railroad bridge early in the war. That bridge over the Tennessee River connected the area to Chattanooga as well as to points north and south.

In April 1862, Federal forces led by Gen. O.M. Mitchell seized the city and the bridge, forcing Confederate Brig. Gen. Danville Leadbetter to retreat toward Chattanooga. Confederate troops attempted on several occasions to retake the bridge but were unsuccessful.

That Federal control eventually allowed supplies to flow into Chattanooga and, later, to Gen. William T. Sherman for his March to the Sea.

The battle site is at 2361 County Road 255, off Highway 72, outside Bridgeport, Ala. Directions will be posted.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children 6 and older. Profits benefit local history preservation projects.

For more information, visit http://siegeatbridge port.com.

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