MARSHALL (Nov. 4, 2012) -- Oct. 13, 2013, will mark the 150th anniversary of a key moment in Missouri Civil War history, the Battle of Marshall.
The clash pitted the sometimes-timid Union Gen. Egbert Brown against charismatic Confederate cavalry commander Joseph O. Shelby and put an effective end to Shelby's great raid through Missouri.
But a partnership of Marshall organizations and history buffs is not waiting for the actual anniversary to begin commemorating the event.
A year-long series of events featuring a range of presentations and activities will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Saline County Courthouse. There will be an artillery demonstration by Robinson Light Artillery CSA, a hands-on air cannon demonstration for kids sponsored by the Missouri State Museum, and a lecture by historian James Denny.
"The kickoff event will set the tone for the year-long commemoration. There will be something fun -- artillery demonstrations are always popular -- and an opportunity to learn. Fun and learning generally go well together," said MCC president Eric Crump. "Our goal is to create opportunities for the community to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for our history."
Denny's talk is expected to cover the events leading up to the battle, setting the stage for a number of lectures to follow.
"Mr. Denny is one of the most respected historians in Missouri and is an expert on the Civil War in our area," Crump continued. "He is the first of a number of knowledgeable speakers we have lined up for the Second Saturday series of events.
The year-long commemoration will feature events every second Saturday until the battle re-enactment Sept. 13-15, 2013.
Second Saturday events will include music, photography, storytelling, presentations and lectures and will cover the history of the battle, period clothing, weaponry, food, games, dance and photography.
Second Saturday lectures, presentations and activities include:
--Saturday, Dec. 8: 1 p.m. at Wood & Huston Community Room, north side of the Marshall square -- Virginia Laas, lecture: "'No Age of Barbarism can show us such scenes of cruelty and plunder: Women and Guerrilla Warfare in Civil War."
--Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013: 1 p.m. at Windmill Gallery, 467 S. Odell Ave. in Marshall -- Weapons of the Civil War, talk and exhibit by Bryan Ivlow and "The Battle of Marshall," lecture by historian Marvin Wilhite.
--Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013: 1 p.m. at Windmill Gallery -- "Pennytown and the Lives of African Americans in Saline County," lecture by historian Virginia Huston, "Temp Murray: A Post-Slavery Success Story," lecture by historian Marvin Wilhite and storytelling by Gladys Claire Coggswell.
--Saturday, March 9, 2013: 1 p.m. at Windmill Gallery -- Dawn to Dusk Period Fashion Show, Connie Grisier and Connie Cunningham.
--Saturday, April 13, 2013: 1 p.m. at Windmill Gallery -- Lecture by Arrow Rock Historic Site Administrator Michael Dickey and music and lecture by Missouri fiddle music expert and Prof. Emeritus Howard Marshall.
Saturday, May 11, 2013: 10 a.m. at Windmill Gallery -- Children's fair: Period games and activities for kids, plus storyteller Joyce Slater.
--Summer events are still in the planning stages.
The commemoration will culminate in Sept. 13-15, 2013 with two battle recreations, a parade from the Marshall square to Indian Foothills Park, camp tours, lectures, sutlers, music, a dance, storytellers, period crafts and cannon firings.
The battle re-enactment has been granted a "maximum effort" status by the Missouri Civil War Re-enactors' Association.
The 2nd Missouri Infantry is the sponsoring MCWRA unit.
On the anniversary of the battle, Oct. 13, 2013, local veterans organizations will host a ceremony to honor the sacrifices and suffering of soldiers and civilians who endured the battle and the strife of the war years.
The goal of the project is to bring to life the experiences of people in Marshall and Saline County during the war.
"The challenges we've faced so far have mainly been the routine challenges of organizing any event -- getting the details arranged -- but things are coming together. I think MCC has been delighted with the growing number of people who are getting involved in the project," Crump stated. "We've gotten terrific support and collaboration from local government and other organizations. It's been a great example of people pulling together to create a project that will benefit the community -- hopefully for many years to come."
The project has been approved for a $2,275 grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.
Organizers are also seeking business and community support in the form of sponsorships, donations, in-kind contributions and volunteers.
They hope to raise $5,000 by July 1, 2013. To contribute or volunteer, visit the Battle of Marshall website
The Battle of Marshall 150th Anniversary Commemoration is sponsored by Marshall Cultural Council in partnership with Marshall Parks and Recreation, the City of Marshall, Marshall Chamber of Commerce, Saline County Historical Society, Saline County, Missouri Civil War Reenactors' Association and Missouri Humanities Council, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. MCC is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit organization.
For more information, contact Eric Crump at email@example.com or 660-815-0258.