Confederate Reunion Grounds to come alive this weekend
BOB WRIGHT -Editor
The old Confederate Reunion Grounds (CRG), which first served as a meeting place for Confederate soldiers’ reunions, later became a playground for Mexiaites who enjoyed picnics, dances in the historic pavilion and even a swimming area.
This weekend, after school children from a wide area visit the grounds for a living history lesson on Friday, the CRG will open to the public Saturday morning at 8 o’clock, featuring continuous “historical” events throughout the day, right up until the gates swing shut at 5 p.m. The grounds will again be opened Sunday morning at 8, and again close to the public at 5 p.m.
In between all of this gate-openings-and-shuttings, a bevy of activities will entertain the public. The full schedule for both days include lots of living history, battle re-enactments, Civil War medical demonstrations, Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry “demos,” and much more.
Opening ceremonies and a Parade at the flag-poles’ area will get things underway.
Refreshments will be for sale during the two-day event, which is sponsored by the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Park Historical Society, Inc. This year’s program is hosted by the 12th Texas Artillery, sanctioned by the Cleburne Division.
Ever since Dixie (she has the given name for these hallowed old grounds) Hoover arrived on the scene, there have been renovations, sprucing up operations, and scheduled events to keep things popping.
The Val Verde cannons will also be on hand for this weekend’s festivities
A few highlights include a Chautauqua and Coffee Saturday morning at 9:30 in the 1893 Dance Pavilion. There, Dr. Donald S. Frazier will talk about “The Romance of Secession: Consequences of Disunion in Civil War Louisiana.” A book signing at 10:30 is set for Dr. Frazier. During this signing, two other noteworthy, entertaining features of the big opening day include Buffalo Gap Chips, vintage baseball; and “Women in Trousers: Dress Reform of the 1860s” at the Dance Pavilion.
Catching the attention of many is the Ladies’ Tea, to which the public is invited in the 1893 Dance Pavilion. Another Chautauqua and Coffee at the pavilion centers on Dr. Frazier’s presentation of “Galveston, Texas: The Key ton the Confederate Trans-Mississippi.”
Sunday’s schedule hits with some more Living History and Sutler Camps’ opening.
A Church Service (public invited) will be in the pavilion, beginning at 10 o’clock. Then comes more Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry demonstrations, medical demonstrations and Living History, including battle re-enactments.
This is the 15th annual Civil War Living History and Re-Enactments program at the CRG. Admission to the grounds each day is $5 for adults. Children are admitted free if they are 12 and younger. A two-day pass may be purchased for only $7.50, for admission to both days. This is a Texas Historical Commission project, under a theme of “Real Places Telling Real Stories.”
The event is annually sponsored by the Friends of the Confederate Reunion Grounds as its major annual fundraiser. All gate entry and proceeds from this are retained by the Friends organization to fund future preservation projects, as well as educational and interpretive programming and events. “Your contributions by attending, are greatly appreciated,” emphasizes Dixie Hoover.
Further sponsors of all of this include Brookshire’s Food Store, Coffee Cabaret, HEB Food Stores, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Mike Morton and Spike Morton, all of Mexia; and Lance Chips and Gander Mountain of Corsicana.