Honey Springs weekend reenactment
The weekend was a full one at Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center.
Education Day was held on Nov. 1 with approximately 1,500 students coming from different schools across the state. Students, as well as the general public, had the opportunity to explore numerous education stations teaching topics related to the Civil War, Indian Territory and the Battle of Honey Springs.
Many historians and homesteaders were on site teaching the youngsters about the past and showing them the 19th-century reproductions of military equipment, clothing and the way of living so many years ago.
An entire camp was set up demonstrating soldiers’ living areas, military drills and even cooking techniques.
Visitors could purchase an array of historical books and interesting souvenirs. They could also purchase some tasty fixings from several vendors from BBQ to philly cheese steak sandwiches to kettle popcorn to cold root beer. There were lots of choices.
On Saturday there were special speakers set up all day.
Special speakers included: Kevin Webb with “Teamster Demonstration,” Wayne Cantwell with “Around the Campfire Music,” Kathy Dickson with “What the Ladies Did in the Civil War,” Bob Rea with “Sixth Kansas Cavalry,” and Dr. W. B. Lees with “Archaeology at Honey Springs.”
Dr. Bob Blackburn announced the Reenactment of Honey Springs. \Other speakers were Teresa Bradway with “Popular Music of the Civil War” and Jennifer Frazee with “19th-Century Medicine.”
The reenactment was then held at 1 p.m. with over 200 re-enactors of Union and Confederate troops engaging each other on the very field where the actual battle took place on July 17, 1863.
The night ended with music by the Wayne Cantwell and Jason Hunt band.
Church on the ground was brought by Wayne Loftin Sunday morning. Afterwards Sen. Roger Thompson spoke at the Honoring Veterans of All Wars program and reenactors gave a moving tribute to show their respect for the many fallen on the hallowed ground of Honey Springs.
Two more speakers gave speeches at the tents - Omar Reed gave the program “First Kansas Colored Infantry” and Preston Ware gave the program “Music and Instruments of 1800s.”
Then the last reenactment of Honey Springs 2019 began at 1 p.m. with Dr. Blackburn narrating the action to the spectators.
Director of Honey Springs Battlefield and Visitor Center, Adam Lynn said he was very pleased with all the help from the volunteers, reenactors, and estimated approximately 4,000 people came over the three day event.
Lynn wanted to thank everyone that had a part in the eventful weekend.
Thanks to: Sen. Roger Thompson and his wife, Pamela, The Friends of Honey Springs, all of the Oklahoma Historical Society Staff, The Checotah Chamber of Commerce, the City of Checotah, the Cole’s, the Nero’s, Checotah EMS, First Aid Nurses, Texanna Fire Dept., Rentiesville Fire Dept., Shady Grove/Central High Fire Dept., McIntosh County Sheriff’s Dept., Shelby Minner and Blues Hall of Fame, Freedom House, Jason Combs, Sue’s Recycling, McIntosh County Democrat, Steve Owens Electric, Gene Holder, Frame Building and Supply, East Central Electric, Clean Potty, all public and private schools that attended, all the reenactors that participated and the visitors who came.
“We had a wonderful event with excellent community support and I’m thankful for all who traveled across the state and region to attend this year’s reenactment,” Lynn said.