Relive history at HJC this weekend

Published 12:03am Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The roar of cannons, the crack of rifles, the clip clop of horses’ hooves and the clash of sabers will soon be heard at Historic Jefferson College.

On Saturday and Sunday, Historic Jefferson College presents its annual Wirt Adams Raid into Natchez Civil War Reenactment.

Re-enactors from Mississippi and Louisiana will participate in these reenactments, which include cavalry, artillery and infantry. The first reenactment battle will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the second reenactment will be at 2 p.m. Sunday.

These reenactments are based on Confederate General Wirt Adams and his men’s battle with Federal forces south of Natchez on Dec. 7, 1863. On Dec. 3, 1863, Wirt Adams brought a force of 1,069 men to the outskirts of Washington and encamped.

From there he sent scouts into Union-occupied Natchez to see if it could be taken.

They reported that there were too many troops and cannons for them to launch a successful attack on the city. Adams then made his way to Kingston, and then to Ellis Cliffs, where he was going to harass river traffic.

By Dec. 6, the Federals knew of Adams’ presence and sent a cavalry force of 1,500 horsemen to attack the Rebels. Adams was informed of the forth-coming attack, and he struck the Yankees on the morning of Dec. 7.

The Union troops were caught completely off guard, and were forced to make a hasty retreat back to their cannons and fortifications in Natchez.

The Civil War camps open for the public at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Re-enactors will be on hand to answer any questions visitors might have about the life of a soldier during the Civil War.

A group of lady re-enactors who participate each year will also be on hand to provide information about the important role women played during the war.

Visitors to the reenactment should note that the museum gift shop has a variety of Civil War books for sale to the public. There will be discount sales prices on many of these books, as well as other items, during the weekend of the reenactment.

These items are great gifts for Civil War enthusiasts, or as gifts for the history lovers in your family.

Historic Jefferson College is owned and operated by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and is located four miles northeast of Natchez, off U.S. 61 North.

For more information contact us at or call 601- 442-2901.

Admission is free to all events but visitors are advised to bring their own chairs and blankets for sitting.

This event is sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

This event is also aided by a generous donation from Loyal Order of Moose, Natchez Lodge #1662 and the Natchez National Park.


Clark Burkett is a historian at Historic Jefferson College.