OKOLONA, Miss. (WCBI) — Union and Confederate troops are camped out in Western Chickasaw County for a Saturday reenactment of the 150th Anniversary of Battle of Okolona, one of many battles pitting brother against brother.
Sounds of war… the year, 1864. A civil war as Union troops launch a military campaign, but not before there is a two day battle between General William Sooy Smith and confederate soldiers just off what is now Highway 41 in Okolona.
“With about 7,000 cavalry to go to the assistance of general Sherman in his efforts to march on Meridian and take the Meridian area,” said Dr. E. C. Fields, Ulysses S. Grant.
“Day one would have been around Ellis Bridge in West Point, that’s where Forrest forces first met General Sooey Smith and he slowly forced them back,” said Pat Arinder, Civil War Musician.
Down time sitting around a camp fire playing an 1850 minstrel banjo came to a quick end that day as war resulted in dead troops on both sides.
“At best I can estimate, there was about 500 casualties between killed, wounded, and missing,” said Arinder.
Colonel Jeffrey Forrest, brother of General Nathan Bedford Forrest was killed during that Rebel charge. Many of the Civil War dead are buried in Okolona Cemetery.
“It is a significant battle in the overall war and one that people should note, remember, and think about. Of what men did here,” said Dr. Fields.
The confederates won that battle, it would be instrumental in spearing Columbus from any attacks.
Civil War reenacters are expected to be in full military dress for the 150th anniversary of that battle, Saturday at twelve thirty and Sunday at 2PM.