History display comes to life Saturday

Published 6:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2007

Visitors can take a step back in time Saturday during ademonstration by the 16th Louisiana Infantry Regiment to bring theCivil War era to the Brookhaven Military Memorial Museum.

Reenactors will hold the “living history” demonstration at themuseum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“The program will consist of a combination of displays anddiscussion on things such as the uniforms and accouterments thatcommon infantry soldiers would have worn and carried, as well asexamples of food and cooking styles from that time,” said DennisNeal, a Brookhaven resident and member of the infantryregiment.

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In addition to how both federal and confederate soldiers camped,the participants will demonstrate the commands and explain thetactics used to maneuver during battle.

The reenactors are recreating a similar event that drew a largecrowd to the museum last year, Neal said.

“The museum covers a wide range of eras and is fast becoming agood example of the progression of uniforms and equipment over thelast 145 years,” he said.

Seth Allen, a member of the museum’s board of directors, saidvolunteers will staff the museum Saturday for a specialpresentation of the exhibits.

“The primary purpose is to promote this facility and giverespect to the men who give their time, and in some cases theirlives, to protect our freedoms,” Allen said.

The museum features a number of exhibits that showcase theuniforms, equipment and lives of many of Brookhaven’s residents whoserved in the military from the county’s formation to the war onterrorism.

The reenactors will provide a glimpse into the lives of thosewho served during the Civil War. They will wear period uniforms ofboth Yankee and Confederate soldiers and establish a camp.Equipment used by the soldiers will also be on display.

“We do both impressions,” Neal said. “We attend manyreenactments as federal soldiers. It’s just part of the hobby andrequired by our unit. Attending an event as a Yankee adds to theexperience by allowing you to appreciate the differences, butunderstand that on a common soldier’s level there were fewdifferences.”

Reenacting is a hobby that doesn’t appeal to everyone, he said.Yet participants’ personal lives are often as varied as thesoldiers they represent.

“The unit’s membership consists of men from SouthwestMississippi and Southeast Louisiana,” he said. “We all share a lovefor history in general, but are especially interested in the CivilWar era. It’s a great way to see into the past and understand moreof what has been written about the time.”

Those interested in knowing more about Civil War reenacting canvisit the 16th La.’s Web site at www.16thlainf.com