Free Friday: Civil War Re-enactment at Reed

You don’t need a lot of money to have a good time in Arkansas. There are ample things to see and do that don’t cost a cent. On Fridays I’ll focus on something fun in The Natural State that’s free.

Kerry Kraus


On August 27, 1863, the sound of cannon and musket fire, the acrid smell of smoke, and the cry of wounded filled the air in and around what is now Jacksonville. These assaults on the human senses will set the mood once again as the 3rd annual Battle of Reed’s Bridge Re-enactment takes place Sept. 11 and 12. In addition to the grim depictions of war, visitors can also explore illustrations of everyday life in the 1860s during the event.

Confederate and Union camps open to the public at 9:30 a.m. At 1 p.m., a soldier’s formation is held, with the re-enactment of the Battle of Reed’s Bridge at 2 p.m. Drills by re-enactors are held at 10 a.m. on the 11th and 12:30 p.m. on the 12th. Cooking, crafts and musket firing demonstrations will also take place. Musicians perform tunes from the 1860s daily. Settlers sell replicated Civil War items and vendors will provide refreshments. The soldiers, families and musicians will interact with visitors and answer questions. Those in attendance can bring their own chairs plus bleacher seating is available.

Saturday-only events include a period wedding at 4:30 p.m., followed by a Civil War-era dance beginning at 7 p.m. A church service is on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The action takes place on Ark. 161 (South First Street) in Jacksonville and is sponsored by the Reed’s Bridge Battlefield Preservation Society.

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