The 150th anniversary of the American Civil War is fast approaching, and groups around the country are starting preparations. This year marks the beginning of many anniversary celebrations/observances. Gettysburg is priming for a huge event to take place in July 2013. Many other locations are gearing up in Virginia as well.
Here in the "Western Theatre," local groups are in the process of securing funds and sponsors for their events. Corinth, which played a pivotal role in the "Battle of Shiloh," has a governor-appointed "Mississippi Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission," which is in the planning stages, and will begin publicizing next year. However, lawmakers must act quickly to secure funds for the events.
Last year, an annual "Battle of Corinth" was planned, but had to be canceled because the land that the reenactment was supposed to take place on is privately owned, and the owner felt it was racist. Too bad he missed the point, as well as the opportunity to allow Corinth to prosper. Such an event took place last fall in Collierville, Tennessee. "The Battle of Collierville" attracted so many spectators that the city prospered significantly. This is the first reenactment Collierville has sponsored in years, and needless to say, will probably participate in from here on out.
A motor coach and car tour along the corridor between Corinth and Vicksburg, the Natchez Parkway, is in the works, as is implementation at Brices Crossroads and Tupelo. It should be fascinating to see what plans evolve during the next year. Interest in the War Between the States will certainly increase as the 150th anniversary nears.