Battle of Carthage re-enactment aims to bring history to life

The battle of Carthage re-enactment will continue on Sunday from 10 am-3 pm.

CARTHAGE, Mo.–People in Carthage this weekend got the chance to take part in a real-life history lesson. Organizers of the re-enactment say they wanted something to remind people of the area’s history. 

“We don’t want to forget what happened. I mean, there are lessons to be learned so we don’t repeat our past mistakes,” said Dale Sanford, company first sergeant of the First Missouri Light Artillery during the re-enactment.

It’s why on Saturday, civil war re-enactors took part in a re-enactment of the battle of Carthage, which originally took place in 1861.

“It’s that initial battle when they ran into each other, they just happened to run into each other here. the union was looking for them and they ran into here,” Sanford said. “And the battle actually occurred just a little bit to the west of us where we’re at now, the actual battlefield. And it’s about ten miles long, the actual whole battle area, all the way down into the city of Carthage.”

The reenactment was a chance to people to have an up-close and personal vision of a historic local battle.

“There’s a lot of people, you know, they don’t understand a civil war. Missouri is very unique. most people don’t know that Missouri had the third most battles of every state in the union during the civil war. And the battles here in Missouri are different reasons versus the back east,” Sanford said.

The re-enactment took months to plan, but members of the Missouri civil war re-enactors like Jim Robinson say, it was well worth it.

“We get to meet people from all around the country in different places and it’s interesting how because people like history and they like camping and shooting guns, it’s a great hobby… everybody loves history. It’s involved in and on top of that, they love our country,” Robinson said.

The event wasn’t all war re-enactments either, those taking part say they really tried to understand what it was like living during the civil war.

“They can see how everything was a little hard to do back then. Everything was heavier. We didn’t have the modern things that we have today,” said Robinson.

Anyone attending was able to walk around the camp, fully immersing themselves in the experience.

The battle of Carthage re-enactment will continue on Sunday from 10 am-3 pm.