Visit To Mansfield On April 8

Posted 04/10/2005

On April 8, 1864, Marilyn and Gary Joiner visited the Mansfield Battlefield to pay tribute to the brave soldiers, both south and north, who fought in the battle and to survey the field at the time of battle. A small group had gathered at the Mansfield State Historic Site near closing time. And they listed with rapt attention as Dr. Gary Joiner related what was happening at the time. Gary believes one must visit battlefields on the date and time of the battle to better understand what was happening. The youngest in the crowd listening to the lecture was Nicholas Nabors, age 6, who contends that because he has been interested in history for several years, he is no longer a beginner. The oldest claimed to have had a grandfather on the field of battle at Mansfield. One reenactor, there for the weekend's activities at Pleasant Hill, just south of the Mansfield Battlefield, paid homage to his ancestors who fought at the battle.

With the group was Vickie Welborn, reporter for The (Shreveport) Times, whose outstanding story appeared in the paper on Saturday, April 9. It featured several out-of-town visitors to the Mansfield State Historic Site who were there to learn more about their ancestors. Each present had a "connection" to the past. Whether as reenactors who recreated history and make it come alive, as interested by-standers, or as avid historians, we all felt a connection to the very special date and events.

Joining the group were Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Matthews who had come to the site to present a check to the Friends of the Mansfield Battlefield on behalf of J.L. Halbert Camp #359 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Corsicana. They are now Honor Roll members of the organization.

A visit as the sun was lowering brought us to the crest of the third phase of the battle and a disturbing picture of the lignite mine's shovel, eating up hallowed ground. Wisely, the shovel that had been at road's edge on the previous week, had moved away from the road where interested visitors would be passing. Look on the Web site for additional photos of the mining operations.