140th Anniversary Celebration Highlights

Posted 04/04/2004

A magnificent celebration of the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Mansfield and Battle of Pleasant Hill drew over an estimated 5,000 visitors at Mansfield on Saturday and a hearty (and hard) crowd on Sunday. The beautiful weather, cool to early and warm mid-day, added to the enjoyment for the crowds and reenactors alike.

Friends of the Mansfield Battlefield raised over $1600 through the sale of commemorative medallions, memberships and donations as visitors saw the beautifully kept Mansfield State Historic Site and the pristine privately-owned site in Pleasant Hill. The Poimbouef family is to be commended for preserving history in the tiny town 16 miles south of Mansfield.

To say that the reenactors were enthusiastic would be an understatement. These wonderful living historians offered a first-hand lesson in history to those attending, many visiting for the first time.

Louisiana Representative Beverly Bruce read a proclamation from the Louisiana House of Representatives on behalf of herself, Speaker Joe Salter (Sabine parish) and Senator Sherri Smith Cheek. Following the proclamation, Gary Joiner presented a carbine rifle to State Historic Site Manager Steve Bounds on behalf of the organization. This and a letter are two items that have been purchased to support interpretation of the Battle of Mansfield. A special guest, Scott Gatlin of Winnfield, presented the site a civil war letter on behalf of his family.

The Alfred Mouton Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans ended the morning ceremonies with a color guard and memorial service in the shadow of the Mouton monument.

Employees of Louisiana's Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism stepped forward to support the efforts of the Mansfield site employees for this event and helped assure that all ran smoothly. Bo Boehringer brought greetings from officials at CRT in Baton Rouge.

The Pleasant Hill encampment gave an authentic look at camp life (if you ignored the pick-up trucks). Dedication to authenticity was evident from head to toe, even the barefooted soldiers. See the Photo Gallery under the State Historic Site for additional photos from the event.

Jeffrey and James Miller, photographers from Arlington, Texas, were on-site to take photos which will be posted to their Web site -- They have agreed to donate 10% of sales of photos for the event to the Friends of the Mansfield Battlefield.