Making A Difference: Civil War Re-enactors - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Making A Difference: Civil War Re-enactors

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
VICKSBURG, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A group of civil war re-enactors has a mission. These fellows don't just go around only reenacting battles, they are on a mission to educate, and to Make A Difference.

The first difference you might pick up on is that these Civil War soldiers are Black. And most anyone who has even just a passing knowledge of the Civil War probably knows there were Black soldiers, but we may not know how many.

“Admiral Porter, in one report, he stated that he had a thousand Blacks in his fleet on the Mississippi River,” said Civil War historian Bennie J. McRae.

Mr. McRae has done extensive research on the roll of Blacks in Civil War. And one unit that he has chronicled is the unit these men are portraying, the 3ed U.S. Colored Cavalry, organized in Vicksburg and utilized in much of the last half of the war.

“They were involved at Yazoo City. They were involved at Port Gibson, Natchez, Woodville,” said McRae. This day, the reenacting unit is riding through Port Gibson once again.

And as much as they are enlightening us about the roll of Blacks in the Civil War, they are being enlightened on modern Mississippi. John Russell a re-enactor from Orlando, Florida commented,

“I'm going to have to change my opinion. It's definitely not the 60s anymore,” said re-enactor John Russell from Orlando, Florida.And it's NOT the 60s' anymore, for ANY of us. And that's a part of why John rides with the 3ed U.S. Colored Cavalry, to tell people that blacks had a hand in their destiny in the war. And that should make a difference, especially for the youngsters.

“Our major goal is to get to the children, especially the black children. To tell them come on, wake up. Smell the coffee," said Russell. "These men didn't die for you to act this way. Know yourself. You can't know where you're going till you know where you came from. And if you know where you came from, it will erase a lot of the stupidity we are seeing in our modern society, children killing children, being more concerned about superficial stuff than real world stuff.”

Good words of advice for anyone, black or white. And these fellows are waging a crusade to spread it. You might call it the last campaign of the Civil War being waged by the 3ed U.S. Colored Cavalry, to Make a Difference.

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