May 3rd - May 5th, 2024
To Arms! To Arms!
Federal Troops Advance on Jefferson
Ticketed Events
• Living History School Day - 5/3/24, 9:00 am rotation, 11:30 am rotation
• Secret Codes of the Underground Railroad - 5/4/24, 11:15 am
• Ladies' Tea - 5/4/24, 2:00 pm
• Muskets & Magnolias Grand Ball - 5/4/24, 8:00 pm
• Bring a printed or digital PayPal receipt to the event(s) as your ticket.
Free Events
• "Illumination" at Oakwood Cemetery - 5/3/24, 7:30 - 10:00pm
• Downtown Skirmish after Pilgrimage Parade - 5/4/24, Approx. 10:00am
• "Presentation of Colors" at Christ Episcopal Church - 5/5/24, 10:00am

Event TicketsClick to Purchase Advance Tickets

Muskets & Magnolias Grand Ball
$30.00
Ladies' Tea
$10.00
Secret Codes of the Underground Railroad
$5.00
11:30 a.m. Rotation, Living History School Day
$5.00
9:00 a.m. Rotation, Living History School Day
$5.00
SAVE THE DATE
troops
Gen. Nathaniel Banks and his Federal forces spent the spring of 1864 slowly making their way up the Red River but were repulsed by Confederate forces in battle near Mansfield, Louisiana.

Had U.S. troops managed to fight through and capture Shreveport, the East Texas supply depots in Marshall and Jefferson would have been targeted next, cutting off Texas and her war material from the Confederate effort. 150+ years later, a slightly less wild-and-wooly Jefferson celebrates American history by hosting the largest Civil War reenactment in Texas. The one-time "King of Spades" river port becomes a palette for living history, with troops, civilians and sutlers camped throughout the downtown historic district.

The production of this event is a partnership between the re-enactors affiliated with the Trans-Mississippi Volunteer Infantry and a special committee of Jefferson volunteers under the auspices of the Historic Jefferson Foundation. A portion of the proceeds from each event will be used to support historic preservation and restoration projects in Jefferson and Marion County. Remaining funds are used as seed money for future events.

All in all, the Battle for Jefferson is a fine flight of fancy played out in the field and on the streets. For this one magical weekend each year, the historic river port returns to her commercial heyday.
Re-enactor Registration
Re-enactor registration, please visit Battle of Big Cypress Bayou Re-enactors Portal for complete details.
Registration
Illumination
Illumination at Oakwood Cemetery
Corner of Webster and North Main St.
Friday, May 3rd, 2024 from 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.

Admission to the "Illumination" is free.

Returning to the event this year is the "Illumination" at old Oakwood Cemetery where hundreds of Civil War veterans are buried.

This moving recognition of the veterans buried there – with candles illuminating the headstones – will be held Friday, May 3rd, 2024 from 7:30 - 10:00 p.m.
Illumination
Pilgrimage Parade & Downtown Skirmish
Pilgrimage Parade and Downtown Skirmish (10:00am)
Saturday, May 4th, 2024

The tension mounts in town as Confederate and Federal forces spy one another's presence at the end of the Pilgrimage Parade & Downtown Skirmish.

The two sides hold a brief skirmish centered on Austin Street between Vale and Polk, then there's a break in the action as both sides prepare for the full-scale battle.
skirmish
Secret Codes of the Underground Railroad
11:15 a.m., Saturday, May 4th, 2024 at The Jeffersonian Institute.

The Pleasant Hill Quilters are a quilting group from Linden, Texas, and they recreate historical quilts and tell the stories of the enslaved people who used secret quilt codes to escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Secret Codes Tickets

This event is open to the public with a $5 admission fee.
secret codes
Ladies' Tea
Enjoy delicacies of the era during the Ladies' Tea, 2:00 p.m., Saturday, May 4th, 2024 at The Jeffersonian Institute.

Ladies' Tea Tickets

This event is open to the public with a $10 admission fee. Registered re-enactors are admitted at no additional charge. Period attire is strongly suggested though not required.
ladies at the tea
The Battle of Big Cypress Bayou at Total Farm
Total Farm, 601 S. Polk Street, Jefferson, Texas, 75657
Battle of Big Cypress Bayou at Total Farm: Saturday, May 4th at 4:00 p.m.
Grand Finale Battle of the Bayou at Total Farm: Sunday, May 5th at 1:00 p.m.

Battle Tickets

The sounds of battle will be heard up and down the lazy river that winds through Jefferson – booming artillery with pyrotechnic ground bursts, cavalry and infantry all play a part in the "enacted" full-scale battle.

Will the Federal troops maintain their momentum from the Louisiana portion of the Red River Campaign and capture the important supply depot of Jefferson or will Confederate reinforcements arrive in time to route the invaders?

Sunday's closing battle decides the fate of Jefferson. Confederate and Federal troops again take to the field with more artillery barrages, cavalry charges and infantry engagements.
soldiers in battle
Muskets & Magnolias Grand Ball
Once the battlefield is cleared of casualties, the troops will return to their camps in Jefferson for a meal and preparations for the formal ball – "Muskets & Magnolias Grand Ball" - Saturday, May 4th, 2024 from 8:00 - 11:00 p.m. at The Jeffersonian Institute.

Muskets & Magnolias Grand Ball Tickets

The musical selections are researched for historical accuracy, and the dances are authentic to the period. Period or Formal Attire Required. Admission is $30 per person. Registered re-enactors are admitted at no additional charge.
ball dancing

ball dancing
Living History School Day at Lions Park
Living History Tickets Friday, May 3rd, 2024 (Student only event)

Battle for Jefferson Living History Information

Location: Lions Park 515 East Jefferson Street, Jefferson, Texas 75657

Fee: $5.00 per student. There is no charge for teachers or chaperones. Please ensure that total payment for group is collected for in advance and provided to event coordinators on location. You may also pay online at www.battleforjefferson.com under the "Tickets" option. Thanks to a grant by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club, Scholarships will be made available to any students with financial hardships.

Times: Friday, May 3rd, 2024
1st Round of Rotations: 9:00am-11:00am
2nd Round of Rotations: 11:30am-1:30pm

Topics:
Students will spend approximately 15 minutes at eight interpretive learning stations featuring:
• Civil War Infantry Soldier
• Victorian Era Fashion
• Civil War Artillery
• Victorian Era Dance
• Civil War Undertaker
• Flags of the Civil War
• Civil War Cavalryman with Horse
• Chuck Wagon/Camp Cooking

Age Group: 2024 event structured for 3rd-6th grade students (exceptions for homeschool associations and small private schools).

Parking: Around the square at Lions Park

Supervision: Groups should be represented by one teacher and two adult chaperones for every 20 students attending.

Additional Information:
Students will rotate between stations at 15-minute intervals, signaled by a bell.
We encourage groups to bring a sack lunch and eat at the park once their rotation has ended.
Bottled water and port-a-jons will be available at location

RSVP TO: Battle for Jefferson, Wes Hamilton, Coordinator
E-mail: wesh987@gmail.com
Phone: 903-733-1035 (call or text)
Please kindly reply at your earliest convenience with number of participants and which time slot you will be attending
Presentation of Colors
Presentation of Colors, Sunday, May 5th, 2024, 10:00am - 703 South Main Street
The lone "authentic" re-enactment of the weekend is played out in front of Christ Episcopal Church (703 S. Main Street facing Lions' Park).

This year's (2024) re-creation marks the 163nd anniversary of Fannie Benners' presentation of a hand-sewn banner to "The Jefferson Guards" a Confederate unit raised locally in 1861.

With troops at attention and roll called, Miss Benners' presentation is preceded by the reading of her moving letter, then followed by a musket salute from the troops. Coffee, donuts and juice is served afterward in the parish hall.

This moving event is free of charge and all are welcome to attend the 10:00 a.m. Eucharistic service.
presentation of colors
Spectators
ALL EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Tickets to events are available on this website Battle for Jefferon and The Battle of Big Cypress Bayou's website.
Battle tickets are also available at the battlefield.
Tickets to other events are also available at each location.

Friday, May 3rd, 2024
Living History School Day at Lions Park
9:00am-11:00am - 1st Round of Rotations
11:30am-1:30pm - 2nd Round of Rotations
$5.00 per student. Purchase Living History School Day Tickets


Friday, May 3rd, 2024
7:30 - 10:00pm - "Illumination" at Oakwood Cemetery
Corner of Webster and North Main St.
Free Event

Saturday, May 4th, 2024
Approx. 10:00am - Downtown Skirmish after Pilgrimage Parade 10:00am
Downtown Jefferson
Free Event

11:15am - Secret Codes of the Underground Railroad
The Jeffersonian Institute, 120 East Austin St.
$5.00 Admission at door. Purchase Secret Codes Tickets

2:00 - 3:00pm - Ladies' Tea
The Jeffersonian Institute, 120 East Austin St.
$10.00 Admission at door. Purchase Ladies' Tea Tickets

4:00pm - Battle of Big Cypress Bayou at Total Farm, 601 S. Polk Street.
Purchase Battle Tickets

8:00 - 11:00 pm - "Muskets & Magnolias" Grand Ball
The Jeffersonian Institute, 120 East Austin St.
Period or Formal Attire Required.
Admission is $30.00 per person. Muskets & Magnolias" Grand Ball Tickets

Sunday, May 5th, 2024
10:00am - "Presentation of Colors" at Christ Episcopal Church
703 South Main St.
Free Event

1:00pm - The Grand Finale Battle of the Bayou at Total Farm, 601 S. Polk Street.
Purchase Battle Tickets

ALL EVENTS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Locations: Throughout Downtown Historic District and Battle Locations at Total Farm

Never been to a Civil War Re-enactment?

The full scale battles at Total Farm include artillery barrages (with ground effects!), cavalry maneuvers, horse drawn field artillery and hundreds of infantry!

Battle re-enactments are loud! For those with sensitive ears, we suggest bringing ear plugs. Pets are not allowed in spectator's areas! Please leave four legged friends at home.

Your excursion to 1864 is located on a working ranch. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring a blanket or folding chairs. Definitely have a hat or parasol for a protection from the sun!
About
Even the most casual of history buffs understands that Jefferson's role in the Civil War was only as a manufacturing and supply depot for the upstart Confederate States of America.

But 150+ years later, the historic river port stands front-and-center in what well may be the largest re-enactment of that era in Texas.

More than 700 Civil War period reenactors - soldiers and civilians both - are expected to descend upon the town the weekend of May 3rd, 4th, and 5th 2024 to enact "The Battle for Jefferson," a two-day tilt between Confederate and Federal forces. Infantry, cavalry and artillery all play a part in the scenario battle that gives life to what might have happened in and around Jefferson in 1864 had Union Troops been successful in the Red River Campaign and captured Shreveport.

Coupled with the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club's annual Pilgrimage, the "Battle" portion of the weekend has succeeded in turning Jefferson's downtown historic district and surrounding neighborhoods into a three-day living history encampment.
troops
Sponsors
Thank You to our Sponsors and Volunteers!

Historic Jefferson Foundation
1852 on Austin Street
Jefferson Custom Built Homes
Trico Lumber Construction Materials, Lumber Co.
The First National Bank of Hughes Springs
Right On! Graphics
Christ Episcopal Church Christ Episcopal Church Jefferson, TX
Queen Horse Bedding
Brownrigg Insurance
Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club
JE Transportation Solutions, LLC
R.W. Builders, LLC
Nicholas J. Testa/ Testa Law Group
Brookshire's Grocery Co.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
City of Jefferson, Texas
Jefferson Flower Market
Jefferson Ice Express & RV Park
The Jeffersonian Institute
Members of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club
McDonnell Construction
Marion County Chamber of Commerce
Pleasant Hill Quilters
Port Jefferson Abstract and Title
Star Donuts
Visit Jefferson, Texas
Jefferson Police Department

BATTLE FOR JEFFERSON COMMITTEE:
Juanita Chitwood, Charlie Chitwood, Bill DeWare, Karen Gleason, Wes Hamilton, Elaine Johnson, Mary Keasler, John Michael McConnell, Colleen Taylor
The Men and Women of The Trans-Mississippi Volunteer Infantry and All Participating Re-Enactors - Thank You!
12th Louisiana String Band
Battle of Big Cypress Bayou
Battle of Pleasant Hill
Annette & Gene Ponder
Karen & Bill Gleason Pam & Rob Baker
Laurel & Duke DeWare
Candy & Ted Dickson
India & Matt Stanberry
Valerie Ayer
Pam & Rob Baker
Lisa Barry
Katelyn & Corey Calhoun
Barbara & Jerry Cavalier
Keyle Cavalier
Susan Davis
Becky & Bill DeWare
Laurel & Duke DeWare
Candy & Ted Dickson
Jessica & Joe Dougherty
Judy & Roger Doyle
Sharon Goolsby
Ashley Granby
Josh Hawley
Darryl Jacobs
Orville Lee Johnson
Jonathan McCarty
Joe McDonnell
Jim McIntosh
Sherry & Lamar Mask
Stacey Mills
Morgan Pate
Liz & Roger Opiela
Paula Rogers
Joanne & Jim Stacey
Gary Stephens
Contact Us
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 688, Jefferson, Texas 75657

903.733.1035

Event Coordinator & Webmaster: Wes Hamilton

wesh987@gmail.com