Re-enactment of Battle of Campbell Station in Town, to mark 160 years, mulled
Marking the 160th anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Campbell Station in 2023, the possibility of a re-enactment — or at least scaled down demonstrations — are on the table if arrangements can be made regarding location.
Town Committee members are working to find a good location among their efforts on how best to mark that historic occasion.
The committee, which includes former Town Vice Mayor Dot LaMarche, area historian and re-enactor Gerald Augustus and Tim Vane, director of community activities for the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable, met most recently in Town Hall Thursday, Jan. 18, to discuss potential plans.
“I have been in discussions over the last three or four years about how it would be great if we could mark this anniversary where it actually occurred,” Vane said in a separate interview.
Tourism manager Karen Tindal, who is overseeing the committee following the departure of Historic Resources coordinator Julia Barham, told the group Jan. 18 the expected closing of Town Hall later this year for renovation would mean its surrounding property likely could not be utilized for re-enactment or staging plans.
The committee did discuss the possibility of using the land surrounding the Campbell Station Inn, but there were concerns the land was too small for anything large scale.
McFee Park also was discussed as a possible staging area, even though it was not historically part of the battlefield.
“Soldiers marched by there, but it is technically not part of the battlefield,” Vane said during the meeting.
The battle itself occurred Nov. 16, 1863, in the heart of what is now the Town of Farragut, and Civil War fighting continued east and remained in East Tennessee through April 1864.
“There were 21,000 soldiers involved, and over 1,000 were killed or wounded,” Vane said. “An estimated 400 were Union. Almost 700 were Confederate.
“Many people don’t know the history of this, and how that really makes the land hallowed ground,” he added. “That is part of what is compelling the drive to do this. I don’t know if most people are aware the Russel House (Campbell Station Inn) and the (Farragut) High School’s baseball field are part of a Civil War battlefield.
“The Town is growing by leaps and bounds, but it has a long history. If we are not grounded in our history, we kind of become rudderless.”
The committee’s next meeting begins at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Town Hall.