An auction with Civil War items, plus a battle reenactment, will be held Feb. 22nd in Okolona, Miss. A reenactment of the Battle of Okolona in Mississippi will be part of a three-day slate of activities that will include an on-site auction to be held Feb. 22 in Okolona by Stevens Auction Company.
News-Antique.com - Feb 14,2014 - (OKOLONA, Miss.) – A reenactment of the Battle of Okolona in Mississippi – a pivotal event in the Civil War, a victory for the Confederates in 1864 and one that stemmed the tide of advancing Union forces – will be part of a three-day slate of activities that will include an on-site auction to be held Feb. 22 in Okolona by Stevens Auction Company, based in Aberdeen, Miss.
The auction will be conducted at the National Guard Armory located at 607 West Monroe Avenue in Okolona. The reenactment will be staged a few miles away. The auction will take place on the 150th anniversary (to the day) of the Battle of Okolona. It will feature hundreds of items of Civil War memorabilia, including licensed and numbered prints of the Civil War battles.
Also offered in the sale will be the lifelong antique collection from the estate of the late Mrs. Marietta McCarter of Columbus, Miss. Included will be beautiful lamps, original works of art, handmade Persian rugs, silver, crystal, china, fine porcelains, rare collectibles, gorgeous antique furniture and other fine home furnishings. The auction will start at 3:30 p.m. (CST).
Also sold will be the contents of one of Aberdeen’s finest old homes, known as the “Painted Lady,” built in 1880 and now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Sexton. The couple is planning to retire and move to Europe. But the centerpiece event of the weekend promises to be the Battle of Okolona, which will be reenacted by uniformed actors performing for the crowd.
Giant cannons will be fired as the battle – a recreation of the clash between General Nathan B. Forrest’s troops on the Confederate side versus General William Sooy Smith’s men on the Union side – plays out. Activities are planned at the National Guard Armory’s welcome center. Visitors are encouraged to walk the trails, visit the cemetery and relive what took place.
What did take place on that property 150 years ago, literally to the day, is now a source of pride among Southerners still sympathetic to the Confederate cause. The story can begin with the Union General William Tecumseh Sherman who, fresh from a victory at Vicksburg, launched a campaign to take a railroad center in Aberdeen, Miss., then move on to Selma and Mobile, Ala.
On Feb. 1, 1864, Sherman ordered the Union Brigadier General William Sooy Smith to lead a cavalry force of 7,000 men south from Memphis, Tenn., through Okolona along the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. He instructed Smith to meet the rest of the Union force at Meridian, Miss., on Feb. 10. Sherman set out on Feb. 3 for Meridian, with a force of 20,000 Union troops.
But things didn’t go according to plan. Against orders, Smith delayed for ten days while waiting for reinforcements and he didn’t start out until Feb. 11. Along the way his men destroyed crops and railroad tracks, encountering little resistance. About 1,000 former slaves joined them. Smith was supposed to meet up with Sherman