Beginning on Monday, May the 20th, three Logan County school districts will be teaming up to allow their students to conduct a Civil War battle reenactment in full period clothing. Working in conjunction, Dr. Curtis Varnell of the Western Arkansas Educational Co-op & The Paris Area Chamber of Commerce, a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council was applied for and received for the “In the Shadow of the Mountains: Civil War in Arkansas” project.
The Paris, Subiaco, and Scranton school districts will be involved with the staging and production of “The Haguewood Prairie Fight” Civil War battle documentary film chronicling the Haguewood Prairie Battle of September 27,1863 which occurred near Paris and involved 800 Confederate Troops on the way into Missouri on The Great Raid and 80 members of the First Arkansas Infantry Company H (US). Commanding officers were Colonel Joseph Shelby & Captain “Tuck” Thorpe (Confederate Calvary) and Captain William C. Parker (US First Arkansas Infantry Company H – “Mountain Feds”)
The Haguewood Prairie Battle occurred in Logan County one mile northeast of the Paris Courthouse. Students dressing in period clothing will be representing key relevant figures from either side of the conflict. The reenactment will be held in two stages. The first stage of the reenactment will take place in the form of the participating students being interviewed as the historical figures that they are portraying while dressed in period clothing. The second stage of the reenactment will be filmed with the students on location at The Haguewood Prairie battlefield.
Dr. Curtis Varnell was instrumental in applying for the grant which is provided by The Arkansas Humanities Council and is awarded to artists, community organizations, and government entities that want to offer public humanities programs. The grant funding also allows for the filming and subsequent video production of the entire event. The Western Arkansas Educational Co-Op has secured the services of “This Is Arkansas” team members Ray Bertram, Michael Schwarz, and Michael Johnson in conjunction with professional Little Rock-based film videographer Bob Sandufer to assist in numerous vital facets of the reenactment. Bob Sandufer is the owner and operator of Sandefur Film & Video of Little Rock, his work is well known throughout the state of Arkansas.
The Western Arkansas Educational Co-Op (along with all of the school districts involved) are very excited that he has signed on to assist in the filming of the Civil War reenactment that they are staging for their students. Ray Bertram (of This Is Arkansas) is a resident of the Petit Jean Mountain area while both his associates involved in the project, Michael Schwarz (Oklahoma City) and Michael Johnson (Petit Jean Mountain), are filmography students at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. The documentary that will be produced around the reenactment will be shown in conjunction with this year’s annual Paris Frontier Day Festival and Haguewood Prairie Battle Historic Marker dedication scheduled for Saturday, October 5, 2013 at the Logan County Fairgrounds 2.5 miles east of Paris on Scenic State Highway 22.