Jefferson Civil War Days
Join us for Jefferson's Pilgrimage and Civil War Weekend May 5 through May 7, 2017.
Re-enactors can camp free at Diamond Don RV Park with lots of space, trees and plenty of amenities for re-enactors, including free WIFI, water, hay, split wood, restrooms, showers and powder bounty - wagons, guns and cannons. Registration fee is $8, per military or civilian reenactor and includes military camping, noon-day meals, Saturday evening dinner and ball. Limited RV sites with water and electric are available to re-enactors for $20, per night. Call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041. Participation in the main battles and train skirmishes on Saturday and Sunday is required in order to receive these reenactor amenities. All reenactors are encouraged to particiapte in Friday's Day of Learning-Living History. For those with physical limitations, you can participate in the train skirmishes right from your campsite along the Big Cypress Bayou.
The Andrews Raid and Great Locomotive Chase will be held on Saturday, May 6, with live steam train rides departing from the Historic Jefferson Railway in downtown Jefferson at 11:30, 2:00, 3:30 and 5:00; and Sunday, May 7 at 11:30 and 1:00. Ticket price is $15, plus tax. Lap children ride free.
Friday, May 5, there will be a Day of Learning for school groups, sponsored by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, to draw attention to the history and romance of the Civil War way of life. The Living History Camps will demonstrate Camp Life and Military Activities and includes a live steam train ride aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway as the story of The Andrews Raid unfolds alongside the Big Cypress Bayou. See a gunboat with real live cannons. Visit Diamond Don Gator Pit with live gators and see ruins from the 1800’s. Price for Living History is $3 per student; train ride is additional $5 per student.
On Saturday and Sunday, spectators and see a Battle Re-enactment in close proximity to downtown Jefferson. Spectators purchase tickets at Historic Jefferson Railway and drive or walk a short distance to the battleground located along the Big Cypress Bayou behind the train station. See big cannons and horse drawn artillery as the battle between the North and South gives you a glimpse of history. Battles will take place at 2:00 on Saturday and 1:00 on Sunday. Spectator fee is $8 for either or both days. For those with physical limitations, the easiest way to see the action is aboard the Steam Train, which is wheelchair accessible. (If you need wheelchair access on the train, please call Melissa at 903-742-2041 to reserve your spot.)
Want to see all the excitement? Then purchase a train ticket and spectator battle ticket and have twice the fun!
Famous campaigns were planned and conducted for the primary purpose of capturing or destroying railroad lines of value to the enemy. On the morning of April 12, 1862, the most famous locomotive of the Civil War, the General, was hijacked by the Union civilian spy, James J. Andrews, and his men. After a nail-biting eight hours and 87 miles, the Southerners captured the General, James Andrews and several of his men.
Experience true civil war scouting probes and skirmishes aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway’s live steam train. Keep your seat on the train as you see history in action near the railroad track and see the gunboat engage in battle with the train.
Take a step back in time as the Historic Jefferson Railway takes you on an excursion that circles the Piney Woods along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou. You’ll view a Confederate Powder Magazine from the Civil War era and remains of many sites from the 1800’s still visible along the track. The live steam train is a restored antique Crown Metals built in 1964. The open-canopied observation cars provide an excellent view of this exciting event along the river.