Muster Day on the Natchez Trace – May 26-27, 2012
Help the Natchez Trace Parkway commemorate important events and the history of the Trace and its role in American history. The Natchez Trace Compact and the Natchez Trace Parkway Association are excited to announce Muster Day on the Natchez Trace on May 26 – 27, 2012.
The observance of the bicentennial of the War of 1812 on the Natchez Trace is May 26 – 27 at the Gordon House at mile marker 407.5. 1812 events in Tennessee and Alabama leading up to the war will be recreated and visitors should get a good understanding of the causes of the war.
In 1812, militia units met once or twice a year to train. Once the training was completed, the assembled soldiers and their families spent the time together with their neighbors in a festival atmosphere. Settlers took advantage of the crowds to sell their wares. Politicians and preachers did not pass on the opportunity to address a crowd. Reenactments and interpretations of all those elements will provide a historically accurate, educational and fun event. Recreations of actual speeches given by George Colbert, Col. Henderson and Andrew Jackson will be presented, along with debates among historical figures as to
whether the country should go to war.
The U.S. 7th Infantry Living History Association, the “Cottonbalers,” is expected to bring between 50 and 100 participants to recreate the military. This group conducts the annual War of 1812 reenactment at the Chalmette Battlefield in New Orleans. More information about the group can be found at www.cottonbaler.com.
John Gordon, who operated a ferry for Natchez Trace travelers on the Duck River at the site, served as one of General Jackson’s Company of Spies and he often took the lead in the military actions. He was sent as the sole spy into Spanish-controlled Pensacola. The intelligence he gained led to the American invasion of Pensacola. Gordon will be honored as part of the event. The Association will assist in creating new interpretation about John Gordon.
On May 28th, participants are expected to conduct a ceremony in Leiper’s Fork at mile marker 428 on the Benton home site. Thomas Hart Benton was General Jackson’s aide-de-camp during the 1813 Natchez Expedition. The Daughters of the War of 1812 will unveil a bicentennial marker as part of the ceremony. The Daughters of the War of 1812, as well as the Daughters of the American Revolution, placed markers along the old Trace to preserve its memory, prior to the enactment of the legislation creating the Parkway.
Plans for subsequent events are being developed for Natchez in 2013, Colbert Ferry in 2014 and cities along the entire Trace in 2015. The commemoration along the Trace will lead to a July 4, 2015 event at the Hermitage, which will be the concluding event of the national bicentennial. The bicentennial provides an excellent opportunity to tell one of the key stories of the importance of the Natchez Trace.
The 7th U.S. Infantry Living History Association will be a sponsor of this event. The Park Service is working on an official press release and flyer — we will keep you up-to-date. Visit the new Natchez Trace Parkway Association website at www.natcheztraceinfo.com (content is still being developed.) You can also find them on Facebook. Thank you, Natchez Trace Parkway Association for this information!
Credit: Natchez Trace Parkway Association