Baxter Springs celebrates 150th Civil War Battle Anniversary wit - KOAM TV 7

Baxter Springs celebrates 150th Civil War Battle Anniversary with encampment weekend


If you've heard cannons and gunfire in southeast Kansas...there's no need to be alarmed. It's something many people heard daily in the 1860's, and this weekend the city of Baxter Springs hopes to give the community a little taste of what life was like during the civil war days.

"Baxter Springs is one of 3 places in Kansas where their were civil war battles. And in Baxter Springs, Quanto's raiders killed about 100 Union soldiers on October 6th, 1863." says Baxter Springs' Historical Society, Jim Hall.

Baxter Springs is making that period of time come to life, as the town celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle that took place on the Fort Blair battle grounds. The small town transformed into a classic encampment for thousands of civil war campers, actors and historians to teach the modern generation the way of living, during the tough days of the 1860's.

"People are nicer back then. They have better manners. They treated people a little bit friendlier." says "The Irish Lady", who is a regular at Civil War festivals.

The settlers living in these campsites are not only doing demonstrations, they're living, eating and breathing just like they would 150 years ago.

"When you do this, you step back into 1860. I'm more comfortable in 1860 than I am in 2013. I prefer this." the Irish Lady says.

Re-enactors like the Irish Lady, who takes her role seriously...so seriously, she wouldn't reveal her actual name....but while she's here, she's made Baxter Springs her home--living in tents, cooking over a fire, sewing her own clothes, and living like a real civil war wife.

"When we're here, we really are a big family." she says.

The real life living experience has opened eyes to the millennial generation as well.

"You didn't have to worry about a phone, or a computer or stuff like that. I like that part about it. You get to touch old stuff." says 11 year old Mackenzie Ash.

And much of that old stuff can be seen year round at the Baxter Springs Historical Museum .. But on this special anniversary its the town's history coming to life for an even bigger experience.

And if you are interested in Civil War fashion from the 1860's, the Irish Lady provides a little bit of old fashioned advice to get you started.

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