|June 10, 1864|
Dedication Ceremony |
for Mass Grave Message Board
Saturday, October 29, 2011
at 2 p.m. at
Bethany Historic Cemetery
Brice's Crossorads Battlefield
Highway 370 West
Public is invited
Call Mississippi Final Stands Interpretive Center
for more information at 662-365-3969
New exhibits and sites open at Brice’s Crossroads-
Newly interpreted sites and an expanded exhibit were opened Ma , 2011 at Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center and Battlefields (formerly Brice’s Crossroads Visitor’s Center and Battlefield) at 607 Grisham Street in Baldwyn.
More than 50 people attended the ribbon cutting and exhibit opening and several enjoyed a driving tour of new sites at Brice’s and Tupelo/ Harrisburg. The 1200 sq. ft. expansion includes a gallery that interprets both the Battles of Brice’s Crossroads and the Battle of Tupelo/ Harrisburg, and the second day of the battle at Old Town Creek through interactive exhibits and maps. The diary of Rev. Samuel Agnew is featured in the front gallery of the center and includes his daily accounts of events, both at home and abroad, for 50 years between 1852 and 1902.
This newly created center, Mississippi's Final Stands Interpretive Center and trails project, is the result of Transportation Enhancement Act funding in the amount of a 1.5 million grant administered through the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield Commission applied for and was granted money that funded construction of the expansion and the design of a permanent exhibit interpreting the two last major battles in Mississippi during the summer of 1864.
Members of the battlefield commission are Gary Carnathan, Marty Ramage ,John Hatcher, John Haynes, Ronnie Bell, Phil Morgan, Bobby Smith, Mike Kesler, Benny Rakestraw and Dewayne Newman.
The Mississippi’s Final Stands Board of Directors includes representatives from the City of Baldwyn, including Jim Bishop and Jim Grisham; The City of Tupelo, represented by Dick Hill and Ed Neelly; Lee County, represented by Rhett Russell and Pete Christopher, and the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau represented by Neal McCoy, Stephanie Coomer and Pat Rasberry. Gerald Creelly, represents the Old Town Creek site and John Haynes of Baldwyn is the executive director of the Battlefield Commission. Edwina Carpenter is the director of the Interpretive Center.
A work/conference room, a library, and additional storage and a new porch with picnic facilities are also included.
The grant funding also provides a pull-off and interpretive signage at the 12-acre Old Town Creek site on Mt.Vernon Road in Tupelo where the second day of the Battle of Harrisburg was fought. 14,000 federal troops camped on the night of July15 and pushed the pursuing Confederate army off the adjacent ridge following a surprise attack. The Battlefield Commission and the Civil War Trust purchased the Tupelo property last year. This newly interpreted site and the exhibit will enhance the visitor’s north Mississippi civil war experience. A guided driving tour of the route between Brice’s Crossroads and Old Town Creek will be offered.
A replica of the Tishomingo Creek Bridge, which was located, in June, 1864, about 50 yards north of the present bridge on Highway 370, is included in the project. A pull off and access from the road at creek level and viewing from the existing trail on the Log Cabin knoll provides the visitor with information about its importance in the rout of the Union troops during the June 10 battle. The third interpretive site includes a pull off and interpretation at the James C. Jourdan burial site on CR 168 with construction of a trail to, and visual linkage with the White House Ridge site where the last stand of the Union troops occurred during the battle on the present CR 167. The final resting place of two artillery men here is also interpreted. These properties were purchased by the commission with the help of the Civil War Trust and the Austin, Texas Civil War Roundtable. They will be maintained by Union County Supervisor Benny Rakestraw.
Cook-Coggin Engineers, the project engineer, has worked with Prairie Construction to build the interpretive pull-offs and King Construction constructed the addition . Michael Lapaglia, professional exhibit designer, prepared and constructed the exhibit and the interpretation of trails along with Center Director Edwina Carpenter.
The exhibit, trail, video and interpretive signs for all four sites are open and ready for visitors. This event is a celebration the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Northeast Mississippi.
The center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9-5. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12. Group rates and tours are available. 662-365-3969. www.bricescrossroads.com. Coming soon_ new website