Ghosts of the Past
Authentically costumed tour guides will take visitors onto the Mansfield battlefield by candle lantern, where re-enactors in period dress will act out various scenes at stops along the trail.
Mansfield State Historic Site will re-create the gruesome aftermath of a Civil War battle by taking visitors on a special night tour of the Mansfield battlefield on Saturday, Oct. 25. Authentically costumed tour guides will take visitors onto the battlefield by candle lantern, where re-enactors in period dress will act out various scenes at stops along the trail. Numerous tours will be taken out during the program’s two-hour run.
“This is one of our most popular events,” says Michael Mumaugh, interpretive ranger. “While the program is definitely “spooky,” it is also educational in that it shows the public how truly horrific the aftermath of a Civil War battle could be.” Mumaugh points out the grim work didn’t stop after the sun set. “Surgeons were operating and amputating by candlelight, soldiers were being buried, and perhaps most tragically, wives, daughters and sons were searching the battlefield by lantern, looking for the bodies of loved ones.”
According to Park Manager Scott Dearman, visitors may even experience something “ghostly” while on the tour. “Civil War battlefields are considered some of the most haunted places in America,” says Dearman. But he points out that explaining the real horror that took place 150 years ago is hard enough. “That’s why making the scenes as realistic as possible is important. It shows the aftermath of war is far from glorious.”
The program will run ongoing from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. Parents should know that some of the program’s thematic content may be too intense for small children.
Mansfield State Historic Site is located on State Highway 175, three miles south of Mansfield. For more information, call 318.872.1474 or 888.677.6267, or visit www.LaStateParks.com.