Rugged - But Sublime

It has been 15 years since the last Red River Campaign and 20 years since the original - true campaign event was produced.  FINALLY, another Red River Campaign! 

 Before Red River, the idea of marching 1000 men 65 miles over original march routes, fighting on original battle fields, not to mention producing rations to feed these soldiers for a week in the field at as many as 15 different camps, was deemed impossible. Red River was an event that changed Civil War reenacting forever.  

 One publisher wrote: “it’s a grand idea but after all it’s only a pipe dream, it can not be done”.  That same editor later wrote that… “every now and then, in the nature of Civil War reenacting, something happens that breaks through this evolutionary process . . . I think that the recently completed Red River Campaign might very well be just such an occurrence”.  (1994)

 The 1994 Red River Campaign spawned a list of new words to be applied to the hobby, such as “campaigners” and “hardcore”.  

 While some promoters advertise "Campaign Style" events, the truth is that in re-enacting there have been only a very few real campaigns. The Red River Campaigns in 1994 and 1999 set the bench mark for others to follow.  Several brave souls have created their version of successful campaigns.  Yet it is the Red River events in northwest Louisiana, which wound their way 70 miles through Natchitoches, Sabine and DeSota Parishes, that remain unmatched in their scope and success.  They were revolutionary, they made history and they were called the Red River Campaign.

 You have heard the stories over many years. Now you have an opportunity to experience a Red River Campaign event for yourself. In June of 2015 we will interpret the Arkansas wing of the Red River Campaign - The Camden Expedition. The Nineteenth Century Living History Association (NCLHA), in association with Historic Washington State Park, a Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and the Nevada County Depot Museum, will produce the 150th Anniversary Red River Campaign – The Camden Expedition.  

It will begin on Sunday June 7.  The campaign will be fought over 28 miles of dirt roads, through a small town and on original battlefields. There are very few fences and fewer houses, on our route through Hempstead and Nevada Counties .  We will end on theoriginal Prairie D’Ane Battlefield on Saturday June 13 – a pristine, one-mile wide site that will present many challenges. 

 While there will be skirmishing and fighting every day, we have set the scenario to correspond with the original dates of the Camden Expedition. So Union and Confederate forces will be repeatedly engaged for four consecutive days, just as they were 150 years ago. On Wednesday there will be a major fight through the town of Washington as part of an educational program for local school children. We will be engaged most of the day Saturday on the original Prairie D’Ane battlefield. Saturday’s fight will also be a spectator battle.  

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