The people in period clothes and uniforms camped on the grounds of Jefferson College at Washington, Mississippi, just outside Natchez, were of two groups and those reenacting a military encampment and those representative of the citizenry of the era.
The civilian encampment is known as a rendezvous. Both groups are here so we can come and visit and ask questions and learn a little bit about history.
I really think the rendezvous folks just like the idea of getting away from life and camping out. One of them told me the difference between them and the military re-enactors would be, if only three people showed up to view the events one day, the military folks would be wondering why more people didn't turn out while the rendezvous folks would be complaining about the size of the crowd.
But both groups are here in commemoration of a trip Andrew Jackson and his troops made down the Natchez Trace from Nashville in 1813. They thought they were going to fight the British somewhere along the Gulf Coast in the War of 1812. But this trip, the group of Tennessee Volunteers made it this far and then were released.
Now, Jackson would eventually meet up with the British in The Battle of New Orleans in 1815. And his victory there did several things for him. Won him the Presidency in 1828. And even before that, got the new capitol city of Mississippi named for him in 1822.
Andrew Jackson was no stranger to this part of the country. He was in what is now Jefferson County in the 1790's romancing and marrying a Nashville divorcee, Rachel Robards, who was staying with friends of the family at Springfield Plantation.
And Jackson went into business with Peter Bruin at Bruinsburg, a little village on the Mississippi River at the mouth of Bayou Pierre.
Bruinsburg is the place General Grant would land his troops in the Civil War 50 years later commencing the beginning of the Vicksburg Campaign, another anniversary being marked this month.
And I guess another legacy of that era is our modern Natchez Trace Parkway connecting Natchez on the southern end with Nashville on the north. Of course the Trace Jackson's men walked down and then back home on looked more like a trail than the modern highway.
So this month and the next few are historically significant in our part of the country. We look back at events that happened a century and a half or even two centuries ago that had a profound influence on how life is lived here today.
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