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Left to right, Robert Jewellson, Roger Hill and Patsy Hill at a recent Living History event.

Skirmish of Woodall Bridge to be reenacted tomorrow

History will come alive tomorrow when members of three local camps reenact the Skirmish of Woodall Bridge at E.A.R.T.H. Park.

Camps of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will band together to reenact the skirmish as a part of their Living History events during the Depot Days festival. A canon blast will signal the beginning of the skirmish at 10 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.

Hartselle’s Woodall Bridge camp, along with the Winston County Grays and the Decatur Sons of Liberty will be represented.

Roger Hill is the commander of Woodall Bridge and he has been involved in the Sons of Confederate Veterans since the early 2000s. He and his wife Patsy even married in period uniforms.

“(We do this) to educate the people that the Confederate soldier fought for his rights and fought against taxation that (Abraham) Lincoln put on the South,” Hill said. “This is what we do, this is what we were charged to do: to tell the truth and keep the good name of the Confederate soldier.”

Hartselle is home to The Skirmish of Woodall Bridge for which the Hartselle camp is named. According to the historic marker that was erected in 2014, an estimated 600 Confederate and Union troops skirmished on the site on April 7, 1864 for control of crucial troop movements south of the Tennessee River during the Federal occupation of North Alabama.

“Confederate Brigadier General James Holt Clanton led forces based in Danville against a Federal cavalry from the garrison at Decatur for control of Woodall’s Bridge. The bridge was the primary route for east-west movement in Morgan County after an important river bridge at Decatur was burned two years earlier. Troops needed access to Woodall’s Bridge to move across the county and defend their picket positions,” the marker reads.

According to the inscription on the plaque, the Confederate strength was initially 40 men, with another 200 becoming engaged during the skirmish. The Confederates chased the Union cavalry of 350 back to Decatur after the skirmish.

Hill and his camp, along with members of the other groups, will don their period uniforms all day tomorrow, interact with attendees and answer questions about their organization and the Civil War.