Civil War

Published on February 25th, 2014 | by Newt Rayburn

4

The Civil War Battle of Okolona, Mississippi – Sesquicentennial – Photographs by Newt Rayburn – February 22, 2014

On Saturday, February 22, 2014, Okolona, Mississippi commemorated a major Civil War battle that took place in here in Chickasaw CountyMississippi 150 years ago. 

The Sesquicentennial Reenactment took place on some of the original battlefield. Hundreds of people turned out for the event, which also featured music by the Lost Cause String Band, speakers, sutlers, actors, and an auction of dozens of Civil War related antiques.

The Civil War was waged here on February 22, 1864 by 7,000 Cavalry forces under the command of Union Brigadier General William Sooy Smith against 2,500 Cavalry forces under the command of Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

This was Forrest’s first battle in North Mississippi as General of his own force, and despite being outnumbered, Forrest thoroughly whipped General Smith’s far greater force.

All photographs were taken by Newt Rayburn of Oxford, Mississippi. Contact the photographer at newtrayburn@gmail.com.

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The Prairie Mount Cemetery was the scene of major fighting at the Battle of Okolona on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate Captain J.E. Turner is buried at Prairie Mount Cemetery, although the Captain was not present at the time of the Battle of Okolona. Turner was at the Battle of New Hope Church near Atlanta, Georgia on May 25, 1864 and succumbed to injuries there. During the Civil War, Captain Turner owned quite a bit of Chickasaw County. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Graves in the Prairie Mount Cemetery. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate reenactors prepare for battle in the hills of Chickasaw County, Mississippi on February 22, 2014. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Young folk at the reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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The Sesquicentennial reenactment took place on one section of the original battlefield in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Andy Anderson played the roll of Union Cavalry at the reenactment. His family owned much of the original battlefield before the State of Mississippi and the National groups bought and preserved parts of the battlefield. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate reenactors at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate artillery reenactors at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate artillery at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. The cannon blasts shook the ground once again 150 years after the original battle. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederates at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederates at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union Soldiers at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederates push back the Union Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union and Confederate soldiers resort to hand-to-hand combat at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Close combat at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate dead litter the battlefield the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate dead litter the battlefield the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. This is the original battlefield. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederates rally and push the Yankees back further at the reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate Cavalry at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Union reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Confederate reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Spectators at the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. The tree marks the spot where Colonel Jeffrey Forrest died 150 years ago. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona saluting fallen soldiers. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Reenactors at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Colonel Jeffrey Forrest died here at the Battle of Okolona, Mississippi on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Part of the original Battle of Okolona took place here on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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This tree marks the spot where Confederate Colonel Jeffrey Forrest died at the Battle of Okolona, Mississippi on February 22, 1864. The hills all around here had major fighting by about 9,500 cavalry. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Andy Anderson played the roll of Union Cavalry at the reenactment. His family owned much of the original battlefield before the State of Mississippi and the National groups bought and preserved parts of the battlefield. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Michael Cole played the role of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest at the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Okolona. Cole is a State of Tennessee Park Ranger in Nashville, Tennessee. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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There were about 100 Union casualties and 50 Confederate casualties at the Battle of Okolona. Many of them had their last moments at this pond. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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A section of the original Pontotoc-Okolona road in Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Major fighting occurred here on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Unknown Union soldier graves near Troy, Mississippi. There are 11 graves here at this site, right besides Highway 41 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. These soldiers were killed by troops under the command of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Unknown Union soldier graves near Troy, Mississippi. There are 11 graves here at this site right besides Highway 41 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. These soldiers were killed by troops under the command of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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Unknown Union soldier graves near Troy, Mississippi. There are 11 graves here at this site right besides Highway 41 in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. These soldiers were killed by troops under the command of Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest on February 22, 1864. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

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This is Ivy’s Hill in Troy, Mississippi. Union cavalry under the command of Union Brigadier General William Sooy Smith made their last stand here against Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Photograph by Newt Rayburn

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This is the original Pontotoc-Okolona road at Ivy’s Hill in Troy, Mississippi. Union cavalry under the command of Union Brigadier General William Sooy Smith made their last stand here against Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Photograph by Newt Rayburn

 

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Confederate artillery at the Sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battle of Okolona. The cannon blasts shook the original battle ground 150 years later. Photograph by Newt Rayburn.

All photographs were taken by Newt Rayburn of Oxford, Mississippi. Contact Newt at newtrayburn@gmail.com.

"Behind the Big House" Tour in Holly Springs: April 11-13
Meridian, Mississippi Commemorates Civil War History

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About the Author

Newt Rayburn founded THE LOCAL VOICE in 2006.

Previously, Newt was Editor of PROFANE EXISTENCE in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Art Director for Ole Miss’ LIVING BLUES magazine. Newt won a National Magazine Award in 1999 for his SOUTHERN MUSIC ISSUE with THE OXFORD AMERICAN.

A seventh-generation Lafayette County, Mississippian, Newt is perhaps best known as the leader of the Mississippi RocknRoll band THE COOTERS, but he also has the Country & Southern Rock group, HAWGWASH.

Newt is a Photographer, Writer, and Civil War Enthusiast.



4 Responses to The Civil War Battle of Okolona, Mississippi – Sesquicentennial – Photographs by Newt Rayburn – February 22, 2014

  1. W P Arinder says:

    Newt,

    I’m the Confederate carrying the flag in these pictures. May I have your permission to make a copy of picture number 39 (down from the top) for my scrapbook?

    pa

    • Newt Rayburn says:

      As long as it’s for personal use for just yourself, that’s fine. If you need multiple copies for other uses, please send me an email. Thanks so much for getting in touch.

  2. W P Arinder says:

    Thanks,

    Just for my own personal use.

    pa

  3. Dave Ringo says:

    Good job Newt……Dave Ringo….

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