By Katie Nichols (Contact) | Selma Times-Journal

Published Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Since last month residents thought the Battle of Selma cannons would remain cold and unused and grey and navy uniforms would hang in closets beside hoop skirts.

But news came that the Battle was back on.

Local re-enactor James Hammonds took the event under his wing and began a way to bring it back.

Candace Johnson, Tourism and Convention Bureau, welcomed the idea.

“James has taken this on from the ground up,” she said. “This is great for Selma. The battle shows the other side of our history. The Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement are both such big parts of Selma and now we can have both represented again.”

The basic plan for the battle is to scale back, but bring it back to its full scale by the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Selma.

Hammond said a press release would follow in the coming days detailing more of the schedule, but Johnson said the Thursday school day would be cut.

“Right now, we are doing a school day only on Friday,” she said. “We’ll still fire cannons, I believe, and have the students ask questions and get involved.”

Part of the Battle of Selma reenactment is that provides a walking, living, breathing history lesson. Students from Dallas and other counties can ask questions to the re-enactors, who are virtual experts in their fields.

Chairman of the Battle of Selma Board Chuck Yeargan was pleased to hear the news.

“I think this is a great event,” he said. “The past years it has been hard to put it own with just a few people helping. I wish [Hammond] the very best.”

Yeargan said the grounds for the battle are ready for the event. All that is needed is the famous house to be burned at Sunday’s culmination.

The Battle of Selma has become part of the annual city calendar and many are glad it will stay that way.

“It is just so great to know it’s not canceled,” Johnson said. “It is such a great boost to Selma’s tourism and it is something we look forward to every year.”