Battle of Hodge Plantation - 2002
Navarro County, Texas


Civil War Index || Corsicana Daily Sun Articles


Schedule of Events (Partial)
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
January 11-13, 2002


Friday, 9:00 A.M. Soldiers' Camps open at Chatfield
Friday, 7:00 P.M. Special Showing of the Pearce Collection

Saturday, 9:00 A.M. Soldiers' Camps open at Chatfield
Saturday, 9:30 A.M.
         until 5:00 P.M.
"Life on the Homefront" at Pioneer Village
Saturday, 10:00 A.M. Tour of Corsicana Civil War Sites, beginning at the Courthouse
Saturday, All Day Showing of the Pearce Collection / Planetarium Feature Shows - Cook Center
Saturday, 3:00 P.M. Battle commences at Chatfield
Saturday, 5:30 P.M. Banquet and Confederate Ball - (Reservations Required)

Sunday, 9:00 A.M. Soldiers' Camps open at Chatfield
Sunday, All Day Pioneer Village Tours & Living History at Chatfield
Sunday, 1:00 P.M. Battle commences at Chatfield

(Times subject to change. Please inquire in advance.)



The Chatfield site of the Battle of Hodge Oaks Plantation is northeast of Corsicana. Seven miles north of Corsicana on I-45, exit east on FM 1603 and follow five miles to Chatfield.  To reach Corsicana from Dallas, on I-45 proceed south 60 miles to Corsicana. Via State Hwy. 31 from Tyler, 70 miles to Corsicana and 50 miles from Waco to Corsicana via State Hwy. 31.


For More Information, Contact:

J.L. Halbert Camp #359, S.C.V.
P.O. Box 26
Chatfield, Texas 75105
(903) 874-1243
email:  [email protected]


1/19/2002 Halbert Camp puts on fifth Civil War re-enactment

From Staff Reports

"Please don't cut off my leg," pleaded the young boy in the gray uniform lying on the table. The surgeon, his apron splattered with blood and a pile of arms and legs sprawled at his feet, seemed to ignore the boy's cries. "Hold him down," he barked to the orderlies as cannon fire echoed outside the hospital tent.

Such was one of the many realistic scenes which greeted spectators Jan. 12-13 at the fifth annual Battle of Hodge Oaks Plantation Civil War reenactment at Chatfield in northeastern Navarro County. The reenactment which is held the second full weekend of every January seeks to show what life was like for the hundreds of thousands of northern and southern men who fought the American Civil War.

"Of course, spectators like to see the cavalry charges and roaring cannons, but we like to also show them what was the real effect of war," said Confederate surgeon major Doug Garnett, a Paris EMT in real life. As he does for reenactments all over Texas, Garnett set up his hospital tent and period surgical equipment for the entire three-day Chatfield event. He said school students in particular were fascinated by the sometimes primitive conditions under which wartime medicine was practiced.

Hundreds of students from three-area school districts toured the Civil War hospital and other outdoor military exhibits at the plantation site Jan. 11, according to Howard R. Green of Rice, 2002 event coordinator. They were treated to demonstrations by artillery, cavalry and infantry troops from the Val Verde Battery, 0.M. Roberts Battery, 9th Texas Artillery, 12th Texas Cavalry, and the 6th U.S. Regiment. Students also learned something of the history of the area and the part Navarro County played in the war effort for the Confederacy.

They were shown the site of a plant manufacturing sabers for the Confederate Army and the 142-year-old house built by Capt. Robert Hodge on his two-square mile Hodge Oaks Plantation. They also learned about Maj. Gen. J.O. "Jo" Shelby.

Shelby commanded the last Confederate unit in existence in any of the Confederate states when he came to Chatfield in June 1865, almost two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee had surrendered in Virginia. He camped his force south of Hodge Oaks Plantation and stayed in the original ante-bellum home as a guest of Capt. Hodge. In what has become known as "The Last Review of the Confederacy," Shelby assembled his men for the final time for a military inspection at which he would tell them that the war was over.

As he stood in the stirrups, he removed his plumed hat and declared, "I shall never surrender; I will go to Mexico." When Shelby then asked, "Who will join me in Mexico," he was answered by hundreds of his men shouting that they would go with him. The 1960s John Wayne movie, "The Undefeated," is loosely based on the Shelby experience that began at Chatfield.

The recreation of "The Last Review of the Confederacy" proved to be one of the highlights of activities Jan. 12-13, according to Green. "All the reenactors really like the ceremony because it reenacts a real event that brought the war between the states to an end. Because there were so few actual battles in Texas, we are real lucky to have an important historical event like Shelby's review to be part of our reenactment," he said.

A record number of almost 200 reenactors from 14 units participated in this year's Battle of Hodge Oaks Plantation activities. They came from all over Texas and from Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, Green said. "The success of our event comes from a good location and the importance of the site to Shelby's review," he said. "I think it will just keep growing."

Hundreds of spectators were treated to battles showing the tactics of the period. A number of living history demonstrations were made available to the public showing how soldiers and civilians lived. Pioneer Village and the Pearce Civil War Documents Collection in Corsicana also were open on their regular schedules to accommodate visitors wanting to know more about the period.

As has been the case for the last four years, the Battle of Hodge Oaks Plantation is sponsored by the J. L. Halbert Camp No. 359, Sons of Confederate Veterans of Corsicana. Major support this year also was provided by the Parson's Dragoons 12th Texas Cavalry, a reenactment unit based in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex


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Copyright March, 2009
Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox