Photo gallery: Cannons erupt at Old Jefferson Town

Educators from Valley Falls and Oskaloosa reenact the Battle of Hickory Point for their students

by Dennis Sharkey

When Oskaloosa seventh-grader Cameron Walford woke up last Thursday morning he probably had no idea he would be on the a battlefield later that day firing a cannon.

Hundreds of elementary and high school students from Oskaloosa and Valley Falls descended upon Old Jefferson Town last Thursday, Oct. 6, for a battle reenactment of the Battle of Hickory Point that originally took place in 1856 a couple of miles north of Oskaloosa.

Battle of Hickory Point

Free Staters led by Gen. Lane (Loren Feldkamp, front) cross a bridge while preparing to battle a group of pro slavery supporters in the reenactment of the battle of Hickory Point Thursday at Old Jefferson Town. Photos by Monty Davis

The battle featured three cannon shots from the “Old Sacramento” cannon. And a fourth shot after the battle was over. Walford got to pull the trigger while his classmates held their ears.

Oskaloosa and Valley Falls students are used to friendly battles on the football field or basketball courts but got to see a battle between educators last week.

On the pro-slavery side was Oskaloosa teacher Ron Ellis while Free- Staters from Lawrence were led by Valley Falls Superintendent Loren Feldkamp.

Before each scene would begin , Tim Reus, Administrator of Constitution Hall in Lecompton, would narrate what scene was about to occur and then the shouting and gunfire would start.

The Free-State troops first tried to roll a wagon on fire toward the pro-slavery boys but were driven back. Many in the crowd laughed when one Free-State man’s gun popped like a toy gun as he retreated.

The biggest response from the crowd came when the “Old Sacramento” came rolling in. After the first and second shots of the cannon many children could be heard shouting, “Do it again!”

After the battle Feldkamp led the students on a walk-through of how the cannon is prepared for firing with hands going up when he asked for volunteers.

Ellis said after the battle that his students have been anticipating the battle for weeks.

“The younger ones just love it,”

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=10412

Posted by on Oct 16 2011. Filed under Featured, Media, Oskaloosa School District, Schools, The Vindicator, Valley Falls School District. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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