Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

67th Jefferson Civil War Days & Pilgrimage Schedule

April 28th, 2014 by carriagehouse


Jefferson Civil War Days & Pilgrimage

May 1-4, 2014

Jefferson Civil War Days & Pilgrimage

May 1-4, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014



Start Time

End Time


60th Annual Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Jefferson PlayhouseCorner of Market & Henderson streets903-665-6075  7:30 pm $20
Tours of AtalantaJay Gould’s Private Rail Car Tickets available at The Excelsior House Hotel 903-665-2513 or  Daily $5


Friday, May 2, 2014



Start Time

End Time


Civil War Living HistoryMarion County Chamber of Commerce Diamond Don RV Park1602 State Highway 49 East


9:00 3:00 $3 per student
The Great Locomotive ChaseThe Andrews RaidHistoric Jefferson Railway Diamond Don RV Park1602 State Highway 49 East

903-665-6400 or 866-398-2038


9:30 am11:30 am 

1:30 pm


$5 per student
Craft Fair andHeirloom Plant Sale William Perry ParkNext to The Excelsior House  9:00 am 5:00 pm Free
“Stitch, Woven and Hooked”Quilts & Heritage Fiber Arts Jeffersonian Institute120 E Austin Street 9:00 am 5:00 pm Free
The 67th Annual PilgrimageTour Five Historic Churches Tickets can be purchased atThe Excelsior House Hotel or 800-490-7270


11:00 am 4:00 pm $20, children 12 and under, $3
Twilight Garden Stroll Various locations 5:30 pm 7:00 pm Free
60th Annual Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Jefferson PlayhouseCorner of Market & Henderson streets903-665-6075  7:30 pm $20
Street Dance Austin Street, in front ofThe Excelsior House Hotel or 866-319-5470


9:00 pm 11:00 pm Free
Tours of AtalantaJay Gould’s Private Rail Car Tickets available at The Excelsior House Hotel903-665-2513 or  Daily $5
Sutler’s Emporium Dallas Street or 866-319-54670 Daily Free


Saturday, May 3, 2014



Start Time

End Time


The Great Locomotive Chaseand Naval Battle of Port Jefferson – the largest Naval Civil War re-enactment west of the Mississippi 400 E. Austin Street or 866-398-2038


12:00 pm1:00 pm2:00 pm7:00 pm $15 adults$12 children under 1210% Senior & Active Military Discount 
Craft Fair andHeirloom Plant Sale William Perry ParkNext to The Excelsior House  9:00 am 5:00 pm Free
“Stitch, Woven and Hooked”Quilts & Heritage Fiber Arts Jeffersonian Institute120 E Austin Street 9:00 am 5:00 pm Free
Pilgrimage Parade andTown Skirmish Downtown Jefferson 10:00 am Free
The 67th Annual PilgrimageTour Five Historic Churches Tickets can be purchased atThe Excelsior House Hotel or 800-490-7270


11:00 am 4:00 pm $20, children 12 and under, $3
Luncheon BuffetThe Excelsior HouseGrand Ballroom/Courtyard  The Excelsior House Hotel903-665-2513 or  11:30 am 2:00 pm $14 (inclusive)
Ladies Tea”Lady Spies for the confederacy”Period Dress Encouraged  Jeffersonian Institute120 E. Austin St 1:00 pm 3:00 pm $10
Battle for JeffersonRe-enactment Sanders RanchFM 2208 or 866-319-5470


4:00 pm $10
Twilight Garden Stroll Various locations 5:30 pm 7:00 pm Free
60th Annual Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Jefferson PlayhouseCorner of Market & Henderson streets903-665-6075 5:30 pm $20
Old South BallPeriod Dress or Black Tie Jeffersonian Institute120 E. Austin Street or 866-319-5470


8:00 pm $15 each or$25 Couple
60th Annual Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Jefferson PlayhouseCorner of Market & Henderson streets903-665-6075  8:30 pm $20
Tours of AtalantaJay Gould’s Private Rail Car Tickets available at The Excelsior House Hotel903-665-2513 or  Daily $5
Sutler’s Emporium Dallas Street or 866-319-5470  Daily


67th Annual Historic Jefferson Pilgrimage

April 11th, 2014 by carriagehouse

Pilgrimage involves a journey– leaving where we are, going towards something set apart, sacred.  It seems to connote not merely initial steps but a search toward something import, significant.  “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey.  We are spiritual beings on a human journey.”  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)
The first weekend in May for 67 years, the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club has celebrated the beauty of spring in Jefferson, Texas with their annual Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage.  This year’s theme is “Jefferson’s Golden Era” and will be held May 1, 2, 3, and 4, 2014.  Jefferson is filled with events and activities for everyone.  Take a trip to the 1860s while enjoying present day amenities.
DIAMOND BESSIE MURDER TRIAL – Performances May 1 – 4
Beginning on Thursday, May 1, at 7:30 pm, the 60th Annual Diamond Bessie Murder Trial will present 5 performances in the Jefferson Playhouse (corner or Market and Henderson streets) and continuing with productions on Friday, May 2, at 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 3, at 5:30 pm and 8:30 pm and Sunday, May 4, at 2:00 pm.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 903-665-6075 or writing Diamond Bessie Tickets, 313 Woodland Drive, Jefferson, Texas 75657 (advanced tickets are strongly advised).  Becky Palmer will be playing Diamond Bessie for the 30th year.
On Friday and Saturday, May 2 and May 3, from 11 am – 4 pm, tour five historic churches. The five churches, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Catholic and Baptist, were established in the early days of Jefferson and played a vital role in the life of Jefferson which continues to this day.  The buildings were built during the mid 1800s and their architecture holds significant historical beauty and value.  Period dressed docents will greet you presenting the entertaining stories contained in the church histories.  While touring, you will see the many articles, pictures, furnishings and antique items each church houses.  Tickets may be purchased by calling 903-665-2513 or 800-490-7270 or at Pilgrimage Headquarters in front of the Excelsior House beginning at 9:30 am each day of Pilgrimage.
Enjoy the Crafts Fair and Heirloom Plant Sale in Perry Park next to the Excelsior House on Friday and Saturday, May 2 & 3, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, May 4, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
The “Stitch, Woven & Hooked” exhibit of quilts and heritage fiber arts will be held on Friday andSaturday, May 2 & 3, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm in the Jeffersonian Institute at 120 East Austin Street. Should you wish to enter one or some of your quilt, embroidery, hooked or stitched projects, contact us at 903-665-2513 or e-mail
At twilight on Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, be delighted and inspired as you stroll through four beautiful gardens.
Downtown is the place to be on Saturday, May 3, at 10:00 am.  Enjoy the Pilgrimage Parade followed by the Town Skirmish.  Watch as Confederate troops protect Jefferson from the Federal troops.  The full scale Battle for Jefferson re-enactments battle site is Cypress River Ranch on FM 2208.  The first battle is on Saturday, May 3, at 4:00 pm and the second battle is on Sunday, May 4, at 1:30 pm.  Signs will direct you to the battle site where there is plenty of parking.  This is the largest Civil War battle re-enactment in Texas.
After the Pilgrimage Parade and Town Skirmish, enjoy The Excelsior House Grand Ballroom/Courtyard Luncheon Buffet served from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm at $14.00 inclusive. Reservations are strongly recommended by calling 903-665-2513 or 800-490-7270.
Continue your Pilgrimage experience on Sunday morning, May 4, at 10:00 in front of the Christ Episcopal Church on Main Street across from Lion’s Park as you watch the Presentation of Colors.  This is the re-enactment of Miss Fannie Benners’ horseback ride presenting the flag, which was made by the women of Christ Episcopal Church, to the Jefferson Guard as they leave to fight for the Confederacy.
Jefferson offers historic hotels, antique and gift shops, bed and breakfast inns, fine restaurants, museums, historic Oakwood Cemetery, train rides, riverboat rides, horse-drawn carriages, mule-drawn wagons, Jay Gould’s private railcar, the R.D. Moses model railroad and much more.
Visit our web site or e-mail or call the Excelsior House at 903-665-2513 or 800-490-7270.

Join us this Pilgrimage.

Jefferson Civil War Days

April 10th, 2014 by carriagehouse

Civil War
The Great Locomotive Chase – The Andrews Raid & Naval Battle of Port Jefferson

The Historic Jefferson Railway captures the spirit of the Civil War during Pilgrimage & Civil War Weekend in Jefferson, May 3 and 4, 2014, by recreating the battle of the Great Locomotive Chase with soldiers, sailors and Marines from the North and South.  The living history camps along the Big Cypress Bayou come alive as the cannons fire and the battle rages to gain possession of the train.  The gripping tale of The Andrews Raid is the Civil War’s most fascinating railroad story.

The Great Locomotive Chase and Naval Battle of Port Jefferson will be held on Saturday, May 3, with trains departing from the Historic Jefferson Railway in downtown Jefferson at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 7:00 and Sunday, May 4 at 11:30.  Ticket price is $15 Adults; $12 Children under 12; 10% senior and active military discount since there are special accommodations for military members.  Lap children under 4, free.   A portion of each ticket will be donated to the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.  We will have ticket sales online within the next few days, or call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday is a day of learning for school groups, sponsored by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, to draw attention to the history and romance of the Civil War way of life.  The Living History Camps will demonstrate Camp Life and Military Activities and includes a train ride aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway as the story of The Andrews Raid unfolds alongside the Big Cypress Bayou.  See a gunboat with real live cannon fire.

Price for Living History is $3 per student; train ride is $5 per student.  School groups – reserve now.  Call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

On Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, 2014 The Naval Battle of Port Jefferson joins the skirmish as a replica ironclad gunboat, the Virginia, fires from cannons on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou River.  This is the largest naval civil war re-enactment west of the Mississippi and will be represented by US Naval Landing Party, Western Gulf Squadron, as well as a contingent of SeaScouts from Baytown, Texas.
See a Civil War Naval Unit that shows a seldom seen side of the Civil War.  Naval Forces were a pivotal part of the war.  As Naval Living Historians, the Squadron shows the true side of Naval and Marine life on both sides of the war, demonstrating how they dressed, lived and fought during the war.
Famous campaigns were planned and conducted for the primary purpose of capturing or destroying railroad lines of value to the enemy. On the morning of April 12, 1862, the most famous locomotive of the Civil War, the General, was hijacked by the Union civilian spy, James J. Andrews, and his men. After a nail-biting eight hours and 87 miles, the Southerners captured the General, James Andrews and several of his men.
The Merrimack was a Union cruiser, captured by the South in Norfolk Virginia, and renamed the Virginia.  The Jefferson Battle that Never Was will feature the Virginia, fighting from the banks of the river, while the Navy landing party, Marines and soldiers fight to capture the train.
Experience a true civil war naval battle aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway, the only venue available to see this re-enactment.  Reminiscent of the landing parties that aided the regular land forces, from both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line, it will be a unique experience.  Keep your seat on the train as the battle takes place on both sides of the track and from the gunboat in the river.
Take a step back in time as the Historic Jefferson Railway takes you on an excursion that circles the Piney Woods along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou.  You’ll view a Confederate Powder Magazine from the Civil War era and remains of many sites from the 1800’s still visible along the track.  The train will stop about half-way for the Naval Battle of Port Jefferson.  The antique train is a restored gas-powered Plymouth Locomotive built in 1964.  The open-canopied observation cars provide an excellent view of this exciting event along the river.

Navy Battle re-enactors can camp free at Diamond Don RV Park with lots of space, trees and plenty of amenities for re-enactors, including water, hay, split wood, restrooms and showers.  Lunch on Saturday and Sunday will also be provided to the re-enactors.  Transportation will be available from the RV Park to other events in town. Limited RV sites with water and electric are available to re-enactors in the Navy Battle at no charge. First come, first served.  Call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

See all of the Jefferson Civil War activities at The Historic Jefferson Railway train rides and battle have been arranged so that you can participate in the other major events in Jefferson, too.

Spring Twilight Cemetary Tour at Oakwood Cemetary

April 17th, 2013 by carriagehouse

Have you ever wanted to hear Diamond Bessie tell her own version of what happened to her when she was murdered?  Ever been curious as to what those last few minutes were like on the Mittie Stephens as it caught fire and sank in Caddo Lake.  This Saturday, April 20 from 5pm to 7pm, come on down to Oakwood Cemetery and watch four vignettes from some of this historic graveyard’s most famous residents.  A donation of $10 per person is being requested and the tour should take an hour.

Trammel’s Trace Rendezvous Bringing History to Life

September 15th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Trammel’s Trace Rendezvous Brings History to Life

Are you a pre-1840’s re-enactor, period crafter or entertainer? Or a spectator or school group that wants to have some fun? Then come to the 4thAnnual Trammel’s Trace Rendezvous and American Indian Heritage Celebration at the Cypress Bayou RV Park, 1602 Highway 49 East, Jefferson, Texas. The event will take place November 11 and 12, 2011, with set-up beginning on November 8. Admission is $5 per person, per day and includes primitive camping.  Children 5 and under are free. Living History Participants and Period Crafters will receive free entry for the weekend.  Special pricing will be offered to school groups.

Mountain Men, Trappers and Indians get together on the bank of the Big Cypress Bayou to swap goods, tell stories and celebrate survival of another season.  There will be a drawing on Friday morning for a bow or black power deer hunt on the property as well as a drawing for an opportunity to trap a beaver in the beaver pond.  Hunters must have a valid hunting license.  The drawings will be limited to participating living history re-enactors or period crafters.

The Rendezvous is a learning and teaching experience and is open to the public. It is an authentic pre-1840’s living history camp with demonstrations, competitions, children’s games, primitive black powder shooting matches, and tomahawk & knife throwing.  Period crafters & artisans, buckskinners, Indians and Texas History Re-enactors and spectators — all are welcome.

The Rendezvous will feature a Day of Learning on Friday for school, church and youth groups, which will include a structured tour of Living History Demonstrations. For group pricing, visit

Be sure to board the Historic Jefferson Railway’s narrated steam train to hear the history of Jefferson, Trammel’s Trace and the Caddo Indians as their tale unfolds along the Big Cypress Bayou for a five-mile, 35-minute round trip that will depart from the RV Park.  Along the way, passengers view one of the few remaining Confederate powder magazines from the civil war era, the first artificial gas plant site in the state, as well as other historic sites.

The Jefferson Historical Society & Museum will be participating in Friday’s Day of Learning with school group pricing.  Inside you can find examples of porcelains, potteries, paintings, early Jefferson home furnishings, and other collectibles.  Be sure to visit their Caddo Room where you will learn about the people that inhabited this land before the Europeans arrived. In fact, nearby Caddo Lake is named after these peaceful tribes, who actually tie their own history back to that of the lakes.

For more information, visit, call 866-398-2038 or send an email to  Also, or call 903-665-2775 or email

Texas Monthly About the Port Of Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment

July 21st, 2011 by carriagehouse

Little Girls with Chickens

If you have a few minutes today, you should definitely take time to read the wonderful article in this month’s Texas Monthly about my town of Jefferson Texas.  The photographer and writer were here for our annual Battle Of Port Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment that takes place the first weekend in May every year.  They did a wonderful job of portraying our annual event.

The Skirmish Will Be Followed by a Ladies’ Tea

Our Pilgrimage Weekend and Battle Of Port Jefferson Civil War Re-Enactment are splendid affairs that have people showing up in period dress, fighting skirmishes and battles on our brick lined streets, touring our amazing antebellum homes and attending our grand balls.  If you have not been here for this weekend, then you should put it on your bucket list.  It is a must do and must see.  I will even serve breakfast for you in my Civil War gown.


The Battle of Port Jefferson

April 12th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Civil War Skirmish

Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

East Texans were a 1000 miles away from the first canon fire at Ft Sumter, and at that exact moment, they were all  more concerned with their cotton farms and timber trade.  Here in Jefferson, we were a bustling and busy riverport full of the promise of a bright and profitable future.  As our high school teachers taught us all, the Act of the Northern Aggression (as it is referred to this side of the Mason Dixon Line) was a war that forever changed the South.   The War Between States didn’t quite make it here to East Texas and to Jefferson.  It ended in a bloody battle in Mansfield Louisiana but the repercussions are still felt here today.   In fact for those of us that live in the South, the spectre and the remnants of the Civil War are all around us with grave markers still adorned with flowers and old confederate powder magazines along busy boat tour routes .  It often feels like a not so distant memory…almost as if it is something that we discuss when friends gather around.  In fact, we Southerners feel compelled to re-enact it year after year after year (almost as if we are expecting the outcome to change).  Here in Jefferson, we host the Battle of Port Jefferson the first weekend of May each year.

In Jefferson, we try and imagine that it is 1864 all over again.  What would have happened had the war not stopped downstream from us?  What would have happened at the Battle of Port Jefferson?  We know that the Union Army wanted to take what it considered a very strategic port, the Port of Jefferson.  What would that battle have looked like and what would  have happened to Jefferson?

If you are looking for something to do May 6th through the 8th, then come on down.  The largest Civil War re-enactment in Texas will be right here that weekend.

I have to tell the story of last year, because as you know it is never a dull moment here at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast.  Tom and I were still serving breakfast when the Civil War broke out in front of our house…seriously, the Civil War.  I was pouring a cup of coffee when a canon was fired and a brigade of soldiers on horseback came clomping and racing up the street.  It startled me so badly that I almost dropped the carafe of coffee in one of  our gentleman’s lap.  Now you have to admit, you have never stayed at a B&B were breakfast was interrupted by the Civil War before, now have you.  So Tom and I did what any sensible innkeeper would do.  We told everyone to grab up their cups of coffee and head out to the porch where we watched the skirmish from the comfort of rocking chairs and  porch swings.  It was breakfast and a show.  This year, we are going to be smart about it and serve breakfast a little earlier, so everyone will have time to find a place to watch the battles and skirmishes.  You have to admit though, that makes a pretty good rookie innkeeper story.

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