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Christmas in Occupied Clarksville was held Saturday at Fort Defiance Civil War Park

December 12, 2017 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

ChristmasClarksville, TN – Fort Defiance Civil War Park and Interpretive Center hosted its 6th annual Christmas in Occupied Clarksville, Saturday, with a full house on hand to enjoy games, refreshments, and a little history about what it was like to live in occupied Clarksville during the Civil War.

William Parker, Historical Interpreter at Fort Defiance, spoke about the event.

Fort Defiance hosted its annual Christmas in Occupied Clarksville on Saturday, with historic ornaments, refreshments, and traditional music.

Fort Defiance hosted its annual Christmas in Occupied Clarksville on Saturday, with historic ornaments, refreshments, and traditional music.

“We are doing our annual Christmas event,” Parker said. “Today, our guests will get to try period-correct treats that are made from authentic recipes, using ingredients that would have been available at the time of the Civil War. They will also learn a little about life in Clarksville during the Civil War, and have some fun too.”

The Interpretive Center’s Christmas tree was decorated during the event. Guests used provided items and materials that were common in 1860’s Clarksville. Volunteers in costume, led everyone in parlor games and caroling. Later, they served eggnog, cookies and cakes.

“We could not do this without our volunteers,” Parker said. “There are only two of us on staff here. Our volunteers come to us from a group called Friends of Fort Defiance. If anyone wants to join the group, they can come see me anytime, and I will give them information on how to get involved.”

An unusually-dressed Santa Claus entertained Saturday’s crowd as well. His outfit was inspired by a popular political cartoon of the day. The red, white and blue garb looked more like something Uncle Sam might have worn, and he carried a wooden figure named Jeff, representing Jefferson Davis.

“Clarksville was occupied from February, 1862 through the end of the war,” Parker said. “There probably wasn’t a lot of celebration going on during that time. Most of the men were off fighting the war, but the women carried on and did what they could. You still had kids, and they still believed in Christmas.”

Parker says that Fort Defiance set a new attendance record in 2017, its 7th year. He and his team are already looking forward to an even better 2018, for which planning is already underway.

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