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Selma, Alabama: Civil war re-enactment

Southern Alabama offers a plethora of intriguing theaters, arts, museums and music, in addition to the civil war and civil rights histories. Small towns, such as Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma and Monroeville encompass a tapestry of music and literature that is inextricably linked to the history of the state's past, as well as a pursuit of fine arts and theater. Selma is located 50 miles west of Montgomery and is historically known for the Selma march to Montgomery for voting rights in March, 1965 and the 1865 Civil War Battle of Selma.


Each year in January, hundreds of Civil War re-enactors begin the preparations and rehearsals for the re-enactment of the Battle of Selma that takes place in late April. The re-enactment is as authentic as possible and if you attend, be prepared for deafening cannon blasts and all-out war.

The actors take their roles seriously and when they take to the re-enactment field, it's all business and keeping the confederates' land and shipyard from the union troops. There are hospital tents where the hurt and fallen soldiers are taken and southern women dressed in period clothing and black mourning clothes. In fact, several of the actors are the great grandchildren of the soldiers who were in the actual 1865 battle.

The scale of the re-enactment is daunting if not downright impressive and something few Americans will ever fully understand unless they venture to Selma to witness this grand re-enactment. For additional information, go to Battle of Selma

The St. James Hotel in Selma has seen guests such as the outlaws Jesse and Frank James. It is a lovely and historical hotel and an excellent place to stay while in Selma. For additional information, call 334-872-3234

Patrice Raplee is an experienced travel photojournalist and editor of Travel Excursion and Seattle Spotlight for Positively Entertainment magazine. In addition, she writes a monthly travel column for the award-wining site Offbeat Travel. She is a member of North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA), International Travel Writers Alliance (ITWA) and the Recording Academy. Her photographs and articles have appeared in numerous international publications, as well as NW newspapers such as the Seattle Times, the Stranger, Seattle Weekly and the Oregonian. As a freelance photojournalist, she has also worked with acclaimed musical entertainers, such as Santana, Billy Joel and Steven Tyler. Patrice travels the globe to cover destinations that feature fascinating culture, art, culinary, history and soft adventure.
All photos by Patrice Raplee