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Lakeport Legacies to Feature ‘The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta’


LAKE VILLAGE — “Ironclads, Cotton and Corn: The Civil War in the Mississippi Delta” will be presented by Jim Woodrick in the latest Lakeport Legacies monthly history talk, Thursday, July 27, at the Lakeport Plantation, 601 Highway 142, in Lake Village.

The event gets underway at 5:30 p.m., with refreshments and conversation, and the program starts at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, contact Dr. Blake Wintory, Lakeport Plantation assistant director, at 870-265-6031. 

Many Civil War historians have treated the Mississippi Delta region as a sideshow to more significant campaigns in the east. However, the Delta's rich plantations, which supplied Union forces, witnessed some of the first ironclad battles of the Civil War and the emancipation of thousands of slaves.

Historian Jim Woodrick will explore how the Delta was vital to Confederate interests and was the target of repeated Union attempts to utilize the region’s waterways as an avenue of invasion. 

A native of Meridian, Miss., Woodrick serves as director of the Historic Preservation Division at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, where he worked for a number of years as the Civil War sites historian. In that capacity, he managed the Mississippi Civil War Trails program, participated in a number of battlefield and campaign studies with the National Park Service and worked closely with the Civil War Trust and the American Battlefield Protection Program to identify Civil War battlefield properties in Mississippi for acquisition and preservation.

He is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and the author of The Civil War Siege of Jackson Mississippi, published by The History Press (2016). Signed copies of his book will be available for purchase for $24 (includes tax). Payment is by cash or check only.

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on the last Thursday of the month at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured.

The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed in 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas's premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details.

Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. A-State’s Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash, and Arkansas State University Museum.  

Harpers Weekly May 2 1863
“Seizure and Handling of Cotton in the Southwest.” Harper’s Weekly (May 2, 1863), documented Union confiscation of cotton hidden at American Bend near the Worthington Plantation in Washington County, Miss. According to the paper, “three thousand bales” were “pledged to the British Government at seven cents per pound.”