Civil War Reenactment Set for September 5-6 at Point Mallard Park


CONTACT: Melinda Dunn
President & CEO
Decatur-Morgan County CVB
PHONE: 256.350.2028, 800.524.6181
EMAIL: mdunn@decaturcvb.org
F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E
Civil War Reenactment Set for September 5-6 at Point Mallard Park

Decatur, Alabama (August 20, 2015) – Labor Day is quickly approaching and the North Alabama region boasts plenty of things to see and do over the long holiday weekend. On top of the list is a compelling Civil War reenactment set to take place September 5-6, 2015, at Point Mallard Park in Decatur Ala. Hosted by the 1st Alabama Cavalry Company G “Wheelers Escort”, the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment commemorates the four-day battle which took place in October 1864, telling the story of Decatur’s small, but significant role in the War Between the States.

More than 200 Civil War reenactors are expected to take part in the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment. The weekend event includes mock battles, Civil War relic displays and a Civil War camp with displays of authentic equipment, dress, and drills. Camps open to the public beginning at 10 a.m. with maneuvers and battles taking place at 2 p.m. The Confederate forces will repeatedly attack the Union troops in the Union fort to mimic the event that occurred at and near the Old State Bank.

The public is also invited to a Ladies’ Tea at 10 a.m. and the Military Ball at 7 p.m. on Saturday and a Church Service at 10 a.m. on Sunday. These three events are held at The Chapel located near the entrance of Point Mallard Park.

Other activities include drill and firing of mid-19th century muskets mounted cavalry patrols, cannon and a living history of daily camp life where spectators can purchase Civil War related items and visit with soldiers.

The historical reenactment represents the historic battle event that took place 151 years ago on the east side of Decatur near the Old State Bank. The City of Decatur was an important transportation site for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War due to the Memphis and Charleston’s railroad bridge crossing the Tennessee River. During the 1864 battle at Decatur, Confederate General Hood attempted to break Union supply lines at the crucial railroad crossing at Decatur. He was not successful and had to cross the river at Florence. Decatur’s involvement in this campaign and the fierce four-day battle led to the city to be known as “a hard nut to crack.”

Sponsored by the City of Decatur, Decatur/Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Morgan County Commission and Camp 580 Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division, the two-day event is held at Point Mallard Park, a 750-acre municipal park providing year round recreation facilities in Decatur, Ala. Admission is free. For more information on the Battle for Decatur Civil War Reenactment, call Larry Thomson, SCV Camp 580 Adjutant, at 256.520.2906.

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About The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCCVB)
The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and economic growth in Morgan County. For information on special events and attractions in Decatur and Morgan County, contact the DMCCVB at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028; or visit its website at http://www.decaturcvb.org and click on the “Things to Do” link.

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Labor Day Celebration to be Held at Coon Dog Cemetery


F O R I M M E D I A T E R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Janice M. Williams, President
Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery, Inc.
PHONE: 256.412.5970
EMAIL: coondogcemetery@comcast.net

Labor Day Celebration to be Held at Coon Dog Cemetery

Tuscumbia, Ala. (August 18, 2015) – On a ridge in the Freedom Hills of Northwest Alabama, in a clearing among century-old oaks and “piney” woods, one may visit the graves of more than 300 coon hounds, all tried and true. For most of the year one hears only the peaceful sounds of nature. On Labor Day, however, the quiet is broken when folks gather for the annual Coon Dog Cemetery Labor Day Celebration. They come to have a good time and to pay tribute to the dogs and to those who loved them, especially the cemetery’s founder, Mr. Key Underwood, and the first dog buried here.

It was Labor Day, 1937, when Underwood lost his beloved canine hunting companion, Troop. Remembering the special times and the special place where Underwood had gathered with friends and other dogs to enjoy the night-time sport and its accompanying camaraderie, he decided that it was the perfect place to lay Troop to rest. The grave was dug by Key, Raymond Wheeler and Wilburn Prater. The dog, wrapped in an old cotton pick sack, was buried. Underwood chiseled his name and the date on a sandstone chimney rock. Today, this grave and its marker remain as a tribute to one man’s love of his dog. Surrounded now by others (many with colorful epitaphs) and with not one, but two, memorial monuments depicting treeing coonhounds, the site rivals human cemeteries in history and in love. The Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery is the only one of its kind in the world.

The 2015 Labor Day Celebration, set for Monday, September 7, 2015, will begin at 10 a.m. and will close at 4 p.m. No admission is charged.

According to Janice Williams, president of the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery, Inc., “This year’s celebration should prove to be bigger and better than ever. We welcome back the Southern Strangers to play their old-time Bluegrass music and as an added attraction this year, we will have Muscle Shoals Music Legend, Travis Wammack, and the Snake Man Band.”

L.O. Bishop will be on hand to dish up his famous barbeque. Newly designed Coon Dog Cemetery caps, tee shirts, coffee mugs and cap/lapel pins will be for sale and selected arts and crafts vendors have been invited to this year’s celebration.

“Attendance is free, but sales that day will benefit the Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery’s fund for the preservation of the site, which is part of the Freedom Hills Wildlife Management area, protected by the State of Alabama,” stated David Isom, treasurer of Friends of the Coon Dog Cemetery, Inc. FCDC Board Member Mitchell Marks stated that the group hosts the annual Coon Dog Labor Day Celebration and serves as caretaker of the cemetery, providing grounds keeping and decorating it once a year for the celebration and burials, which require meeting certain guidelines.

The Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Cemetery is located at 4945 Coon Dog Cemetery Road in Cherokee, Ala. Driving Directions from Muscle Shoals / Tuscumbia follow Hwy. 72 West and turn left (south) onto AL Hwy. 247. Drive 12.8 miles and turn right (west) on Coon Dog Cemetery Road. Drive another 5 miles and the cemetery will be on the left. Parking areas will be marked and shuttle service by golf carts will be available for those needing assistance.

For additional information, call256-412-5970, email coondogcemetery@comcast.net or visit http://www.coondogcemetery.com or http://www.facebook.com/friendsofthecoondogcemetery.

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Photos available upon request by sending an email to janicem.williams@comcast.net.

World War II Ship to Visit Decatur, Alabama


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Melinda Dunn, President & CEO
Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau
PHONE: 256.350.2028, 800.524.6181
EMAIL: mdunn@decaturcvb.org

World War II Ship to Visit Decatur, Alabama
The USS LST 325 Ship Museum to be open for tours September 4-9 at Ingalls Harbor.

Decatur, Ala. (August 18, 2014) – A 328 feet long piece of American history will be docked at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Alabama and will be available for public tours. The USS LST 325 is a World War II vessel that was part of the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. This ship is one of the last of her kind and is the only working LST in the United States. The ship is now operated as a floating museum that sails to inland river cities each year as part of its mission statement to educate the public. By giving tours, the crew will educate everyone, young and old, as to the role these ships have played in our wars and honor those who built, sailed and served on these ships.

The USS LST 325 will arrive in Decatur on Wednesday, September 3 and will open for tours on Thursday, September 4 through Tuesday, September 9, 2014. Tours will take place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-17 and free for children ages 5 and under. A $20 family pass is also available for 2 adults and 2 minor children. Tours last approximately an hour. Group tour prices are also available and must be scheduled in advance through the Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ten or more adults in a group will qualify for a rate of $8 per person. A rate of $3 per student will be given to groups of ten or more minors. (For every 10 students, 1 adult is admitted free.) For more information about the ship or to schedule group tours contact the Decatur Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 256-350-2028 or 800-524-6181.

Carrying 20 Sherman tanks in their giant holds, the LST (Landing Ship Tank) was developed during World War II to land vehicles and personnel directly onto enemy shores. On the main deck they could also carry 30-40 trucks, tons of fuels, ammunition or supplies and soldiers.
The USS LST 325 participated in the invasion and occupation of Sicily on July 10, 1943 (Operation HUSKY); Salerno, September 3, 1943; and the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944 under the command of Captain Clifford E. Mosier. Between June 1944 and April 1945, the LST 325 made 44 trips between England and France to aid in the delivery of supplies to Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and the City of Rouen on the Seine River, earning 2 Battle Stars for her effort.
The use of LST’s continued through the Korean and Vietnam War due to the ship’s ability to navigate shallow waters. Through the years, the USS LST 325 has had a fascinating record of service and in 2000, she was acquired by the USS LST 325 Ship Memorial, Inc. through an act of Congress.

The National LST Association has over 5,000 members and the USS LST Ship Memorial Inc. has 2,000 members whose goal is to be able to sail the ship under its own power—up the inland rivers and along the coasts, allowing all to set foot on her decks and to provide a learning experience. The mission is to educate everyone about the role the LST played to keep America free and provide an opportunity for veterans to show their family and friends the ships on which they served. The ship also helps to preserve the memory of the men and women who built them and the men who served and died on them.

To learn more about the USS LST 325’s history, visit http://www.lstmemorial.org.

For more information on the upcoming visit, call Melinda Dunn of the Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 256.350.2028.

About The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCCVB)
The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau is a not-for-profit organization promoting tourism and economic growth in Morgan County. For information on special events and attractions in Decatur, contact the DMCCVB at 800.524.6181 or 256.350.2028; or visit its website at http://www.decaturcvb.org.

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