The Natchez Trace Parkway will take visitors back in time with the sights and sounds of a “muster” from 200 years ago during a free commemoration of the War of 1812. Over 150 re-enactors will bring the Gordon House Historic Site to life on Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, with “Muster on the Natchez Trace: Prelude to the War of 1812.
In the spring of 1812, tensions were high in the western frontier lands of Tennessee and the Mississippi Territory. With the deterioration of relations with Great Britain and the Creek Nation, war seemed imminent. Musters, where local troops would gather together to prepare for the impending crisis, took place with more frequency. Musters were community affairs, with families attending, local merchants selling their wares, and other activities.
The public may relive this atmosphere through on-going displays of military, civilian, and Chickasaw camps. Visitors may “enlist” in the militia or regular army, or purchase period goods from historical merchants. For news and political discussions, visitors may stop at a historical tavern—typically for the men—or a ladies’ salon. They may also visit with a period sawyer, blacksmith, and engineer to discuss improvements to the main road toward New Orleans—the Natchez Trace.
John Gordon, captain of one of Jackson’s companies of spies during the War of 1812, operated the ferry across the Duck River beginning in 1802. A special ceremony honoring Gordon will be held during the closing ceremonies on Sunday.
The “Muster on the Natchez Trace: Prelude to the War of 1812” is sponsored by the Natchez Trace Parkway, the 7th US Infantry Living History Association, the Natchez Trace Parkway Association, - and the Tennessee War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee. The Gordon House Historic Site is located approximately 12 miles west of Columbia, Tennessee, at milepost 407.7 on the Natchez Trace Parkway.
For more information or a schedule of events, visit www.nps.gov/natr or call 800 305-7417.
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