(TUPELO, MS)-The Natchez Trace Parkway will welcome Public Historian Brian Mast to the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center onMay 24, 2014. Mast, from the Black Belt Museum at the University of West Alabama, will present a 45-minute program at 10:00 a.m. and again at 1:00 p.m. entitled “1736 Battle for Ackia: France’s Failed Attempt to Defeat the Chickasaw in Tupelo.” In between programs, children will have the opportunity to become “French Marine recruits,” while adults may examine military equipment on display.
Children who attend will be outfitted for campaign and taught the same drill as the French Marines as they learn about the hardships of life as a soldier in the 18th century. Recruits will then march in lines and “fire” wooden muskets under command.
In 1736, an army led by Governor Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, started up the Tombigbee River to bring war to the Chickasaw Nation for harboring the Natchez after the destruction of Fort Rosalie. Truly a multicultural army, the soldiers were Louisiana Militiamen, French Marines, Swiss Mercenaries, a Freed Slave Regiment, and Choctaw warriors. One of the most important events in French Colonial history, the defeat of this army prevented the further expansion of the European power, and eventually led to a defeat during the French and Indian War.
This event is free to the public. The Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center is located along the Parkway at Milepost 266, near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call the visitor center at: 662-680-4027 or 1-800-305-7417.