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home : features : features May 29, 2016

7/23/2013 10:59:00 AM
History comes alive in Williams July 27
Civil War reenactors rehearse for a presentation July 27 at the First Baptist Church in Williams. Submitted photo
Civil War reenactors rehearse for a presentation July 27 at the First Baptist Church in Williams. Submitted photo

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

History will come to life this weekend when David Bixby puts on a reenactment of the end of the Civil War.

The free event will feature the eight generals of Williams, and takes place July 27 at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 629 W. Grant Ave.

Many people don't realize that several streets in Williams are named after generals, Bixby said. Besides highlighting the eight generals, the reenactment will feature Robert E. Lee negotiating for peace, the Confederate prisoners of war returning home and a flag folding ceremony.

"It's war's end, we're rebuilding," Bixby said. "And that's when the history of Williams really took off."

Photographers will take pictures of the reenactment for Bixby to promote future reenactment events. The actors will also pose for pictures after the event.

Bixby has had the idea to put on an event like this for about two years. Along with Al Dunaway, Bixby spent about three weeks doing research for this event.

"It's about Williams history, it's about Civil War history, it's about American history," he said.

Bixby first became interested in historical reenactments while living in Seattle in 1994. British and American forts were located on San Juan Island before the Civil War broke out, according to Bixby. After seeing reenactment groups perform on the island, Bixby decided to get involved.

After moving to Lake Havasu, Bixby did reenactments at the London Bridge for several years. In 2007, Bixby moved to Williams and started a Historic Reenactment club.

During the winter, Bixby makes uniforms to wear during the reenactments. He starts with suit coats and then flips up the collars, attaches cuffs and adds buttons.

Bixby hopes his reenactments will help him share his love of history with others.

"There's almost a confidence in it, where you feel like an American, not just a citizen," he said. "There's a certain attitude, there's a certain spirit that Americans have."

He also hopes his event will remind people to appreciate their freedoms.

"Right now I'm a ghost from the past," he said. "I'm coming up to say, 'what are you guys doing with it, because we paid a price for you to have this country.'"

Those interested in getting involved in the reenactment may contact Bixby at (928) 846-0861 or show up to the event.

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