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Documentary about Civil War battle is filmed

<p>Preparing to film: Dr. Curtis Varnell (center right) speaks to students prior to the beginning of filming of a documentary about a Civil War battle that took place near Paris. Filming took place Monday and Tuesday. The finished product will be shown in Paris at Frontier Day in October.</p>

Preparing to film: Dr. Curtis Varnell (center right) speaks to students prior to the beginning of filming of a documentary about a Civil War battle that took place near Paris. Filming took place Monday and Tuesday. The finished product will be shown in Paris at Frontier Day in October.

Students from six area schools participated in filming a documentary about a Civil War battle near Paris Monday and Tuesday. Students from three area colleges and several area residents also took part.

Students from Ozark, Paris, Waldron, Scranton, Cedarville schools and Subiaco Academy played people who were involved in the 1863 Battle of Haguewood Prairie, which took place near the Paris-Subiaco Municipal Airport. Students from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, University of the Ozarks and the University of Central Arkansas also took part.

The filming is being paid for by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council. Dr. Curtis Varnell of the Western Arkansas Educational Co-op and the Paris Area Chamber of Commerce applied for the grant. The film is part of a project called In the Shadow of the Mountains: Civil War in Arkansas.

The reenactment was filmed in two stages. The first stage of the reenactment took place Monday with participating students being interviewed as the historical figures they are portraying while dressed in period clothing. The second stage of the reenactment was filmed Tuesday with the students on location at the Haguewood Prairie battlefield.

Western Arkansas Educational Co-Op has secured the services Ray Bertram, Michael Schwarz and Michael Johnson in conjunction with professional Little Rock-based film videographer Bob Sandufer to assist in numerous facets of the reenactment. Earlier this year, Bertram and Schwarz spent several days in Paris fiming a documentary on the community that is part of a projected called This Is Arkansas being proposed to AETN. AETN representatives were also part of the battle reenactment.

Involved in the battle were 800 Confederate troops on the way into Missouri to participate in what became known as The Great Raid and 80 members of the First Arkansas Infantry Company H (US).

Bertram said the documentary, which will be either 30 minutes or an hour long, should be finished by mid-July or early August. It will be shown for the first time at the Frontier Day festival in Paris on Saturday, Oct. 5. An historic marker noting the site of the battle will be dedicated then, as well. The festival will take place at the Logan County Fairgrounds, which is located adjacent to the Paris-Subiaco Municipal Airport.

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