History was brought alive by a local women’s group, the Nancy Harts, as they celebrated the 149th year of the original Nancy Harts, a group of women who underwent military training and defended their homes during the Civil War.
The group reenacted the historical event Sunday afternoon, commemorating the original Nancy Harts, who formed a militia to defend their homes against union soldiers, but opened their homes and hosted the union soldiers at the end of the violent and volatile war. This is the second year for the reenactments in LaGrange.
The reenactment featured the women dressed in time-period dresses, armed with guns, discussing the formation of their group and the challenges and accomplishments of the militia unit.
Actresses in the reenactment were Debbie Thompson, Melinda Power, Wanda Walker, Sara Abbott, Ashley Strickland and Nicole Stewart.
Several people gathered around the lawn at Bellevue Mansion to watch the skit.
The reenactment was followed by a tour of the mansion.
Clark Johnson, county historian, spoke to the audience and gave a brief history of the Nancy Harts and the significance of their bravery.
“These had to be the bravest women ever to live in humankind,” Johnson said.
Johnson said for next year’s 150th anniversary, they hope to create a larger event. There is also a documentary produced by Sue Pearson in the works about the original Nancy Harts, which the group hopes will be finished for next year’s celebration.
Upon extensive research into LaGrange and discovery of the Nancy Harts, Pearson co-founded the modern-day Nancy Harts as a women’s Bible study to defend the community spiritually, much like the originals defended the community physically.
The reenactment simulated something usually only read about in textbooks and brought it to life for the audience.
“I asked myself, would I have been able to do that?” Patti Whipple said. “The conviction they must of had in their heart.”
Many of the audience members said they came not only to celebrate the women, but also to keep the history of LaGrange alive.
“I think that we need to keep our history alive and learn from it,” Jan Smith said.