Marion County Historical Society’s 5th annual FORD’S ENCAMPMENT


The Marion County Historical Society is proud to present the 5th annual Ford’s Encampment on February 24, 2018 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the historic John Ford Home-Fordsville, in Sandy Hook. Ford’s Encampment is a historical interpretation event and reenactment of 19th century Mississippi culture and Fordsville historical events.

General admission to the grounds will be $5 for adults and $1 for children twelve and under. Bring your lawn chairs!

Morning featured presentations: 9:00am: MS Conference Commission on Archives and History for the United Methodist Church will mark the John Ford Home as a registered historic place, historic site #527 9:30am: Opening ceremony with President Andrew Jackson and his men arriving at Fordsville 10:00am: WAR LETTERS presentation with President Andrew Jackson, Rachel Jackson and Governor Willie Blount 11:00am: A Chickasaw Native American Elder will give a historical perspective 11:30am: Mississippi Frontiersman, Sam Dale presentation Afternoon featured presentations: 12:00pm: THE DUEL: A reenactment of infamous McClung-Allen duel featuring the Black Knight of the South (JFH) 1:00pm: 19th century dance demonstrations with public participation 2:00pm: THE BATTLE: A war between the states reenactment 3:00pm: Choctaw Native American dance demonstration with public participation 3:00pm: Civil War ladies’ afternoon tea 4:00pm: Historian and author Grady Howell’s presentation on Mississippi history

Throughout the day, historic presentations/demonstrations will be given including: Civil War camps, War of 1812 camps, hourly artillery demonstrations, period cooking demonstrations, John Ford Home tours, all day wagon rides, an arts and literature area, frontiersman camp, Choctaw presentation, blacksmith, Chickasaw presentation, early 19th century physician demonstration, flag display: symbols of our culture, authentic period sutler stores including the Homefront (19th century women & children, games & culture) and Pearl River Mercantile.

An enticing diversity of food and snacks will be available for purchase throughout the day.


The Mississippi Conference Commission on Archives and History for the United Methodist Church in Madison, New Jersey will officially mark the John Ford Home as a Methodist registrar of historic places, United Methodist Historic Site #527. The Reverend John Ford was a Methodist preacher from the Carolinas. Around 1808, he settled in what is now known as Sandy Hook, MS. He was a leader in the Methodist Church and held the first Methodist conference at the John Ford Home in 1814. The second Methodist Conference was also held here in 1818. At this conference, it was decided that one of John Ford’s sons would be sent further north and he formed the first church in Jackson, Mississippi.

A duel of the Black Knight of the South: Is a duel between Col. Alexander McClung and Gen. Augustus Allen in 1834 on the banks of the Pearl River in Jackson, MS. The resulting death of general Allen was so gruesome that legislators outlawed the dueling practice in MS a few years later. McClung was a lawyer from Kentucky that settled in Jackson, MS and was most feared as an impulsive antagonist and duelist. McClung was reputed to have fought in as many as 14 duels, killing 10 men. Allen and McClung had opposing political views. In 1834, both men clashed with a challenge to the field of honor. The duel drew hundreds of spectators including more than 150 state legislators who watched McClung kill Allen with a single shot to the mouth and throat.

PURPOSE: The purpose of Ford’s Encampment is to raise funding for the development of Fordsville and to preserve the John Ford Home by offering an all-day event, jam packed with educational activities for the public focusing on 19th century Mississippi culture and historical events.

HISTORY: The historic John Ford Home is the oldest still standing frontier home in the Pearl River Valley (c. 1798) and is one of the last vestiges of Territorial (Spanish) architecture in Mississippi. It is known as the “Jewel of the Pearl”. During the War of 1812, it was “Ford’s Fort” a stockade against hostile Creek Indians during the “Great Mississippi Panic”. In 1814, General Andrew Jackson and his troops stayed at the John Ford Home on their way to the Battle of New Orleans (his bed is still intact in the home). It was the site of territorial delegates petitioning for Mississippi statehood in 1816 and was raided by four thousand Federal cavalry under General John Davidson during the Civil War in 1864.

LOCATION/PARKING: Fordsville is in Sandy Hook, MS approximately 16 miles down Hwy 35 South. Visitors to the reenactment are asked to park at the Sandy Hook Methodist Church or Sandy Hook Baptist Church. Free shuttle buses will be provided throughout the day.

ABOUT MCHS: The Marion County Historical Society is a nonprofit organization located in Columbia, MS at 200 Second Street. The phone number is 601-731-3999. The MCHS is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of Marion County and the region. For more information, please visit our website,

This project is partially funded by a grant through Visit Mississippi.

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