Numerous events to commemorate the Battle of Lexington will be taking place September 17 and 18th. Click to hear KMZU’s Jillian Molloy talk with Event Coordinator Chris Campbell.

Chris Campbell

Press Release from The Battle of Lexington Sesquicentennial Steering Committee:

Lexington, MO, July 18, 2011 —

On Monday, July 11, two staff members of the Governor’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission visited Lexington and Big River Ranch with the goal of finding out what the Commission could do to further ensure the success of the Battle of Lexington commemoration on September 17 and 18.  Judd Slivka, Director of Information Services for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and Staff Director for the Governor’s Commission, arrived at Big River Ranch at 7am for the meeting with local organizers.   Slivka brought David Kelly, Director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marketing Development Program along with him.  They were met and welcomed by Jake Brown of Big River Ranch, Janae Fuller of the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site, John Maky, also of the B.O.L. State Historic Site and local reenactor, and Chris Campbell, the 150th Event Coordinator.


Two weeks prior, the Governor’s Commission had formerly voted to designate the upcoming Battle of Lexington reenactment and commemoration as a “Signature Event”.  The Signature Event status, also shared by the Wilson’s Creek Battle Sesquicentennial in August, provides for bringing between 120 and 160 hours of free services and time by a multitude of state agencies and departments.  The Commission includes: the Department of Tourism, the State Archives, the Missouri History Museum, the State Parks system, M.O.D.O.T., the Highway Patrol, the National Guard, the Missouri State Historical Society, and the Missouri Secretary of State.  Kent Emison, resident of Higginsville, and a partner in the local law firm Langdon and Emison, is the co-chair of the Commission.  When asked about the Signature Status provided Lexington, Emison said, “The partnership between the Missouri Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Battle of Lexington is a chance to help a community with an event and a chance to raise awareness of the Civil War in Missouri.  The reenactment of the Battle of the Hemp Bales has a long and colorful history.  We are proud to be a part of it and proud to help the community and the state commemorate its Civil War heritage.”


During the 2 hour meeting at Big River Ranch local organizers provided their wish list of important priorities for the events at Big River Ranch and the downtown area.  The specific  areas of cooperation discussed included traffic direction and management materials provided in abundance from M.O.D.O.T. , such as cones, delineators, barricades, saw horses and reflective vests.  Other issues discussed involved parking, emergency services, water trucks, and the campfire tours scheduled for Saturday evening at the Ranch.


At the conclusion of a successful first meeting at Big River Ranch, Mr. Slivka and Mr. Kelly were brought downtown by Campbell and Fuller to City Hall for a second meeting with Lexington Tourism Director Dan Cambridge.   That hour-long meeting focused on how the State Commission could assist with marketing and promoting the Battle of Lexington.   Mr. Slivka indicated that the Commission could provide access to 800 media outlets and the desire to initiate a ‘heavy social media campaign’ in the coming weeks.  He also offered the state’s help with map-making for the event’s website as well as some advice on some particular promotional strategies.  Before departing Lexington Slivka indicated that the Governor’s  Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission was particularly excited to start putting state resources into motion to help make the September weekend a success.  To learn more about the Governor’s Commission go to


or call Dan Cambridge, City of Lexington Tourism Director  660-259-4711

or Chris Campbell, Battle of Lexington Sesquicentennial Event Coordinator  818-522-5784