By Will Blanchard
Area residents next month may find some history of note from their own backyard with the Ozarks Public Television premiere of “Civil War Battle of Newtonia.”
Using historical photographs and re-enactment scenes shot last May at the Newtonia location, the film documents the often overlooked battle that took place in September 1862.
The documentary was written, produced and directed by Paul Wannenmacher, a Springfield-based advertising executive, who with this project has completed his third documentary for OPT.
“Civil War Battle of Newtonia” is to air on OPT at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24.
Wannenmacher previously wrote two documentaries on prominent artists of local interest, Thomas Hart Benton and Charles Banks Wilson.
OPT’s Tom Carter, who served as executive producer and production manager on the project, said the PBS affiliate was approached by Wannenmacher years ago with the idea for the Benton documentary.
For the residents of Newtonia in Newton County, the battle’s significance extends far beyond the proximity.
“We can say with quite a bit of confidence that this is the only organized battle where regiments of Native Americans fought against each other,” said Steve Roark, president of the Newton County Tourism Council.
For more of this story, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Joplin Globe or register for our E-Edition at joplinglobe.com.