Civil War enthusiasts bring era to life at the Carrolltown Center

Neighbors

August 27, 1996|By Sherry Graham | Sherry Graham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MORE THAN 130 YEARS after the last musket volley, the Civil War still holds a place of prominence in American history. Many history buffs are fascinated with the War Between the States.

Some serious Civil War enthusiasts brought living history displays to Carrolltown Center on Saturday. Civil War Days was sponsored by members of the 87th Pennsylvania, the 57th Virginia and the mall.

As part of the event, Carrolltown Center donated a trip to one of Gettysburg's most historic and elegant bed and breakfasts -- the Old Appleford Inn. The winner was Wanda Stickles.

Dressed in reproductions of Union and Confederate uniforms, troops from both sides solemnly presented their colors in a brief flag ceremony. Walt Bosman, a member of several Civil War re-enactment groups, gave the audience a brief, detailed description of one of the war's most famous battles -- Gettysburg.

Bosman retold a portion of the battle from the perspective of a young soldier fighting on the Union side. A Confederate soldier demonstrated the nine steps necessary to fire a musket of the 1860s -- something that a superior soldier could only manage three times in a minute. A squad of four young re-enactors stepped through the "manual of arms," showing their precision with the heavy muskets.

Union and Confederate troops set up small encampments. Tents and soldiering equipment from the mid-1860s were displayed, including pistols, muskets, tobacco, candles, a soldier's prayer book, money, binoculars and musket balls.

A mess kit with an example of a soldier's hardtack -- unleavened bread formed into large, hard wafers -- drew stares from my sons. They were invited to enlist in the Confederate army but decided against it.

The "soldiers" were of a wide age range, as were the actual Civil War fighters.

Ten-year-olds Sean Ballantine and Zachary Wenrich are experienced Union and Confederate soldiers, respectively. They really enjoy participating in the living history and re-enactment events.

"I get to help people understand what the Civil War was about, and they get to see how hard it was for the soldiers," said Sean. Zachary agreed and added that he "likes going into battle" during the events.

Seth Young, a Westminster High School student, gets a kick out of "portraying a piece of American history." He has been participating in events with the 87th Pennsylvania for more than five years.

Also on hand were members of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, James A. Garfield Camp No. 1, from Catonsville. Full members of this group are direct descendants of Union Civil War veterans who were part of the Grand Army of the Republic after the war ended.

These Civil War buffs participate in many ceremonial events and will soon be involved in the restoration of Civil War grave sites, including those of Confederate soldiers.

Civil War buffs are invited to attend the Remembrance Day Parade and other events Nov. 16 in Gettysburg. The annual event is held on the Saturday closest to the Nov. 19 date of Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." The parade begins at 2 p.m.

Overnight camping

The Nature Center at Piney Run Park is offering one last summer overnight fling for children, beginning Friday at 4 p.m. and ending Saturday at 10 a.m.

The Junior Nature Explorers program will sponsor the event for children ages 4 to 7. Each child must be accompanied by one parent and must provide a tent.

The program will include building a campfire, preparing and cooking dinner, an evening walk and campfire, breakfast, hike and a snack.

The cost is $25 for nature center members and $30 for nonmembers.

Information: 795-6043.

Trip to Atlantic City

The Male Chorus of White Rock United Methodist Church is sponsoring a bus trip to Atlantic City on Sept. 14. Transportation will be provided by Braddock Bus Service.

The group will depart from the parking lot of Haight Funeral Home at 9: 45 a.m. and return at 11 p.m. The cost of the trip is $25 per person; each person will receive $11 in coins.

To reserve a seat, call William Hudson at 795-2125.

Centennial Museum open

The Centennial Museum at Springfield Hospital Center will be open to visitors Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Sept. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon; Sept. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Volunteers will conduct tours.

Information: Betty Jean Maus, 795-2100, Ext. 3218.

Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/27/96

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