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Civil War reenactment to come to Beaver Creek

May 4, 2011
Morning Journal News

ROGERS - Confederate and Union soldiers will battle for the bridge at Beaver Creek State Park this weekend. The "Jackson in the Valley" event is the first Civil War reenactment in the state to kick off the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Evelyn Koch, Beaver Creek volunteer, said the Stonewall Brigade requested to use the park because it is similar to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, which was the site of more than 325 military engagements and 14 battles during the Civil War.

Beaver Creek is recognized by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources as the most scenic state park in Ohio, Koch noted.

"It is a rarity in having an 1803-1830 log cabin village," she added.

Stonewall Brigade Commander Mike Lawson said reenacters are drawn to the park because of its authentic appeal - and the Pioneer Village in particular.

"Everybody loves it because it is a great venue. If you are in the woods, you don't see anything (like telephone poles or houses). It's absolutely beautiful down there," he said.

Fact Box

Schedule of events


12:30-7:30 p.m. - Registration and camp set up


6 a.m. - Morning tactical, registration

9 a.m. - Camps open to the public, children's scavenger hunt

9:30 a.m. - Morning parade

10:30 a.m. - Soldiers/officers/civilians speak about the Confederacy, the Union and the war

11:30 a.m. - Load and fire completion

Noon - Children and adults drill and dance

1 p.m. - Live mortar fire by the 105th OVI

2 p.m. - Battle for the Bridge

7 p.m. - Camps closed, Union and Confederate social with music and refreshments at the barn. Public welcome

9 p.m. - Artillery night fire. Public welcome

9:30 p.m. - Ghost hunt/walk by Ghosting 12 Paranormal. Public welcome


8 a.m. - Breakfast at the barn

9 a.m. - Camps open to the public, children's scavenger hunt

9:30 a.m. - Church services

10:30 a.m. - Soldiers/officers speak about the Confederacy, the Union and the war

11:30 a.m. - Load and fire completion

Noon - Children and adults drill and dance

1 p.m. - Live mortar fire by the 10th OVI

2 p.m. - Battle for the Bridge

After battle - Camps closed for breakdown of equipment and tents

The brigade has performed reenactments at the park the last five years, and Lawson said more people are joining the brigade each year.

"When we started fighting about five years ago we had about 10 confederates. We are now expecting 130 to 150," he said.

The Beloit-based brigade performs reenactments in various cities around the state in addition to Beaver Creek.

"The only difference between a real battle and this one is that we are not using real bullets," Lawson said.

While most reenactments are based on actual battles, not all are.

Lawson also said the brigade will be doing something different this year. Instead of each side knowing who will win a battle beforehand, they are going to actually "fight" it out.

"The officers are really going to have to know what they are doing. Their orders right now are to bring as much power as they can. This battle will last a while. Neither side is going to want to give up," he said.

Koch, who wasn't always interested Civil War history, said she enjoys the brigade's authenticity.

"This group is so knowledgeable. These guys really train. They go out and train as if they are going to be in a real battle. They know how to skirmish," she said.

Union soldiers will be represented by the Ohio's 105th Volunteer Infantry, among others.

Confederates will be represented by the Stonewall Brigade, and others.

Koch said some reenactors are also EMT's, and will dress and act the part of medics and doctors.

All reenactors will spend the weekend in tents set up outside, wearing period clothing and using only items and equipment from the Civil War era.

Although the reenactments will not feature live ammunition, a live mortar fire is planned for Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and an artillery fire is planned for 9 p.m. Saturday.

Lawson said firing the canon at night near the pond will be one of the highlights of the weekend event.

"For demonstration purposes we are actually shooting a solid steel ball into the air," he said.

Other events planned include a children's scavenger hunt, Union and Confederate Social at the barn, and a Ghost Hunt at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, which will be conducted by Ghosting 12 Paranormal.

Camps will open to the public each day at 9 a.m., and guests can also purchase items from the Suttlery, which will feature period hats, bonnets, dresses, and other items.

The event will close at 2 p.m. Sunday.



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