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Beat of a Different Drummer: Civil War Reenactment at Robert Moses State Park July 29-30

Yanks and Johnny Rebs will be at it again at the St Lawrence County Historical Association's annual Civil War Reenactment Weekend at Robert Moses State Park, Massena. The sights and sounds of the Civil War will fill the air at the 16th annual Civil War Reenactment Saturday and Sunday July 29-30. .

Union and Confederate reenactors will stage mock battles, perform military drills, talk about camp life, and demonstrate cooking, spinning, ladies' aid, cannon firing, and medical practices. There will also be a game of rounders, a frying pan toss, a basket auction, Civil War trivia contests, historical displays, and period music. Military and civilian reenactors from New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada are expected to attend, as well as sutlers, vendors of period goods and clothing.

The St Lawrence County Historical Association presents the weekend, which is hosted by the 2nd Michigan, Co E and Alexander's Battery reenactment units. Admission is $4 per person per day, free for veterans and children 6 and under, maximum charge of $16 per vehicle. For more information, call SLCHA at 315-386-8133, e-mail info@slcha.org, or visit the website at www.slcha.org

The military camps are open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Mock battles will be at 3 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday. Closing ceremonies will follow the Sunday battle. The Marine Corps League, St Lawrence County Detachment #408 provides a food concession both days.

The tentative schedule for Civil War Reenactment Weekend, based on last year, is:

Saturday, July 29:

  • 7:00-9:00 am - Reveille, Roll Call, Breakfast, Camp Inspections
  • 9:00 am - Tactical
  • 10:00 am - Camps Open to the Public
  • 10:30 am - Rounders
  • 11:00 am - Roll Call of local soldiers/Payroll scenario
  • 11:30 am - Frying Pan Toss
  • 12:00 pm - Talk
  • 12:30 pm - Musical program
  • 1:00 pm - Basket Auction
  • 1:30 pm - Talk
  • 2:00 pm - Talk
  • 2:30 pm - Civil War Trivia contest
  • 3:00 pm - Battle Reenactment
  • 4:00 pm - Talk
  • 5:00 pm - Dinner and Evening Activities
  • 6:00 pm - Camps closed to public
  • 6:30 pm - Concert
  • 11:00 pm - Camps Quiet

Sunday, July 30:

  • 7:00-9:00 am - Reveille, Roll Call, Breakfast, Camp Inspections
  • 9:30 am - Officers’ Call
  • 10:00 am - Camps Open to the Public
  • 10:30 am - Talk
  • 11:00 am - Civil War Trivia contest
  • 11:30 pm - Talk
  • 12:00 pm - Talk
  • 12:30 pm - Talk
  • 1:00 pm - Battle and Closing Ceremonies

The military camps are open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Mock battles will be at 3 pm Saturday and 1 pm Sunday. Closing ceremonies will follow the Sunday battle. The Marine Corps League, St Lawrence County Detachment 408 provides a food concession both days.

Reenactors from New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Ontario and Québec are expected to attend, including President Lincoln, several generals, and sutlers (vendors of period goods and clothing).

The SLCHA Gift Shop is a great way to take some Civil War history home with books like Young Heroes of the Civil War and Gallantry in the Field: Potsdam and the Civil War. SLCHA members receive a 10% discount on most items in the Gift Shop.

Union soldier, protrayed by Martha Maine (L) confers with President Lincoln, played by Jack Baylis)

A Union soldier (Martha Maine) confers with President Abraham Lincoln (Jack Baylis) at 2011's Civil War Reenactment Weekend.

The St Lawrence County Historical Association at the Silas Wright House is open Tuesday through Saturday noon to 4 pm, Friday noon to 8 pm. Admission to the museum is free; admission to the archives is free for members and children, $2.50 for college students, and $5 for the general public.The St Lawrence County Historical Association is located at 3 East Main Street, Canton. Parking is available in the back of the SLCHA, next to the museum's main entrance.

The St Lawrence County Historical Association is a membership organization open to anyone interested in St Lawrence County history. For more information, or to become a member, call the SLCHA at 315-386-8133 or e-mail. Exhibits and programs are made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.