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Re-enactments highlight Civil War Weekend

CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- A re-enactment of the Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge, fought 150 years ago this month at the Putnam County town of Hurricane, will be among the activities taking place during Putnam County's Civil War Weekend, which starts Thursday in Valley Park.

The clash involving about 400 Confederate soldiers under the command of Brig. Gen. Albert Gallatin Jenkins and 150 Union troops led by Capt. James W. Johnson of the 13th West Virginia Infantry took place March 28, 1863. Details of the encounter are included in an accompanying article (at left).

Putnam County was also the scene of the July 17, 1861 Battle of Scary Creek, which took place across the Kanawha River from present-day Nitro. That engagement, involving nearly 1,800 combatants, was one of the Civil War's earliest victories for the Confederate cause. It, too, will be re-enacted during Civil War weekend.

The Battle of Scary Creek re-enactment will take place Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m., while the Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge re-enactment is scheduled for Sunday, starting at 2 p.m.

The four-day event gets underway on Thursday, when an exhibit on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley opens at Valley Park at 9 a.m., followed by school group visits throughout the day and a 6 p.m. dinner and presentation with a living history portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

On Friday, school visits continue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the Hunley exhibit will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. A performance by the Hurricane Civic Chorus will be held in The Commons from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and a historical remembrance play will begin at 8 p.m. in the Community Center.  At 9 p.m., re-enactors will begin an artillery night-firing demonstration.

Saturday's events include breakfast for the troops from 7 to 8:30 a.m.; a commanders' meeting at 8:30 a.m.; raising of the colors at 9 a.m., and opening of re-enactors' camps to the public starting at 9 a.m.  The Hunley display will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Daughters of the Confederacy will hold a memorial service at The Commons at 11 a.m.

Horse-drawn wagon rides will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Living history portrayals of Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee will be held at The Commons starting at 1 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by the Battle of Scary Creek re-enactment. A Ladies' Tea, open only to ticket holders, will begin at 3 p.m., followed at 4 p.m. by a Stonewall Jackson living history presentation. Military camps close to the public at 5 p.m., followed by dinner for the troops from 5 to 6 p.m., and a military ball from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

On Sunday, breakfast for the troops will take place from 7 to 8:30 a.m. followed at 9 a.m. by the raising of the colors, and the opening of camps to the public. The H.L. Hunley display will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  A dress parade with company drills begins at 9:30 a.m., followed at 10:30 a.m. by a period church service in The Commons. Horse-drawn wagon will take place from noon to 4 p.m. An officers' call is scheduled for 1 p.m., followed at 2 p.m. by the Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge re-enactment. All activities end at 4 p.m.

Putnam County Civil War Weekend is sponsored by Putnam County Parks and Recreation, the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Hurricane and the Hurricane Woman's Club.

For more information, call 304-562-0518, extension 10, or 304-562-0727, extension 102, or visit www.civilwardayswv.com.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.

 


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