WORCESTER, MA - In commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial (150 Years) the Central Massachusetts Convention and Visitors Bureau, ‘The New England Brigade’ and the ‘Liberty Greys’ are pleased to announce the 2nd annual ‘Civil War Experience & Living History Weekend’ taking place at Green Hill Park, Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday and Sunday October 11-13, 2013.
`This ‘Civil War Experience & Living History Weekend’ is a two day re-creation of the 1860’s American Civil War period of U.S. history. Historic figures will be present including President and Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, General and Mrs. Ulysses Grant, General Robert E. Lee, Julia Ward Howe – the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”, and the many soldiers of the Union and Confederate Armies. Medical scenarios complete with Nurses, camp followers (wives and children of the soldiers) and Sutlers (period vendors) will be seen. The field will resound with artillery demonstrations, cavalry maneuvers and infantry parade drills. Special highlights of the weekend include a full scale fictional battle reenactment both days and a ‘Town Ball’.
The reenactors come from all over New England. These reenactors contribute their own time to perform and their own money to offset the event’s cost.
On Friday, October 11, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. there will be an opportunity for regional schools to participate in the “Historical Education Day”. This event is open to any all schools, including public, charter, and home-schooled students from the region. Students will interact with reenactors and participate in drill, camp life, and observe historical demonstrations first hand. Some students may be tasked with assisting in vignettes and scenarios. Period food, equipment, uniforms, and experiences will be theirs for the seeing. In 2012, the following was received from Judy Fask of Assumption College. Her class attended our Educational Day:
'Hello Scott and Dave,
I want to thank you for the wonderful opportunity you provided to the Worcester Public School students and make "history come alive"!
Judy Freedman Fask
Transition Rehabilitation Specialist
Worcester Public Schools'
faskj [at] worc [dot] k12 [dot] ma [dot] us
This event provides the spectator with an authentic and memorable ‘living history’ experience by there-creation of the time of the turbulent 1860‘s in the United States. Although there were no battles fought in the New England during this war, many of the men and women who fought came from here. Much of the material; firearms, artillery, and uniforms were manufactured here. Every town and hamlet in New England has a large Civil War monument prominently located in the town center. We pass by these monuments every day without really knowing what they stand for and who the names are engraved in stone and marble on them. These reenactors bring back to life this era; they bring back those names and tell their story. Their goal is to open a window of time for the spectators to peak through. The Civil War occurred from 1861 to 1865 and so from 2011 to 2015 we mark 150 years of the events and battles that took place then. There were more American casualties during the Civil War than all of our other wars combined. Our country paid a heavy price during this conflict.
On Friday evening, October 11, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm a Formal Military Ball and Cotillion will be conducted at the Worcester Historic Museum. Here guests will be entertained by period music, authentic dancers, and some of the most important persons in our country’s history. Guests will also be participating in the period dancing as our ‘experts’ will provide instruction and ‘call’ the dances. Period attire is suggested but NOT REQUIRED.
There are multiple areas to explore and all are open to the public to roam through freely. There is a Union Army Camp, a Confederate Army Camp, a Civilian “Town”, a ‘Sutlers Row’ (vendors from the period) and the Red Roof Pavilion with historic figures making presentations and speeches. The military and civilian camps present an authentic taste of what life was like back in the Civil War. The reenactors live life just as it was back then - cooking over camp fires and sleeping in tents. Spectators are encouraged to walk through all the camps and to talk with the men and women dressed in period attire. Many of the reenactors have ancestors who fought in the war and they are eager to share their stories. Many reenactors are families who participate in the event. who provide history of ‘What Remains” as civilians and townsfolk. This is a ‘family centered’ event and non-alcohol. There will be vendors on site serving more modern food for the spectators as well as a “Kids Zone” sponsored by A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts stores.
About the New England Brigade
The ‘New England Brigade’ was formalized over 15 years ago. It consists of a group of American Civil War reenactors who have an enthusiasm and penchant for this period of U.S. history. They perform from 10 -to- 25 reenactments a year including parades and ceremonies. Many of the reenactors have been involved with this ‘Hobby of History’ for over 30 years. They are not the only organization of reenactors here in New England - there are roughly 50-60 of these various groups in the Northeast. When the group gets together for a reenactment they ensure the authentic aspect of their presentation down to the smallest minutia. You will see accuracy in detail of uniforms, artillery, encampments, food, rifles. Much of the equipment they use is from the 1850’s and 1860’s…including the cannons!