Article by Elsie Boskamp, 27East.com
Original article and more pictures can be seen at here »
Families stepped back into the early 1860s when visiting the Westhampton Beach Historical Society’s Civil War Living History event on the Great Lawn on Saturday. Reenactors from New York and Virginia represented the Union and Confederate forces as they set up camp and engaged in infantry demonstrations, cavalry drills and artillery skirmishes.
“We just wanted to offer something different for our community, and give them living history, because we’re known for the beach, and the farmers market and the arts, but we wanted this event to just promote history and give people the opportunity to see and experience history,” Westhampton Beach Historical Society board member Dawn LaDu said as the Union soldiers fired off a cannon in the distance.The cannon and artillery demonstrations were some of the biggest draws, she said, and although it was raining, many people came back throughout the day, with upward of 150 people watching the reenactment.
The Confederate and Union forces were composed of several Civil War reenactment organizations, including the 67th New York Infantry Company K, the 10th New York Cavalry, the 9th Virginia Infantry Company C, the 30th Virginia Infantry and the Union Artillery demonstrators.
“A lot of the reenactors are hobbyists, so they are so knowledgeable about all the different things, whether it be the medical tent, or the cooking tent or the muskets,” Ms. LaDu explained. “People have been really excited.”
According to Historical Society board member Elizabeth Max, the event was funded by a group of local business sponsors, and was meant to complement many of the craft demonstrations and history lessons that the society holds throughout the summer.
Saturday marked the second year that the society held a living history event. Last year the Revolutionary War was reenacted, Ms. Max noted. “They’re the two big wars, so doing the Civil War this year just seemed to make sense,” she explained.
The event wrapped up with the Historical Society’s Blue and Gray Lawn Party, where attendees got to drink and dine with the soldiers.
“We hope to have this be an ongoing event, whether it’s the Civil War or the Revolutionary War, we hope that we can do it every summer,” Ms. LaDu said.