October 30, 2014 - No Comments
by Jim Barnes
The 150th Anniversary Reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek took place on the weekend of Octorber 17-19, 2014.I had not attended this event for some time and was looking forward to going back. It also promised to be the largest Civil War reenactment that Linda had experienced. We went down Thursday in order to get in some antique shopping in Winchester on Friday and spend the weekend at the event.
We were somewhat concerned that there was a possibility of rain; however, this did not materialize. While it had rained earlier in the week, the rain had stopped by the time we registered on Friday morning. The weather for the rest of the weekend was partly cloudy with more clearing as the weekend went along. The temperatures were cool and a bit blustery as a noticeable wind blew pretty much without letup from start to finish. This made things a bit cool sitting around camp, but was great for marching about in the field.
On Saturday, we formed up for the Battle of 3rd Winchester and Lt. Col. Skaggs assured us that the battle would go exactly as scripted. I can’t say for sure if it worked out that way, but the Army of West Virginia executed a long flanking movement on the rebels at the double-quick which nearly defeated me as well as the Confederates.
The main battle took place on Sunday and began with a surprise attack on the Union camp by the Confederates. Our brigade fell back in disarray as far as the Heater house, where we reformed and began an organized resistance. Eventually, the entire federal army re-formed on the hill overlooking the house and began a coordinated counterattack which shattered the rebel line and sent Early’s boys heading south.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the event. I thought that the battles were well done and it was a pleasure to see so many Federals turn out for an event that far south. I don’t have any official figures for the weekend, but I heard that there were over 5000 reenactors present. This included a considerable amount of cavalry and artillery. I also enjoyed some of the added features of the event. There was a lively bit of electioneering going on for the 1864 Presidential election. I believe that Lincoln easily carried the army vote although there were some vocal McClellan men present. There were also a goodly number of sutlers in attendance to enhance one’s shopping pleasure. (Some creative folks had set up a period sutler tent in the Federal camp which gave a good idea of what one of these vendors would really have provided.) There was a ball at the Belle Grove plantation on Saturday night, but we were too tired and cold to attend.
Hats off to the organizers for a nice event!