Lima, New York--It’s difficult to grasp the horrors of the war between brothers, but the History Department at Genesee Community College is offering a glimpse at what life was like during the American Civil War with a weekend-long encampment featuring a number of period-authentic activities and demonstrations.
From Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29, the Lima Campus Center of GCC will host Civil War re-enactors, who will dress in authentic period costumes including soldier regalia from both the Union and Confederate armies, and provide a look at life in the camps. Skirmishes between the two sides will allow visitors to experience life on the battlefield with demonstrations of military training, artillery and battlefield medical care.
“Civilians,” some also dressed in authentic garb, will offer demonstrations of quilting and knitting, spinning, tinsmithing and cooking on the campsite, while real 19th century newspapers will be on display inside the Campus Center. The renowned Excelsior Fife and Drum Band and an interfaith service featuring a sermon delivered by the Rev. Gary Hakes will engage visitors in the entertainment and spiritual aspects of life during the Civil War.
On Friday, re-enactors will be setting up camp from late afternoon through early evening, and the Genesee Country Museum will offer a lecture on Victorian fashion, with the majority of events slated for Saturday, including:
oQuilting, knitting and fiber spinning demonstrations
o19th Century children’s games
oDiscussion of uniforms and open camp demonstrations of “soldiering”
oLecture on the Underground Railroad by local history buff Jerry Bennett
oSkirmish between the camps, with a look at medical and surgical practices by John Potera
oAward-winning actress Eleanor Sterns as Clara Barton
oExcelsior Fife and Drum Band
oTwilight Tour of the campsite with visitors stopping for vignettes depicting various civilian and military scenes
The encampment closes Sunday with a fiber arts program, a metal working demonstration by the Genesee Country Museum, and an interfaith service by the Rev. Gary Hakes of Virginia, who will deliver a sermon authentic to the period. After the service, the camps will engage in a game of “round ball”—the forerunner to what is now baseball.
GCC history instructor and Civil War historian Derek Maxfield believes visitors will find the event not only educational, but quite moving. “The sights, the smells, the sounds of military camp life will be enthralling. People will forget they live in 2012,” he said Mr. Maxfield is also embarking this Sunday, April 1 on a week-long tour of some of the more significant Civil War sites in the south, focusing on two historic parks: Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee and the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee. Derek also plans to stop at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond Virginia, and wind up his tour at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. He will be blogging about this trip and his perceptions of the journey as the U.S. marks the 150th anniversary of these devastating battles: www.civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com
GCC’s ongoing Civil War lecture series continues with “From Bondage to Freedom” on Tuesday, April 3 by Kevin Cottrell. The found of Motherland Connextions will discuss the Underground Railroad as it pertains to Western New York and Southern Ontario. D’Youville College Professor Dr. Terrianne Schulte discusses the impact of the war and its aftermath as its relates to controversial Confederate general James Longstreet and the general’s family when she visits the Batavia campus on Tuesday, May 1, to deliver “The Longstreet Family in War and Peace”, and Rev. Hakes returns to the Lima Campus Center on May 2nd for a lecture about the role religion played in the war Entitled “Faith vs. Faith”.
All events are free and open to the public, and will go on regardless of weather conditions! For more information, contact GCC history instructor Derek Maxfield via email: email@example.com.
You can also learn more by visiting his Civil War blog: www.civilwaratgcc.wordpress.com.
To register for the free lectures, please visit: firstname.lastname@example.org
For directions to the encampment at the Lima Campus Center, visit: http://www.genesee.edu/about/campuses/Lima/map.cfm
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