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Re-enactors salute fallen comrade

September 27, 1997

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

Several local Civil War re-enactors, in uniform, paid tribute to a fallen comrade Saturday at the battlefield that claimed Timothy Landacre's life two weeks ago.

A row of Union and Confederate re-enactors saluted Landacre with three rounds of fire, reloading between each shot.

On the second round, a halo of smoke from a rifle reached for the heavens.

Re-enactor Paul Martz said he organized the memorial service for Landacre because he wanted to do something to remember all the re-enactors who died during re-enactments.

"I don't want them to be forgotten," said Martz, 40, of Hagerstown.

Martz said he saw Landacre during the parade through downtown Hagerstown on Friday, Sept. 12, when Landacre was carrying the colors.

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"This is the way that Tim Landacre would want to go," Martz said before the service.

On Sunday, Sept. 14, Landacre suffered a heart attack during the dawn Cornfield battle re-enactment at the 135th Commemoration of the Battle of Antietam.

Landacre, 48, of Bridgeport, W.Va., was taken to Washington County Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him.

"We know the guy died doing something he loved," said fellow re-enactor Candace Williamson, 23, of Keedysville.

Landacre was found in a hollow in the cornfield about 30 feet from Saturday's ceremony.

Frank Artz, owner of the field along Rench Road, said a cross and wreath in Landacre's honor by the roadside will stay on his farm for as long as people leave it alone.

Bugler Tom Lashley, 32, of Warfordsburg, Pa., began playing "Taps" from the field where the ceremony was held before Boy Scout Troop 65 members Kenneth Adams and Ian Hall finished playing the memorial tribute successively from a distant hill.

The shadow effect imitated a Civil War memorial service, in which "Taps" would be played consecutively from the main camp to distant camps, said Hall, 15.

The brief afternoon service included a prayer from Chaplain Bill Swope.

"O Mighty God, we come today in memory of Sgt. Tim Landacre, who died while trying to help our generation preserve and remember the history of our great country."

"We therefore ask that you bless his memory to each of our hearts, and comfort and guide his family in the future days of their lives," said Swope, dressed as a Confederate infantry captain.

Martz said he was unable to reach the family to invite them to the memorial, but planned to send them a video of the service.

Landacre's 13-year-old son was at the re-enactment.

Several re-enactors voiced caution about the hobby's dangers, from understanding how to handle weapons to staying in shape for the physical events.

"This does work your body if you're not used to it," said Union re-enactor Tim Stevens, a member of the 3rd Maryland Infantry, Company B.

"It made me realize that life is short and you have to think about what you're doing," said Stevens, 42, of Hagerstown.

Re-enactors must have a good understanding of what's happening around them, he said.

About 40 people, including 15 dressed in Union or Confederate uniforms, attended the service to pay their respects.

Other re-enactment groups represented included the 35th Regiment of the 6th Pennsylvania Infantry, 1st Tennessee, 13th Virginia and 2nd Kentucky Cavalry.

Unlike at an actual memorial for a Union soldier, there were Confederate re-enactors at Saturday's service.

The only time Confederate soldiers would have attended a Union soldier's memorial service during the war would have been if the deceased was a relative, said James Barger, 40, of Hagerstown.

Even prisoners of war were usually allowed to attend the funeral of fallen relatives, no matter which side they served, Barger said.

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