Sharpsburg heritage 1999

September 18, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - Union and Confederate soldiers faced off Saturday in the middle of town. But instead of trading volleys of lead, the two sides confronted each other with Civil War-period tunes.

Spectators stood six and seven rows deep along Main Street to watch a Confederate fife and drum corps and a Union brass band perform at high noon.

The performance, called the March of Remembrance, was a popular attraction at the eighth annual Sharpsburg Heritage Festival, which continues today with events scheduled from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Elizabeth Partlow, 47, of nearby Shepherdstown, W.Va., said: "I just love the music. There's something about Civil War-era music that's unique. It speaks to that time."


The festival also featured walking tours, more than 60 food and craft vendors and a series of lectures with titles such as "How to Trace Your Civil War Ancestors," "Sharpsburg's Battle" and "Music of the Civil War."

"You never can know enough history," said Gene Wilkins, 71, of Temple, Texas, who came over from Harpers Ferry, W.Va., where he is currently a volunteer.

People dressed in typical 1860s clothing and Civil War uniforms mingled with their more modernly attired neighbors along Mechanic and Main streets.

The funnel cakes, butterfly potatoes and popcorn for sale seemed to be just as popular as the entertainment.

Crowd estimates were not available Saturday. Skip Lushbaugh, one of the five festival organizers, said the crowd appeared larger than last year when as many as 25,000 people attended the festival.

"It's usually a small town without a lot of cars coming through," said 9-year-old Sharpsburg resident Zachary Stride. "This is a lot different."

"But fun," Stride said.

He was looking forward to seeing the Civil War reenactors march around town in uniform, and eating a funnel cake.

Lushbaugh said because of limited parking she advised those attending today's activities to park at Antietam National Battlefield and take the free shuttle bus into town.

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