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Re-enactors begin to arrive

September 11, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

The Civil War? In New Mexico?

Yes, it happened.

Mark Stone knows because he took part in a re-enactment of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, in which the Union prevented the Confederacy from advancing into the Southwest in March 1862.

Stone, of Hobbs, N.M., said a re-enactment group to which he belongs - Company M of the 4th Texas Mounted Volunteers - chooses one major event in the country to attend each year.

This year, it is the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

Stone and his son, Tom, 15, are among 13,439 re-enactors signed up for the activities this weekend.

Re-enactors began checking in Tuesday at a tent off Rench Road, not far from where the three Antietam battle re-enactments will be held, plus Fox's Gap from the Battle of South Mountain.

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Stone and his wife, Cindy, and their son Tom arrived at the registration computer tent Tuesday afternoon after about 30 hours on the road.

Others were expected from points across the United States and foreign countries.

Paul Luzier of Charlotte, N.C., and Kenny Brotherton of Cornelius, N.C., drove up together at a relaxed pace.

"We eased up," Brotherton said. "We hit every rest stop and got every free map."

Luzier and Brotherton belong to Company B of the 13th North Carolina Infantry.

"This is definitely one of the largest events of the year," said Luzier, who was at the 135th anniversary Antietam re-enactment, which he called "well worth it."

Brotherton predicted that this weekend will be hectic - not everything will go right, but most will.

He said he was at last summer's re-enactment of the First Battle of Manassas, which was comparable in scale to what the coming Antietam re-enactment will be.

"It went pretty good," Brotherton said of the Manassas re-enactment. "It was just too hot. It was 92, 93 degrees at 8:30 in the morning."

Paul and Wanda D'Angelo of Pittsburgh also checked in mid-day Tuesday.

Paul D'Angelo is part of three generations in the 21st Georgia Volunteer Infantry. Fifty-three members in all are expected to attend this weekend.

D'Angelo, 72, said his sons James, 46, of Long Island, N.Y., and Bob, who turns 45 Thursday and lives in Dover, Pa., belong to the group. James' sons, Mike, 19, and Matt, 16, also belong.

It's been 14 years since Bob D'Angelo convinced others in his family to be re-enactors. Paul D'Angelo said he wondered how they ended up as Confederate soldiers, but he went along with it anyway.

The Civil War is also a family interest for the Mauks of Hagers-town.

Robert Mauk II and Shelly Mauk - who belong to Company A of the 7th Maryland - had an 1860s wedding four years ago Thursday at a re-enactment in Boonsboro.

Shelly Mauk said she has been a re-enactor since she was 2 years old. There clearly was a strong influence in her family; her parents were involved.

Robert and Shelly Mauk brought their sons, Ethan, 2, and Trevor, 6 months, when they registered Tuesday.

"It gives us something to do," Robert Mauk said. "It's a great family activity."

Robert Childress of Frederick, Md., also brought his son to registration Tuesday.

Childress, the president of the 3rd Maryland National Regiment re-enactment group, said he had to miss the Antietam commemoration five years ago because it conflicted with his wedding anniversary and a family reunion.

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