'Beautiful carnival,' re-enactment excite many at Annual Day


Staff Correspondent

Quincy United Methodist Home and Village held its Annual Day on Saturday despite rain and overcast skies.

Children enjoyed 25-cent pony rides, a goldfish toss, Moon Bounce and Super Slide, while adults appreciated the live music, silent auction, Civil War re-enactment, food items and health and historical displays.

"This is the first time we've had rain on Annual Day," said Dianna Heim, director of marketing and public relations for the home.

Usually about 1,500 to 2,000 people attend, but numbers were down because of the weather, she said.

Proceeds from the event go the Benevolent Care Fund, Heim said.

"We're a continuing care retirement community. If residents run out of funds, the Benevolent Care Fund takes care of them," she said. "We provided $1.2 million in care last year."


The home is an independent, nonprofit, full nursing care facility, assisted living facility and independent living retirement community.

Annual Day is a long-standing tradition in Quincy, near Waynesboro in southern Franklin County. The Quincy Orphanage was founded on the site in 1903, and as the 18-year-olds were discharged, the Annual Day was their graduation and coming-of-age celebration, Heim said. Although orphans have not lived there since 1971, the tradition has continued.

"A lot of alumni come back to visit on Annual Day," Heim said.

Residents Letitia Baker and Wilbeur Daley enjoyed touring the grounds with volunteer Carly Lis of Waynesboro and Quincy United Methodist Home and Village employee Kristin Ball of Hagerstown.

Baker, formerly of Waynesboro and a two-month resident of the home, said she was "looking over everything and enjoying it immensely."

Daley said he came for the entertainment.

"It's a beautiful carnival," he said. "I had a hot dog and a bowl of soup."

Seven Federal and five Confederate Civil War re-enactors "shot" each other in battle as part of the Annual Day activities. After all the Confederates were "killed," the remaining Federal forces crossed the battlefield to check the "bodies."

Donald Swope of Wardfordsburg, captain of the 3rd Maryland Company B said Union forces did this "to make sure they were dead, and to tend to the wounded. They'd fight to the death, then show compassion."

He added that, depending on how the Union company fared, this did not always happen.

A re-enactor since 1994, Swope said his company participates in about two "battles" a month from April through November.

"We do it to honor our forefathers, and for the camaraderie," he said.

Swope's son, Zachary, 12, has been involved for about eight years. A student at Southern Fulton Elementary School, Zachary carries the flag, stands guard duty, gathers wood and does water detail. While he enjoys guard duty, he said he and 14-year-old Bradley Deshong "get stuck with water detail."

Bradley, who attends McConnellsburg Middle School, portrays a private. He said he "likes to get out here and live history."

Private Barry Bowser, 21, and his parents, Rick and Dorene Bowser of Waynesboro, enjoy "getting out and seeing how (Civil War soldiers) lived everyday life," Barry Bowser said. "It makes you appreciate what they went through - ticks, fleas, disease, weather conditions, the deprivation of good food and the comforts of home."

Dorene Bowser, who wore a hoop skirt and crocheted mitts, said she cooks, does laundry and washes dishes in the encampments.

Another father/son team in the company was Larry Deshong of Needmore, Pa., and his son, Stephen, 16.

The Confederate forces were represented by a combination of 1st Tennessee Company 1 and 14th Tennessee Company B.

Private Kurt Wagaman of Waynesboro said Confederate soldiers checked the bodies of fallen enemies also.

"The longer they were on the march without being resupplied, the more they were looking for shoes and going through haversacks for food," he said.

He added that while the Confederates are often thought to have been ragtag, shoeless soldiers, it is historically correct to say that both sides were often badly in need of food, shoes and clothing.

Wagaman, a police officer in Waynesboro, said most of the re-enactors in attendance portray both Federal and Confederate soldiers at various times.

He said he portrays a Confederate private because he has friends in the company, and "the Confederate uniforms are easier to do. There's a wider range of what's correct. The Federal side had one uniform."

He re-enacts the Federal side of the conflict to honor his relatives. His great-grandfather, Daniel Price, of the 79th Pennsylvania was with Gen. William Sherman on his march to the sea, Wagaman said. His great-great-uncle fought with the 126th Pennsylvania at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

Volunteer Infantry Company B is looking for new members, Donald Swope said. More information may be obtained by calling 1-717-262-2336 or visiting

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