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Civil War re-enactors recreate history with 'Greencastle: Skirmish on the Square'

April 08, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Union soldiers Adam Stoner of Walnut Bottom, Pa., Kyle Wichtendahl of Frederick, Md., and Stephen Franzoni of Joppatowne, Md., kick off Pa.'s Civil War Sesquicentennial ceremonies at the Allison Antrim Museum in Greencastle on Friday.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — True to character, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee was every bit the gentleman he was rumored to be. Upon greeting a lady, Lee introduced himself by kissing the lady's hand.

On the other hand, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant — known to be a somber sort — skulked in the background.

 On Friday, visitors to the Allison Antrim Museum got a rare first-hand glimpse of history, compliments of re-enactors who mingled with guests at the opening ceremony at the museum in preparation for this weekend's "Greencastle: Skirmish on the Square."

 Bonnie Shockey, president of Greencastle's Allison-Antrim Museum,  said the evening kicked off the 150th anniversary of Pennsylvania's involvement in the Civil War.

"We have to remember history, or we repeat what we did wrong," Shockey said.

 The Greencastle and Chambersburg communities in Franklin County are joining with Fairfield and Gettysburg in neighboring Adams County to host some of Pennsylvania's earliest events to commemorate Civil War 150.

Presentations, encampments, period church services and music are scheduled in Greencastle on April 7-10; Chambersburg on April 15-16; Fairfield on April 22-23; and Gettysburg on April 29-30.

 At Friday's event, Kirk Davis was dressed in a blue Union jacket complete with brass buttons to portray Gen. Joseph Hooker.

 "It's our history. We shouldn't forget our history, and it was very memorable, because 150 years ago, state's rights — which are in the forefront again — were in the forefront ...," Davis said.

He said the skirmish would recreate the period when a small unit of union cavalry rode into Greencastle and was startled by Confederate soldiers who were controlling the town.

As a founder of American Living History Educational Society, Davis said seeing history is better than reading about it in books.

 "It becomes alive. When you actually go out and see what a tin cup looks like or feel a wool uniform, it's a big difference," Davis said.

The skirmish on Greencastle's square begins at 2 p.m. Saturday. For a complete listing of events, go to to www.greencastlemuseum.org or www.greencastlepachamber.org.

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