Civil War events retreat smartly from Greencastle

April 10, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Mounted re-enactors lead the "Retreat from Town" Sunday in Greencastle, Pa. The community was the first in the area to participate in Civil War 150, which will continue next weekend in Chambersburg, Pa.
By Jennifer Fitch/Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — It’s much easier to organize an infantry retreat with a smartphone.

Organizers of Sunday’s “Retreat from Town” associated with Greencastle’s Civil War 150 commemoration used modern-day technology to ensure the event went smoothly. They coordinated with police and fire police to block downtown streets so re-enactors and spectators could walk to the closing ceremony at the local VFW post.

The retreat and ceremony capped off four days of festivities in Greencastle. Similar events associated with Civil War 150 will be held in Chambersburg, Pa., this weekend, and Fairfield, Pa., and Gettysburg, Pa., after that.

“I think, on the whole, everybody has enjoyed it,” said Bonnie Shockey, one of the organizers.

Frederick, Md., resident Lori Robinette brought her three sons and their 9-year-old friend, Andrew Higgins, to Greencastle Sunday for demonstrations.

“I like all the guns, including the cannons,” Andrew said.

Ben Robinette, 9, said he’s learned about the Civil War from library books.

“He knows all the stuff,” said Rex Robinette, 7.

“I know Gen. Lee had to surrender,” Ben said.

Joe Robinette, 10, described the events as “cool” and “fun.”

“We got to see all the guns, cavalry, infantry,” he said.

Greencastle resident Penny Misiak and her daughter, Megan, attended activities with Megan’s boyfriend, Curtis Marshall, on Saturday and Sunday.

“You learn lots of history,” Marshall said.

Michael Kendra and his father, Dennis, showed off a Union cannon through 1st New Jersey Light Artillery, Clark’s Battery B.

“It was great to talk to the public and give them some information,” Michael Kendra said.

The barrel and the attached wheels weigh about 1,800 pounds, Kendra said.

“It shoots a 10-pound shell, and it’s accurate to about three miles,” he said.

Helen Shoemaker and her daughters, Kim Laman and Melanie Shoemaker, and friend Galen West partook in several events in their hometown.

“The skirmish was well done, and I liked the demonstration with the cannons. ... It was pretty informative,” West said.

The adults said they travel to Gettysburg, Pa., occasionally and said the weekend’s offerings allowed them to build on their knowledge of the Civil War.

“It’s informative if you are interested in history and the history of the town,” Melanie Shoemaker said.

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