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On the Battlefield: 12th U.S. hosts Civil War weekend in Peterboro

Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 9:19 am

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The 12th Regiment U.S. Infantry Co. A (reenacting) and the Civil War Heritage Foundation will host the 25th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend. The 12th was first organized in 1798 and disbanded in 1800, raised again in 1812 and for the Mexican War. The regiment portrayed by the reenacting unit was organized by direction of President Lincoln on May 4, 1861. The 12th Infantry is still active.

As in many years past, “The 12th (reenacting) will be encamped on the western half acre of the Peterboro Green and will be joined by several other military re-enacting units. The field is under the command of Captain Neil MacMillan. “The 12th” participates in both local and national events as members of the U.S. Volunteers, the largest reenactor organization in the United States. Reenacting is a family hobby. Men, women, and children participate in the military and civilian activities to portray a regiment that served throughout the Civil War. Besides the daily routines such as camp cooking, preparing for drill, and medical services, during the weekend The 12th has drills for children, a discipline demonstration, a Sunday sermon, a town ball game, and a skirmish each day at 2 p.m. Throughout the weekend visitors can walk the green and talk to reenactors portraying well know persons such as President Lincoln. The military units and other volunteers provide Civil War Living History to fifth graders from four local schools on Friday, June 9.

Shane Camp, 1st Sgt.12th US, will be conducting competitions this year. One called “Cooter Up” involves two soldiers competing to see who is the fastest to get suited up for battle. “Stick the Pig” is a bayonet competition using hay bales. In “Fire by Nines” soldiers compete in loading by nine steps, according to the manual, and firing 3 shots until only one soldier remains. Civilians can enter the frying pan toss to see who gets the best distance out of three tosses.

Special features of the 25th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend are programs on women in the Civil War, the relationship of John Brown and Gerrit Smith, and Dreaming of Timbuctoo, an exhibit on Smith’s gifts of 40 acres of land to each of 3000 African-American men.  Admission of $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and Free for children under 6, includes eleven acres of the encampment, three museums, historical, military, and authors’ programs, an afternoon musical presentation, children’s activities, skirmishes, exhibits, displays, walking tours, and demonstration. For the 25th year of the Peterboro event, a limited number of half price adult tickets are available from mercantile.gerritsmith.org, at the Deli on the Green, and from members of the event committee.

A showing of the Union Bound, the 2015 movie based on the diaries of Joe Hoover of Herkimer, will be shown on Friday, June 9 at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. The 77th Regiments Balladeers will perform a concert Saturday night June 10. Admission for the concert is $5 and free for reenactors, participants, and registered weekend volunteers.

The 25th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend is an educational and fund-raising event for the (501c3) Smithfield Community Association in Peterboro NY.  Saturday, June 10 hours are 10am to 5 pm  and Sunday, June 11 hours are 10 am to 4 pm. For more information www.PeterboroNY.org, PO Box 6, 13134, mail@sca-peterboro.org and 315-280-8828.