Re-enactors to stage Civil War camp

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Heritage Park in McDonald will transform into a Civil War-era camp with re-enactors from the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves in period costume and in character from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the park on West Lincoln Avenue.

Planned activities include kids' crafts, speakers, raffles, and drill and weapon demonstrations, including gun firing.

A drum and fife re-enactment corps made up of African-American youth will make an afternoon appearance.

Admission is free to the "History at Heritage" program, organized by Heritage Public Library and the borough's parks and recreation board.

Food and drinks, used books, vendor booth items and photo opportunities will be available for purchase. The library will raise funds through concession stand and book sales.

Library director Jen Swearman pitched the idea to hold a Civil War re-enactment because of her interest in history and in author Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the book "Little House on the Prairie" based on pioneer life in the late 1800s.

"I thought [the re-enactment] would be a great community thing that everybody could enjoy," Ms. Swearman said.

Volunteer members of the Pittsburgh-area re-enactment unit portray the original Company A of the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves 38th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, or the "Pittsburg Rifles," according to the group's website.

The historical regiment, made up of Western Pennsylvania recruits, participated in battles of the Army of the Potomac, including Gettysburg.

Men portray military or civilian roles. Women depict nurses, merchants, cooks, laundresses and visiting relatives but do not bear arms to remain authentic to the historical period, according to the website.

The 6th Regiment United States Colored Troops Drum and Fife Re-enactment Corps was formed by the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum Trust to enhance education about the involvement of African Americans in the Civil War, according to the museum website. The group includes African-American boys and girls, ages 14 to 18, who become skilled at playing the drums or the fife, which is a small flute without keys.

The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865.

For a re-enactment schedule and information: www.washlibs.org/heritage or 724-926-8400.

neigh_west

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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