Civil War Reenacting to Surge During the Next 4 Years

FORT SUMTER NATIONAL MONUMENT, S.C. — For thousands of Civil War re-enactors, the next four years are a chance to capitalize on the public’s curiosity about a century-old hobby that demands such attention to detail that the fights seem almost real.

The die-hards converging soon at the site where the War Between the States began 150 years ago with a Confederate artillery barrage on Union-held Fort Sumter can’t wait to help others understand why they spend weekends tramping through the rain, sleeping in tents in snow-covered fields, cooking on open campfires and enduring mock battles in wool coats under the hot Southern sun.

They’re expecting a surge of interest in a pastime that has roots at the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913, when Confederate veterans retraced Pickett’s Charge. Re-enacting took hold for good five decades ago during the Civil War’s centennial.

Read the full AP article by Bruce Smith in the April 10, 2011 edition of

The Tinmouth Murder Trial – 232 Years Too Late…

TINMOUTH [Vermont] — The jury was hung Saturday in a Tinmouth murder trial 232 years in the making, leaving a cloud of mystery hanging over the 1777 death of resident John Irish.

Twelve members of the public crowd of about 80 who attended Saturday’s trial inside the town’s firehouse were deadlocked, as they openly debated the more than centuries-old question lingering in town — Was the killer justified under the articles of war or was he undeniable guilty?

The jury’s decision was split, 9 to 3, and they could not convict Lt. Isaac Clark, who shot Irish as witnessed by his fellow Vermont Rangers who took the stand Saturday, ironically, in his defense.

The jury wasn’t asked to decide if Clark did it – that fact was known — but whether he was justified in rooting out Irish or not, believed by the militia to be a Tory who pledged allegiance to the invading British.

To an outside observer, the trial, with attorneys and witnesses who took the stand in historic garb of the time, was a reenactment.

But it wasn’t — the trial of Clark versus Irish never took place.

Read the full article in the June 15, 2009 edition of the Rutland Herald.

Over 2,300 Reenactors to Restage History at Old Fort Niagara July 3-5

Follow America’s Byway – Great Lakes Seaway Trail – to NY History Signature Event – July 3-5 – More than 2,300 Reenactors Restage History at Old Fort Niagara

Youngstown, NY – On July 3-5, more than 2,300 colorful historic reenactors clad in red, white, blue and buckskin will bring the 250th anniversary of the French and Indian War to life at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY. The best way to reach the big event that is the 2009 “Signature Event” of the New York State 250th French and Indian War Anniversary Commemoration Commission is to follow one of America’s Byways, the 518-mile Great Lakes Seaway Trail that parallels New York and Pennsylvania’s freshwater shorelines.

The swift waterways and footpaths of power along the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie in New York and Pennsylvania helped decide the outcome of the French & Indian War. A journey along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail offers an authentic American experience of the landscapes of history, well-kept military architecture, battlefields and waterfront staging areas. This byway is also home to two Indian Nations that maintain their distinct cultural traditions.

Read the full article in the June 15, 2009 edition of The Gouverneur Times.