Elk Grove got here alive with the booming sounds of cannon firings and the crackling of gun and rifle pictures this previous weekend, because the Mahon Ranch took a step again in time greater than a century and a half in the past with a number of American Civil Struggle battle reenactments.
These reenactments had been a part of Civil Struggle Days, a three-day occasion that was held from April 30 to Could 2 close to Grant Line Street. This attraction drew a number of hundred folks enthusiastic about studying in regards to the historical past of that battle, which started 160 years in the past.
The Nationwide Civil Struggle Affiliation (NCWA) offered the occasion that was additionally sponsored by the Elk Grove Historic Society, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Basis, and the Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor #41.
Mahon Ranch proprietor Tom Mahon instructed the Citizen that he was happy.
“There are lots of people having numerous enjoyable,” he stated. “This group is all about training. (With the pandemic), everyone is searching for one thing to do and outside is the way in which to do issues proper now.
“We had been down right here (on his ranch) the opposite evening because it obtained darkish and it was type of attention-grabbing to see the folks stroll by of their uniforms within the twilight with the silhouettes of their tents within the background and their campfires. You could possibly virtually really feel such as you had been again within the 1860s.”
Whereas standing close to the reenactment battlefield on April 3, Elk Grove resident Leslie Allen expressed pleasure for this occasion.
“That is the perfect factor Elk Grove has ever executed,” she stated. “I’ve been right here 23 years, and in the event that they maintain this occasion yearly, I’ll be right here. I’ll fly folks in right here to return right here. Sure, we’ll be right here each day.
“The visible is superior, very theatrical and the property is superb. What a spot, and I had no concept that these reenactors had been so immersive. The folks themselves, they’re tenting in these tents. I had no thought. That is all information to me. So, you get a extremely large notion what it (was like again then).”
Darragh Donohue, certainly one of Allen’s two sons who attended the occasion, famous that he was drawn to the occasion resulting from his longtime love of historical past.
“(The occasion is) 100% vital,” he stated. “It laid the muse for what occurs later with the unification of the U.S. It principally is brother towards brother. It’s exhausting reality, nevertheless it’s type of essential to mill, since you don’t need to have one other a type of issues occur once more. It’s vital. Historical past is vital in every little thing.”
Along with the battle reenactments, the occasion included historical past courses for college students on Friday, a re-created previous city, horses, handmade soaps and candles, hand-carved picket objects, old-time church and prayer companies, meals by BBQ Specific Yoself and Squeeze Burger, and beers brewed by the Elk Grove’s Hungry Pecker Brewing Firm.
About 150 college students attended the courses with their mother and father and academics. They went from station to station and realized about what was taking place in America within the 1860s. Altogether, eight class periods had been offered.
Pam Phelps, a retired instructor who attended Sunday’s occasion, stated she was impressed that historical past courses had been offered to younger college students on Friday.
“I’m retired, however I’m nonetheless instructing, (and) I’m going to inform my faculty about it,” she stated.
Saturday’s crowd consisted of about 350 to 400 folks, and about 300 folks attended the occasion on Sunday.
Ellie Forcier, a six-year resident of Elk Grove, spoke about her expertise watching a Civil Struggle reenactment for the primary time.
“It was good, it was fantastic,” she stated. “I had a (relative, Alexander Mather) that was within the Revolutionary Struggle who performed the trumpet.”
Whereas standing alongside Forcier, Barbara Claire famous that watching the reenactment gave her a larger appreciation for the Civil Struggle.
“It does make it actual, as a result of it’s definitely totally different than studying about it in a e book,” she stated. “When you’ll be able to see, it makes you assume, and the firearms they used and the hand-to-hand fight. It’s one thing I wouldn’t need to undergo.”
Charles Kenyon, a reenactor from Walnut Creek, spoke about his character position.
“I’m the federal brigade commander, so I’m answerable for all Union forces right here,” he stated. “I’m the colonel, so I’m the highest-ranking Union man out right here. I’ve obtained to be sure that the artillery, the cavalry and the infantry are coordinated in what we’re doing – principally plan the battles out.”
John Moreno, of the NCWA, seventh Virginia Infantry Regiment, instructed the Citizen that Civil Struggle historical past is similar to issues which might be taking place at this time.
“Texas is speaking about succession, we’ve got political censorship,” he stated. “It’s simply bizarre what number of parallels there are. So, as a reenactor, it’s eerie that numerous stuff that we discuss from the Civil Struggle, there’s some parallels.
“The Southern postmasters would censor abolition supplies that had been mailed from the South. We’ve obtained Fb censoring folks. That wasn’t true like 10 years in the past. You’ve obtained states stepping up for states’ rights. So, now states’ rights are literally a giant deal.”
As for the spiritual portion of the occasion, Terry portrayed a Civil Struggle army chaplain.
“It may very well be stated that the army chaplaincy started within the Civil Struggle,” he stated. “There was no official (army) chaplaincy at first of the battle and lots of people had been laymen, and there have been a superb variety of pastors, although, that took it upon themselves to exit and minister to the troops. And it wasn’t till about 1863 that they began to get some recognition.”
Terry, who selected to not point out his final identify, added that his reenactment character has a nickname.
“I do have the nickname of Holy Sniper, as a result of at one reenactment, I used to be wearing my pastor’s outfit and I had my rifle and I wasn’t in formation and I occurred to interrupt off, and I discovered three Confederates and I blew them away,” he stated.
Jim Entrican, previous president of the Elk Grove Historic Society, instructed the Citizen that the society hopes Civil Struggle Days will return to Elk Grove.
“We’re wanting ahead to doing this once more subsequent 12 months,” he stated. “(The reenactor group) could have a gathering afterwards. They may analyze every little thing, then meet with Tom (Mahon) and a few members of the Elk Grove Historic Society and Native Sons. We’ll all put our ideas collectively and see what we will do to make this much more engaging for subsequent 12 months.”