Skirmish on the River…Civil War Re-enactment

By Cindy Bradford lbradford@civitasmedia.com

April 20, 2014

GILBERT — The Town of Gilbert has collaborated with the Larry Joe Harless Community Center, WV Humanities Council, County Commission and WV Division of Culture and History to provide the 3rd Annual Civil War Re-enactment “Skirmish on the River”. The event will take place beginning Friday, April 25th .

On Friday, the day is planned for the Living History Camp and it’s 130 expected re-enactors to set up their camp and provide teaching stations of what the grounds were really like during the Civil War. These stations include a cooking tent, where you will learn how they prepared their meals over open fires and an Infantry Drill. The Artillery Run station will feature both an Authentic Civil War musket and pistol. The pistol is a STAR Revolver that was built in New York circa 1860 and purchased by the Union Army. A Field Packing Tent will also be demonstrated so that we can see how the soldiers packed all their necessities for travel during these turbulent times. Finally, a re-enactor of General Lee, Al Stone, will regale the stories of the Civil War.

Stone was born in rural upstate New York, a few miles north of the Pennsylvania state line. He had two great-great-grandfathers who served as volunteers in the War Between the States and was raised by a father who was an avid American history buff, seldom passing up the opportunity to visit historic sites. By the age of 15 years, Stone had trekked the rocks and fields of Gettysburg on numerous occasions while on trips to Maryland and Washington DC.

In 1965, at the age of 21, Stone accepted employment which necessitated a relocation to Lynchburg Virginia, where he continued to explore his developing interests in the conflict which so divided our (then) young nation. While his employment allowed him to visit and spend many hours at meaningful sites probably the most profound event on Stone’s life while in Lynchburg, was his meeting with a lady who was 112 years young at the time. As a youngster, Mrs. Royal and her family were slaves on a nearby plantation and her vivid accounts of life during the mid 1800s mesmerized many a listener. It was during his residence in the Old Dominion State that Stone became aware of the impact that Robert E. Lee had, not only on Virginia, but on the “Union”, both before and after the war.

The Town of Gilbert Mayor, Vivian Livingood, is excited to bring this event to the area. “It is important for each of us to not only remember our heritage but to honor those that have fought to make our state and nation what it is today. I hope that everyone will attend this event and learn about the history of this time period in Mingo County.”

Friday is scheduled for the Living History Camp so that children and adults can learn about the history of the Civil War. On Saturday there will be a ladies tea and luncheon to take place at noon and at 1 p.m. there will be a Civil War era baseball game that will be played by Gilbert Little League. Baseball was the major pass time during this era, as it was easy and priceless. Many fights and battles broke out during these pass time games. At 2 p.m. the battle itself will take place in the grassy bottom above the LJHCC. At 7 p.m. there will be period music and dance where there will be actual dance callers to teach dancing from that era. You are encouraged to dress the part but it is not mandatory. On Sunday there will be a church service between 10-11 a.m. then the next battle will follow at 1 p.m.

If you wish to learn more or need further information, you may contact the Town Hall at 304-664-9625 or the Larry Joe Harless Community Center at 304-664-2500.