CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — It’s been almost 150 years since General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, all but ending the Civil War.
However, the Blue and the Gray will be back on the battlefield again this Saturday and Sunday as Chief Logan State Park plays host to Heritage Weekend 2012: Rebellion in the Hills.
This year’s event is dedicated to area woman Joyce P. Browning, who passed away on July 7 of this year at the age of 66. For more than 16 years, Browning was a feature person at the Logan Civil War re-enactment with her memorable portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of the 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln.
The Civil War event, which began at Chief Logan in 1995 and has returned every year except one, combines history education and fun for the general public.
One of the founders of the event is Jackie Tomblin, a former teacher.
“It’s very educational. That’s why we started it in the first place,” Tomblin said in a previous interview with The Logan Banner. “I taught West Virginia history all of the years I was at Logan Central. I would take the kids on a trip every year and we would try to hit some of these battles. White Sulpher Springs is where we went a lot. I took a group each year and the students loved it.”
Tomblin helped begin Logan’s Civil War Weekend back in ‘95.
“I was a teacher at Logan Middle School and the old Logan Central Middle School before retiring,” Tomblin said. “The way this started was that a friend of mine always took the students to other re-enactments and he asked, ‘So why don’t you want to do this at your park?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know if we can handle all of that.’ So he helped us get it started. It has just blossomed from nothing into something. It’s a pretty good event.”
The rebellion will also feature Civil War demonstrations featuring the very best of 19th century technology from soldiers and re-enactors; living history encampments; 19th century military drill demonstrations; a Ladies Formal Tea; Sutlers with authentic wares for sale; a traditional Blacksmith; free hay rides; games and workshops for children; a pioneer era church service and a Civil War era Dance Under the Stars.
Admission for the event is free and open to the public.
As in year’s past the two battle skirmishes between the soldiers of the North and the South are the centerpieces of the entire weekend.
Get ready for some loud cannons!
The first battle is Saturday from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and the second one is Sunday from 2-3 p.m.
President Lincoln is scheduled to speak each day as well on Saturday from 12:30-1 p.m. and Sunday from 1-1:30 p.m. — both at the park’s historic train.
Activities for children include: sack races, tug of war, storytelling, caricatures and face painting.
There will also be hay rides both days from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Civil War T-shirts and souvenirs will be sold as well as refreshments.
Also scheduled to be on hand is Noel Clemmer, a first-person impression Civil War surgeon. Clemmer will be performing a mock leg amputation and there will be a question and answer session.
Civil War period photographs, pistols and medical instrument collections will also be on display as well as herbal remedies.
The West Virginia Volunteers, working from a circa 1911 covered wagon, will also be having a blacksmithing demonstration while utilizing a giant bellows forge.
Button casting, bullet making, blade making and camp ware fabrication will also be demonstrated.
Red Dog Monroe will present cast iron cooking as well as other frontier skills such as fire making from flint and steel, fur trapping and processing, and camp life during the Civil War.
The West Augusta Volunteers, a traveling living history group stationed at their garrison in Lincoln County, is also slated to be on hand.
Area school children are encouraged to attend. Students will be awarded extra credit for attending. Forms will be provided at the park.
The Civil War in general will be back in the national spotlight this fall with the release of the much anticipated Steven Spielberg biopic “Lincoln,” starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the president and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.
The movie has release date of Nov. 16.
It was filmed last fall in the Richmond, Va., area.