21st Annual Civil War Re-enactment at Neshaminy State Park


Civil War diorama at the Dobbin House in Gettysburg, PA. Circa 1960s.

The 21st annual Civil War Re-enactment will be held on Saturday-Sunday, May 1 – 2, 2010 at Neshaminy State Park, located on 3401 State Road in Bensalem, PA, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, rain or shine. Admission is free!
This event is the largest Civil War re-enactment on the East Coast outside of Gettysburg and the theme for this year is “The Appomattox Campaign – April 6, 1865”. Over 1,000 re-enactors will converge on the park for this two-day event featuring:
· Authentic battle re-enactments
· Camp life scenarios
· Military and civilian life demonstrations
The Appomattox Campaign consisted of a series of battles to the south and west of the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia in early April of 1865. These battles ended with the surrender of Confederate forces on April 9, 1865, lead by General Robert E. Lee. April 6, 1865 is notable for two actions: “The Battle of Sailor’s Creek” and “High Bridge”. “The Battle of Sailor’s Creek” occurred when the Union cavalry exploited a gap in the Confederate line and cut off two Confederate corps, resulting in a Union victory. “High Bridge” saw Confederate cavalry capture Union forces, resulting in a Confederate victory. These two battle actions will be staged during this year’s re-enactment.
While admission is free, a voluntary collection will be taken each day of the re-enactment and all proceeds will go toward Civil War preservation efforts. Proceeds from this year’s collection will go to the Civil War Preservation Trust, (www.civilwar.org) a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Civil War battlefields. The Neshaminy Civil War Re-enactment has raised close to $30,000 during its 21 year history, for various Civil War organizations.
This event is a joint project sponsored by Neshaminy State Park, the Bensalem Historical Society, the 28th Pennsylvania Historical Association, the Army of Northern Virginia Reenacting Organization, the Delaware Valley Civil War Round Table, The G.A.R. Museum and Library, and Waste Management, Inc.
For more information, please visit http://www.28thpvi.org or contact Ken Gavin, Event Chairman, at 610-809-6540 or kgc28pvi@comcast.net.

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2 Responses to 21st Annual Civil War Re-enactment at Neshaminy State Park

  1. Anonymous says:

    So this is a nice family event no doubt,…BUT, I am a local resident who uses Neshaminy Park year round, I pay my taxes to keep the park open and free from litter.
    Every year the re-enactors come and camp and fire their guns. I’m fine with it all and have actually attended and thought it was fairly enjoyable.
    The problem is though, is that the re-enactors use black powder rifles which they stuff full of paper/waxpaper/newspaper wadding. This wadding shoots out when the powder is ignited. The re-enactors then leave it on the ground. They do not pick it up, they do not police themselves. They DO NOT respect the community they are coming into!
    The same as if I was to throw a candy rapper on the ground in a park, I would expect not only to be hazed by other park goers but also written a heavy fine for littering.
    The re-enactors I guess feel that their paper/waxpaper waddings are not litter. Either that or they are simply ignorant and choose to ignore it.
    Every year after they leave the park, my wife and I have to stare at hundreds of thousands of pieces of little white paper littering the forest(which they trample through not adhering to walking paths), fields and general area that are left by the re-enactors. The pieces of paper DO NOT BIODEGRADE within any reasonable time!! It is an eye sore for at least an entire year.
    We have raised our concern to the inept park “rangers” (and I use the term “ranger” loosely) about this blatent litering, and they simply say “it’s only paper, its biodegradeble”!!!! What?! So is a mcdonalds bag but you don’t see park users throwing them in the freaking woods now do ya?
    This year it took several attempts by my wife to get the so called park rangers to correct the litter. It was eventually addressed (the reneactors had to hire a landscaper to pick it up) but still to this day are there not only waddings from back in MAY but also ones from the previous year, strewn throughout the park. I am personally appauled by the ignorance of the park officials and the re-enactors. The park rangers made my wife feel like she was out of the norm for having this concern. IT IS LITTER PEOPLE!!! LITTER! Respect the national and state parks, if you can’t pick up after yourselves, don’t use the parks! Plain and simple!
    If you do attend one of these events please encourage the reenactors to police themselves. If you happen to be a re-enactor reading this, please resepct the communities that you visit, which you DO NOT live in and police yourselves. Also please have a little dignity and respect nature while you play your games.
    Thank you!
    David Fialko
    Concerned citizen

  2. Scott Mingus says:

    Thanks for your comments!
    One small correction – I have been a scientist in the global paper industry for more than three decades and most grades of paper are indeed biodegradable with time, moisture, and sunlight / elements (I won’t bore folks with the chemistry of the reaction). However, paper does not biodegrade at a fast enough time in many cases such as you describe. Smaller bits such as wadding (or cigarette paper) usually degrade faster than food service bags.
    That does not answer the question of whether or not the event promoters (or reenactors) should police the mock battleground after the event.
    Thanks for venting!

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