In my previous Cannonball blog post, I presented the transcript from an article that appeared in the York Daily on June 13, 1906, covering the sham battle on the fairgrounds held the previous day. More than 10,000 people watched this Civil War reenactment, which, according to veterans present for the event, did an accurate job in recreating the tactics used during the war.
The mock battle highlighted the three-day encampment of Pennsylvania’s various camps of the Sons of Veterans (now known as the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War). I am a member of the current Captain Edgar M. Ruhl Post #33 of that organization. The predecessor group did not wear Civil War uniforms, but rather a hybrid of the uniforms of the post-Spanish-American war era.
The encampment proved popular, and the organizers selected Scranton as the location of the next gathering.
The celebrations ended with 300 SOV and Ruhl Post members participating in a reception and grand ball held at the York Country Club on June 14. Several prominent citizens of York County also attended the gala.
The attendees arrived via a procession of cars. The interior of the country club was decorated in SOV emblems and the Stars and Stripes. Selak’s Orchestra of Berks County, PA, provided the music for the grand march and the subsequent dancing. Conductor Frank C. Selak and his band were frequent entertainers for events in Reading, York, Lancaster, and Harrisburg in the early 1900s and were quite popular with the attendees of the SOV event at the country club.
The newspaper over the next few days published several more photos taken at the encampment on the fairgrounds. I have reproduced them in this blog post.
The SOV members held a dress parade each evening at the fairgrounds before breaking camp and heading to their respective homes.
View of the Sons of Veterans Camp on the York Fairgrounds.
Does anyone have other photos of the encampment and sham battle?