‘War Comes to Union’ event offers unique volunteer opportunities

Saturday, Aug. 27 is the date for the Monroe County Heritage Days Living History event: War Comes to Union! The organizers are looking for people interested in local citizens of Union, during the 1860’s. The event seeks to recreate that time in 1864 when the town was visited by the Federal Army and occupied for five days. Citizens of the area were Southern Secessionist, Unionist and pacifist. Many were local farmers, laborers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, teamsters, etc. Organizers are seeking men, women, and children to bring that time “alive.” This unique volunteer opportunity is your chance to “step back in time” and live for a day as your ancestors did during that defining moment in American History.
In May of 1864, Union General George Crook led his force through Union on a Sunday morning after his victory at Cloyd’s Mountain, VA. The 10,000 men, 200 wagons, 35 ambulances, 213 prisoners, and over 100 African Americans of Crook’s army took six and a half hours to march through town and spread out for miles to camp and forage. The population of Monroe County was less than half the size of the army that occupied Union. The Monroe County Heritage Days organizers are seeking volunteers, re-enactors, and living historians to bring this history to life.
This living history event will attempt to portray the 1864 Federal occupation of Union’s historic district and surroundings. There will be an encampment in the fields surrounding the town’s Confederate Memorial. There will be drills and demonstrations throughout the encampment. In Union and the vicinity there are several historic structures (log cabins, homes, churches, and the stately Elmwood mansion), which will serve as scenes for scenarios of events that happened (documented, first person accounts). Organizers would like to have civilian (local Southerners) impressions to portray the townsfolk and how they will be dealing with the Yankee troop’s “foragers” as they occupy the town. There will be an initial “skirmish” with local Home Guard by the forward skirmishers of the Federal’s leading element. Friday will be arrivals and set-up of participants. Saturday, Aug. 27, is the “main event” – that evening organizers will host a period dance. Sunday will be a period church service.
For more information about the event and volunteering visit www. MCHDWV.com and contact Chris Johnson at wvaca@hughes.net, or call 304-772-4712.


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