October 4, 2007

Border Crossers Welcome for Reenactment of Civil War Davis County Guerrilla Raid

When it comes to learning about the history of the American Civil War, nothing beats attending a living history event. On October 12-14 this chance will come to Davis County, IA, when the Davis County Civil War Guerrilla Raid Society presents its fourth annual American Civil War event.

Reenactors will be coming from near and far to educate and entertain the crowds. All activities, with the exception of the supper with Lincoln and breakfast with Lincoln, will be held at Shooter’s Roost, which is 5 miles south of Bloomfield, IA. There will be blue and white signs pointing the way to the event site. Attend and learn about the October 12, 1864 guerrilla border raid in Davis County, which left three local men dead.

The Fourth Annual Davis County Civil War Days & Living History Encampment will begin on October 12 with a 7:00 p.m. supper with President Lincoln held at the Weaver House Bed & Breakfast in Bloomfield, IA. Join the fun as President Lincoln dispenses wit, humor and wisdom. Seating is limited and reservations are required. Contact Joyce or Ron at 641-664-2802 for reservations.

President Lincoln will also be the mainstay of two assemblies at the Davis County Elementary School on Friday afternoon.

Saturday begins with an officers call at the registration area at 8:00 a.m. Camps will open to the public at this time. During the morning there will be various units practicing their drills. Spinner Joyce Cook of Monroe, IA and the DCCWGRS quilters will be demonstrating their respective crafts during the weekend.

A ladies tea will be hosted by the Davis County Civil War Guerrilla Raid Society at 10:00 a.m. Come learn the language of the fan and more. There will be a showing of the DVD “Far North: The Great Davis County Guerrilla Raid” at 11 a.m. This DVD was produced by Ottumwa filmmaker Joe Taylor of Handcranked Productions. It also has several society members playing the parts of various people involved with the 1864 raid.

Lunch will be available on the grounds both Saturday and Sunday. After the Saturday lunch there will be a pie auction at 12:30. Many varieties of pie will go up for sale to the highest bidder so be sure to come early to pick your favorite to bid for.

President Lincoln will be giving a speech at 1:00 p.m. as well as having a question and answer session. The crowd favorite comes at 2:00 p.m. when Union and Confederate forces collide at Shooter’s Roost. There will be a generic battle demonstration, which will involve all reenactor units. This is something you don’t want to miss. These men and women take a lot of time and care to look, talk and feel the part they play at these events. After the battle is over feel free to talk to the reenactors and ask questions. They enjoy a chance to share their knowledge and passion of Civil War history and reenacting. Walk among the camps to see how they lived.

President Lincoln will also be strolling the grounds during both days and will be happy to visit with folks and have pictures taken.

Civil War sutlers will also be on site and have many items for the public to see and buy that are related to the time period of the Civil War. Everything from buttons and clothing to guns and tools can be found among the sutler tents. One of the sutlers will be Roy McClure of Independence, MO, who makes banjos as they were made during the Civil War; with gourds. Another sutler will be Chuck Green of New Castle, IN. His shop is J.B. Teal Leatherworks. Larry Olmstead of Cedar Rapids, IA, will be on hand with his photography sutlery. He also has many costumes and props for customers to wear and use while he snaps their picture. Other sutlers include Adler’s Dry Goods from Marthasville, MO; Clancy’s from Bloomfield, IA and Jessica Hydo from North Platte, NE. Each of these sutlers carries a wide variety of dry goods and clothing.

Several new activities have been added to the schedule for 2007. These include a camp first person question and answer session, dress competition, supper and dance. The supper is free to all who are dressed in Civil War attire. There will be a small charge of $5 for adults and $3 for children under 12 for those not in period attire. The supper will consist of BBQ pork or plain pork, special baked beans, chips, dinner roll, and drink. Serving will begin at 5:00 p.m. At 7:00 p.m. Acoustic Mayhem will provide the music for a period dance. They will also help everyone to learn the dances with a slowed down run through of such popular dances of the era as the Virginia Reel.

Sunday morning will bring a special guest to breakfast at the Weaver House Bed and Breakfast. President Lincoln will again be dining with the public from 7-9:30 a.m. Please call the Weaver House at 641-664-2802 for reservations to this event.

There will be a non-denominational church service at Shooter’s Roost beginning at 11:00 a.m., which the public is invited to attend. President Lincoln will again be speaking and answering questions at 1:00 p.m. Another clash between Rebel and Yankee forces will occur at 2:00 p.m.

The Davis County Civil War Guerrilla Raid Society was fortunate enough to have financial help in the form of grants from three sources this year. The Wal-Mart Foundation granted $1,000 to the group for event expenses. Also, Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities approved a $950 grant and the Iowa Arts Council awarded $500 to help pay for the band. These grants have helped the society to put together a very informative and entertaining event for 2007.

There will be concessions on the grounds. Bleacher seating for the battles will be available but you may still want to bring your lawn chairs. This is a family oriented event and all ages are welcome to the free event open to the public.

For more info contact Carl Boas 641-459-2109, Brent or Nancy Clancy 641-664-1304, or Laura Rickelman 641-675-3352 or 641-208-5467 or e-mail civilwarraid@gmail.com.

The full event schedule is listed on the website www.civilwarraid.com along with info about the guerrilla raid of 1864 and the monument, which is located about 5 miles south of Bloomfield.

The Society is also searching for family history concerning the 1864 raid. If you or someone you know has any letters, photos, diaries, family legend or any kind of info about anyone involved with the raid (raiders or victims) please contact us at the above numbers or email. The website has a list of names of people at whose homes the raiders stopped. This list is located under the “Raid Info” button on the left side of the screen. Any help would be appreciated.

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