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Re-enactors stage a battle during 2012 Franklin County Civil War Days.
Franklin County Civil War Days will be held Sept. 6-8 at LakeWatch Plantation in Moneta.
Re-enactors will portrayed historical figures including David Palmer of Botetourt County as Gen. Robert E. Lee (left) and Michael Sipes of Pennysylvania as Gen. Jubal Early during the 2011 Franklin County Civil War Days.
Frank Chrzanowski, branch manager for HomeTown Bank in Moneta, will again participate as a Civil War re-enactor.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Maurice “Sandy” Lucas of Roanoke County will come to Smith Mountain Lake next weekend looking like he’s ready for battle in his gray Confederate cavalry uniform . Or he could change to a blue Union uniform if needed.
Lucas said he’s willing to do whatever it takes to create a realistic portrayal of a battle.
He will be among the Civil War re-enactors participating in Franklin County Civil War Days on Sept. 6-8 at LakeWatch Plantation in Moneta.
The third-annual event promises a bigger show this year with more re-enactors offering a chance to delve into the past, discover camp life and relive battles from the front lines.
Lucas has been participating in Civil War re-enactments for the past 12 years.
He’s traced many of his family’s male forebears , including his great-grandfather and great uncles, back to the war. They served in the 14th Virginia Cavalry.
Lucas said no re-enactor can get anywhere close to reliving the starvation and tremendous amount of mental anguish the soldiers felt during those days.
“That’s a hard place to get to,” Lucas said. “There’s just no way we could understand what they went through.”
Still, the 70-year-old wasn’t content with just reading about the battles in books; he wanted to experience what is was like for himself.
“It wasn’t glory, and it wasn’t all gory, either. It’s a fascinating period of time,” he said.
Lucas said he tries to stir up an interest in the American Civil War by participating in school programs, including some next Friday for area students.
From 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sept. 6, there will be living-history and military demonstrations for students from nearby public and private schools and homeschooled students.
Philip Sheridan, chairman of the Franklin County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, said he expects re-enactors from the area, as well as nearby states, to participate in Civil War Days . Sheridan said this is the first year there will be an admission cost, because the county doesn’t have the funds to support it.
“We don’t know how this might affect [attendance],” he said.
The admission cost is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 5-11 and free for children younger than 5. The camp will open daily at 9 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. on Sept. 6 and at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 7-8.
The tented rain-or-shine event offers living-history presentations, “redneck polo,” a fashion show and tea, a Sunday church program and a variety of vendors, including artisans, authors and food.
A Dinner and Barn Dance will start at 6 p.m. on Sept. 7 with period music and a full dinner and dessert for $15 a person or $25 for couples.
Tickets can be purchased at the Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center, The General Store or online at www.franklincountycivilwardays.org.
“Without a doubt, the Civil War was a pivotal event in American history,” said Tarah Holland, tourism development manager at Franklin County.
“This event gives patrons of all ages an opportunity to relive history, hear the stories of influential local residents of the era and examine the impact that the war had on Franklin County.”
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