Like the U.S. Postal Service, neither rain, nor sleet … nor gale-force winds, nor blaring car alarms could keep the American Civil War Association from its expected date of a reenactment.
Cannon and musket fire (blanks) rocked the hillsides at Knights Ferry and the adjoining Stanislaus River Park area on Saturday and Sunday as historians/actors waged dramatic battles in front of a healthy pack of brave onlookers.
“One good thing about these events is that you get to come out here with your friends and reminisce,” Confederate First Sgt. Anthony Lynn of Pengrave said after Saturday’s first battle (which the Confederacy won). “We share a common experience and we like to let the public know what the Civil War was about.”
Hundreds of participants dotted the hillside just northeast of the covered bridge, some taking marksman positions among the rocks, while others manned cannons or marched in formations to rotate through firings against the other side.
It was a treat for onlookers and participants alike, and Reno native Eric Skinner (a Confederate Colonel) marched through the day before spending time to show his musket and décor to a crowd of viewing public.
“As long as I can still get up off the ground under my own strength I’ll do this,” Skinner said. “I’m not sticking to a cannon.”
Participants provided their own garb, and set up base north of the Stanislaus River Park in a collection of tents.
Along with the staged battles, offered several times during the weekend, camps were open to the public in between battles as reenactors gave ‘living history’ lessons on the life and times of Civil War era soldiers and their families.