Re-enactment is a window into war life

  • Follow Metro
Correction, February 24, 2009: Because of a copy editor's error, Brig. Gen. Hugh Kilpatrick was misidentified in a Metro story in Saturday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle. He commanded the Union troops in the Battle of Aiken. (Highlight changes)

AIKEN --- Portraying a Civil War field nurse, Beverly Pelcher held up a fake severed arm, explaining to a crowd of students how a surgeon 144 years ago would have conducted a battlefield amputation.

Tyler Faughnder, a 10-year-old pupil from Evans Elementary School, watched as Ms. Pelcher demonstrated the last step of the amputation, his eyes widening as she used a tonglike instrument to grasp a flap of skin and pull it across the exposed bones and muscle.

"The children can see how the medical instruments were used to do an amputation," said Robert Urban, a Civil War field surgeon re-enactor. "Instead of a static display of medical equipment, we show you how they were used."

About 4,000 students from Georgia and South Carolina attended the first day of the Battle of Aiken re-enactment Friday. The annual event is one of the largest educational field trips in the state.

"It's a chance for them to see history as it was," said Wayne Jones, one of the organizers. "We want to see that our heritage is preserved and that true history is taught to our children."

Dressed in period garb, re-enactors -- soldiers, nurses, merchants -- mingled with spectators, describing in detail the living conditions of the time.

Each year, more than 1,000 re-enactors huddle together in humble, wooden winter quarters. Bringing a couple of blankets, between five and 10 men sleep per shelter as small campfires blaze.

"People get to see what the soldiers had to endure," Mr. Jones said.

Other re-enactors, such as Chris Kane from Pennsylvania, recreate a sutlery -- a kind of traveling department store that would follow the troops around supplying items that the military didn't, such as tobacco, pen and paper, books and some clothing.

Others demonstrate how to make items such as candles and brooms.

David Chaltas, who portrays Gen. Robert E. Lee, said the re-enactments provide a valuable opportunity for children.

"We can't try to understand who we are until we understand our ancestors," he said. "It's a window from the past speaking to the voices of tomorrow."

The re-enactment of the Battle of Aiken is in its 15th year.

The event commemorates the defeat of Union soldiers commanded by Brig. Gen. Hugh Kilpatrick by Confederate soldiers on Feb. 11, 1865. The Union troops were marching toward Augusta, where the Confederacy's gunpowder mills were located.

The two sides met in downtown Aiken as Confederate Maj. Gen. Joe Wheeler drove the enemy back toward Montmorenci.

Two days after the battle began, the Union troops moved out to rejoin Gen. William Sherman in the march toward Columbia.

"We've got to ensure that we give back, and we teach what really happened," Mr. Jones said.

"We want to, as accurately as possible, portray what really happened."

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Battle of Aiken 144th anniversary re-enactment

WHERE: 1210 Powell Pond Road, off Highway 19 in Aiken

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday; battle at 2 p.m. both days; period church service 11 a.m. Sunday only

COST: $12 for adults, $6 for students (ages 6-18), children 5 and younger get in free; free parking

Source: Battleofaiken.org

Comments (26) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
justus4
101
Points
justus4 02/21/09 - 08:01 am
0
0
This reactment is a slap in
Unpublished

This reactment is a slap in the face of African-Americans and should not have governmental dollars funding such activities. And whites always ask scratching their heads, "why do we need all-black colleges, why do we need Black History Month, why do we need a Cogressional Black Caucus, why Black America Beauty Contest?" well, with this exhibition of an unsuccessful attempt, through military force, to destroy a nation, is more than reason enough for African-Americans to remember the legacy of hate directed towards their ancestors. Again, a poor example of revisionist history and is a affront to Duty, Honor, and Country.

SCGAL53
0
Points
SCGAL53 02/21/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
The re-enactment is a

The re-enactment is a demonstration of a part of real history and very educational. Of course they have the battle, but they also camp, use same tools, wear same clothes, from the time period. I really enjoyed attending in previous years.

raptcontemplation
4
Points
raptcontemplation 02/21/09 - 08:51 am
0
0
Ah, Justus, everything's "a

Ah, Justus, everything's "a slap in the face," or off-limits to say or talk about. It's really making things worse. Why can't we all just get along?

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 08:53 am
0
0
Justus, you make the case

Justus, you make the case white people have been saying for years and that is blacks don't want race relations to be any better because you wouldn't have anything to complain about.

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 08:59 am
0
0
I guess the Million Man march

I guess the Million Man march was a gathering perfect, god fearing and law abiding black men!!!!! I think not...

reb007
1
Points
reb007 02/21/09 - 09:10 am
0
0
Blacks complain about

Blacks complain about everything. For one, I'm sick of it. If you don't like it here---leave.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/21/09 - 09:51 am
0
0
History my azz. Just a chance

History my azz. Just a chance for a certain segment of society to reminisce about the good old days. If you do not like the Million Man March, Black History Month or anything else, take your own damn advice and leave!!!!!! When it comes to this B.S. it is amazing that you want to get along all of a sudden.

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
Hypo, you and your people are

Hypo, you and your people are the one's who hate America. Like the LTE said a few years ago abouts blacks disliking America "Delta is ready when you are". So, gather up your peoples and leave and take Hussien Obama with you.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/21/09 - 10:37 am
0
0
APEX, you know nothing about

APEX, you know nothing about me and my people. My people Father, Mother, Sister, Brothers and I have over 170 years and counting combined service to " OUR" country. So I do not need a little weasel like you, telling me how I feel about this country. So, if you do not like Hussien Obama, the Midnight Klan Express is leaving whenever you are ready. Don't let the Million Men feet hit you where your brain resides.

curly123053
4674
Points
curly123053 02/21/09 - 10:49 am
0
0
It is the white and black

It is the white and black people who need to be doing the moving and leaving as we are all on stolen land. We invaded, slaughtered, and forced the REAL Americans, the Native Americans, and forced them all unto places called reservations. The REAL American heritage belongs to the Native Americans. Since everybody was whining about black vs white I thought I would bring up that fact.

curly123053
4674
Points
curly123053 02/21/09 - 11:02 am
0
0
I see when you speak the REAL

I see when you speak the REAL facts all the racial trashy talk comes to a screeching halt !!!! I rest my case !!

SCGAL53
0
Points
SCGAL53 02/21/09 - 11:22 am
0
0
So, Hypo, you apparently

So, Hypo, you apparently don't appreciate your own history. If you are so ashamed of white America, get YOUR azz out.

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 11:26 am
0
0
Hypo, admit it, you and

Hypo, admit it, you and Justus hate America because you think that the the big bad white man has held you and your people down for all these years. Slavery was wrong but to hold a grudge for 400 years is stupid. After all this time you still have the victum mentality and that's why you have the problems you have in the black communities. Blacks think whites owe them something and when whites offer a hand, that hand is ripped off with hate and anger. Is it too much for young black men to quit robbing, stealing and killing and try to be productive citizen of this country. You might see a big change!!!

JimiBob
0
Points
JimiBob 02/21/09 - 11:27 am
0
0
Who cares? The civil war is

Who cares? The civil war is much deeper than people make it out to be. It was not white vs black. the rebels could of won the war with support of the british, but it was not politically savvy to support a part of a country that still practice slavery because the british ended slavery years before. justus, im a black man and think you are playing the race card on this one. Remember there were numerous slave sympathizers in the north. Lincoln even thought that blacks should migrate to the Caribbean so please everyone just read their history. Thats whats wrong with america now. We hate READING, and learning foreign languages; soon we WILL BE SO STUPID WE WONT NO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COLOR BLACK AND WHITE.

pofwe
5
Points
pofwe 02/21/09 - 11:35 am
0
0
"Proctologist of America"

"Proctologist of America" have awarded their distinguished "Head-Up-The-Rear-End" trophy to the never failing to do so, JUSTUS4. Congratulations!!

curly123053
4674
Points
curly123053 02/21/09 - 11:40 am
0
0
And as a white man, after

And as a white man, after studying the history of the War of the States it occurred to me that the C.S.A. was nothing more than an outlaw nation. The Confederates were a bunch of outlaws breaking the federal laws of this country at the time by failing to pay their federal taxes and also by invading Union forts and posts........what would happen today if a handful of us decided to quit paying taxes and invade Fort Gordon? Slavery was not the main point of the Civil War. There was even black folks who were sympathetic to the Confederate cause and who fought and died along with them. But, in the end the outlaws(CSA) lost and the rule of US law at that time came back into play.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 02/21/09 - 12:03 pm
0
0
APEX, the white man has not

APEX, the white man has not done a thing to me. Neither has the Black man or any other man. You may need to admit your hatred for Blacks. I am not the victim of anything. So I am sorry but I am not bitter towards any race.

UncleBill
6
Points
UncleBill 02/21/09 - 12:14 pm
0
0
Curly is essentially correct,

Curly is essentially correct, except that slavery was indeed the focus of the war, promoted by Southern planters who were slave owners. There was great dissent amongst common white people in the south. Secession was railroaded through the southern states by intimidation and force of the ruling class, planters. Middle class and poor whites bore the brunt of the rebellion. Cheap labor via slavery kept the poor white man down, as well as the fact that the planters gathered up the good land, leaving only the less productive lands to the poor whities. Basically, slavery was bad for everyone except for the slave owners.

UncleBill
6
Points
UncleBill 02/21/09 - 12:25 pm
0
0
Although the reenacments have

Although the reenacments have some interesting historical points regarding life and times, like surgery and camp living for example, they seem to miss the political and social points of history. How would you feel about reenactments of WWII battles in the Pacfic or in Europe where the Japanese or Germans initially had the advantage. Probably would not be seen as very nice, even if historically accurate.

robaroo
758
Points
robaroo 02/21/09 - 12:42 pm
0
0
Justus got one thing right.

Justus got one thing right. The Civil War did destroy a lawfully created country. The CSA only lasted for four years while the North devastated the South. The South is only now starting to recover and get back on par with the rest of the country. And yes, bitter feelings over past wrongs can span many generations. Just ask the Irish or the Palestinians. FYI - the South was wrong on the Slavery issue. It would have been better off to end slavery first before forming a new country.

walrus4ever
354
Points
walrus4ever 02/21/09 - 01:34 pm
0
0
Lets stop the reenactment of

Lets stop the reenactment of the Buffalo Soldiers also. They helped drive the Native Americans off their lands and in the process killed unarmed women and children as well as the sick and disabled. However because they were black they are put on a pedestal to celebrate their role in the genocide of western expansion. If burning homes and destroying food supplies and hospitals is a war crime then Gen Sherman d.b.a. the United States govt. AND the entire US Calvary should be put on trial as war criminals

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 02:19 pm
0
0
Hypo, why does believing

Hypo, why does believing people should obey the law and quit blaming other people turn into "hatred for black people". Do you have a problem with making people take responsibilty for their actions no matter what color they are. White people have plenty of problems, the difference is they don't blame another race of people for their misfortunes. Remember one thing... the definition of luck is taking advantage of the breaks your given. If you let them go by it's not my fault.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 02/21/09 - 07:53 pm
0
0
The typical southern centered

The typical southern centered mind bigots have spoken.. and they (Americans) ask themselves why they are hated by other countries around the world.

Bacon Grease
330
Points
Bacon Grease 02/21/09 - 09:19 pm
0
0
I ride with Nathan Forrest.

I ride with Nathan Forrest. Get ready it's coming.

apex24
0
Points
apex24 02/21/09 - 09:36 pm
0
0
Lady, you sound like a

Lady, you sound like a transplanted northerner. If i had to guess I'd say Ohio or Wisconsin.

LadyCisback
4
Points
LadyCisback 02/22/09 - 01:58 am
0
0
Guess again!!

Guess again!!

lovethebeach45
12
Points
lovethebeach45 02/20/10 - 08:38 pm
0
0
why do some people aways

why do some people aways find something to complain about, why dont you get a life, if you done like it here leaveeeeeeeeeeeee

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs