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Union defends Antietam in Civil War Revisited

With Confederate soldiers in tattered gray and Union in their blue uniforms, guns boom and smoke surrounds battle cries. The Union army hopes to stand their ground and push back Robert E. Lee’s army. After attracting more than 10,000 people to take part in the event last year, the annual Civil War re-enactment will return to Kearney Park on Sept. 28-29.

Over 1,500 volunteers from the National Civil War Association will work together with the Fresno City and County Historical Society to portray the Battle of Antietam, which took place Sept. 17, 1862. This battle marked the end of Lee’s invasion of the northern states.

The Union victory at Antietam inspired Abraham Lincoln to present the Emancipation Proclamation. Along with the mock battle, many historical figures such as President Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman will speak near the battlefield.

“My favorite aspect is how they recreate the whole time period in one little area,” Thad Olson, ’04, said. “I usually just go with my friends and we have a great time watching the battles.”

Volunteers will attempt to create an overall atmosphere, which will lead onlookers to believe that they are living in actual civil war times. Many hands on demonstrations of colonial life will be available for people of all ages.

In order to contribute to the overall 19th century atmosphere, a wide array of food booths will be available with items that would have been eaten by the people of the age.

This year, as in the past, all U.S. history students will have the opportunity to receive extra-credit if they decide to attend and put together a project concerning the events. U.S. history teacher John Hall believes that this experience helps students to realize the effects of the Civil War on America. This comes as a joy from some students, but not for all.

“I was forced to go last year and, I hated it,” Melinda Davis, ’05, said. “I was so hot and bored; I got no education out of it at all.”

Despite some negative responses, Hall still believes that the event will benefit students.

“The Civil War Revisited provides a realistic and accurate account of perhaps our nations greatest struggle,” Hall said. “It is important for us to look into internal conflict on the events that tore our nation apart; and to grasp ways to help prevent such occurrences from happening again.”

The cost for the event will be $8 for adults and children are $5. Group tickets are available for $3.

For more information on the local event, go to When there students can download information on the event and a study guide while visiting. Additionally more information on national Civil War events, visitors can go to

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