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updated: 6/6/2018 9:58 PM

Experience the battles of the Vicksburg Campaign during Elgin Civil War Experience this weekend

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  • Soldiers practice drills during the inaugural Elgin Civil War Experience in 2017. The re-enactors return Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, with recreations of soldier camps, medical tents, and battles.

      Soldiers practice drills during the inaugural Elgin Civil War Experience in 2017. The re-enactors return Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, with recreations of soldier camps, medical tents, and battles.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
Submitted by City of Elgin

The City of Elgin and the 9th Virginia Cavalry, Company B will host the second annual Elgin Civil War Experience from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 9, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10, in the park area on the southwest corner of routes 31 and 20. Get advance tickets before 5 p.m. June 8 at cityofelgin.org/civilwar. It is $5 each per day; kids, age 5 and under, are free. Admission at the gate will be $7 each.

Join American history enthusiasts for an immersive look at a turbulent time in American history. View re-enactors recreate both civilian and military life during the Civil War era. Spectators also will be able to witness two battle re-enactments with educational commentary.

New this year, the Elgin Civil War Experience will debut the Candlelight Tour with Cannon Night Fire beginning at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for the Saturday night Candlelight Tour with Cannon Night Fire are also $5 each. Patrons who attend the daytime Saturday events can attend the Saturday night event at no additional charge by wearing their event wristband.

Activities include infantry and artillery drills, cavalry competitions, battle re-enactments, fashion shows, and ongoing demonstrations throughout the various camps. There will be appearances by various generals of the time.

On Saturday, the "1863: Year of Decision -- The Confederate Generals" program will be 10 to 10:45 a.m. and military parade and drills from 10 to 11 a.m.

Hear the stories of Harriet Tubman from 10:50 to 11:35 a.m., Abraham Lincoln from 11:40 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., and Jefferson Davis from 1:20 to 2:05 p.m.

Stop by the medical tents and learn about "Youth Medical Inspection" from 11 to 11:15 a.m. and "Minor Surgery" from 1 to 1:40 p.m. Approximately 10 minutes after 3 p.m. battle, check out a "surgery" in the medical tent.

A program on "1863: Year of Decision -- The Union Generals" will be 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

Re-enactors will recreate the Battle of Champion Hill at 3 p.m. The Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, 1863, was a pivotal battle in the Vicksburg Campaign in Mississippi. About 54,000 troops faced off, led by Union Army commander Major General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate States Army Lt. General John C. Pemberton. This Union victory led the Confederate Army to retreat to Vicksburg, its last major stronghold on the Mississippi River.

On Sunday, there will be a church service at 9 a.m., followed by a military parade and drills from 10 to 11 a.m. From 10 to 10:45 a.m., it will be time for "Regrets and Reflections -- Union Generals." A fashion show is set for 10:50 to 11:35 a.m.

Stop by the medical tents and learn about "Youth Recruitment" from 11 to 11:15 a.m. and "Minor Surgery" from noon to 12:40 p.m. Approximately 10 minutes after 2:30 p.m. battle, check out a "surgery" in the medical tent.

Harriet Tubman will return from 11:40 a.m. to 12:25 p.m., and Abraham Lincoln from 1:20 to 2:05 p.m.

The weekend event will wrap up at 2:30 p.m. with a recreation of a battle during the Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 to July 4, 1863). After two unsuccessful major assaults by the Union Army on the fortifications around the fortress city, Grant started the siege which lasted over 40 days until Pemberton's forces, lacking supplies and reinforcements, surrendered on July 4, 1863. The surrender, which happened one day after Confederate General Robert E. Lee's loss at the Battle of Gettysburg, is seen as one of the decisive turning points of the war.

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