In Montague, reenactors complete the story of America

  • Civil War re-enactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed as Union soldiers, fire their rifles at re-enactors dressed as Confederate soldiers during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday, Oct. 16. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War re-enactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed as Confederate soldiers, fire their rifles at re-enactors dressed as Union soldiers during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday, October 16. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War re-enactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed as Union soldiers, stand in formation during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday, October 15. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Donald Rogers, 9, of Springfield, stands with Jacob Spruyt, 10, of Greenfield, dressed in Civil War period Union infantry uniforms during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War re-enactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed as Union soldiers, stand in formation during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday, October 16. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War reenactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry, dressed as Union soldiers, march in formation during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War re-enactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed as Confederate soldiers, advance towards re-enactors dressed as Union soldiers during the Skirmish at Millers Meadows re-enactment and living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday, October 16. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt—Matt Burkhartt

  • Civil War reenactors from the 10th Mass Volunteer Infantry dressed in period clothing for the living history encampment at Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club in Montague Sunday. Recorder Staff/Matt Burkhartt

Recorder Staff
Published: 10/16/2016 10:54:19 PM

MONTAGUE — Civil War reenactors gathered in Montague on Saturday and Sunday to do what they do best: relive history.

The Civil War enthusiasts came from all over New England, many from Western Massachusetts, to participate in the weekend, the first of its kind in Montague, at the Millers Falls Rod and Gun Club.

The weekend included two skirmishes, which did not represent specific battles, between those representing the Union and Confederate soldiers.

Joseph Coll, a local reenactor with the 10th MassVolunteer Civil War Reenactors, which planned the event, said there hasn’t been a reenactment in the area for about 25 years.

Coll said he was inspired by what he called a recent renaissance in Montague. He said more and more events have popped up to bring the community together, so he and several others began meetings about a year ago to plan this weekend.

“We wanted to add another aspect to that and bring another family-oriented event to the area,” he said.

About 50 reenactors participated in the event, which was also open to the public. Coll said the event was a success and something the local reenactors are planning on doing again next year.

Tom Connell, a reenactor from Westminster, said the central focus of reenactments like this one are to honor the soldiers and the history of the event, but he said there is an additional aspect, that of keeping history alive and understanding history.

“Events during the Civil War have a lasting impact, right? From societal standpoint, from a sociological standpoint,” he said. “Even today, you can see the echoes of the same things that drove the states apart during the Civil War.”

Connell said the more people know about the Civil War, the more context they have for modern day America.

“If you don’t remember what caused these things that you live with today, then it’s an incomplete story,” he added.

The weekend was a living history weekend, and didn’t just include reenactments of battles.

The event cost $10 per person to get in, or $20 per family and included a walk through the Union and Confederate camps, demonstrations and talks by Civil War experts.

The reenactors who participated in the event said it was a great weekend and a successful new event.

Brian Patton, who came to the event from Salem, Conn., said the event is partially about honoring the history of the Civil War and those who fought in it, but it’s also about the camaraderie the participants have with each other. Patton has been a Civil War Reenactor for about 20 years.

“We try to honor them as best we can,” Patton said.

Miranda Davis covers Gill, Montague and Erving. You can reach her at 413-772-0261 ext. 280 or mdavis@recorder.com.


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