Civil War comes alive in re-enactment

Posted by Morgan Chesky - bio | email

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- It was a hundred-and-50 years ago in our history events at 'Harpers Ferry' led to a bloody civil war in America, and that was the focus of a re-enactment group in Gilmer over the past few days. The sound of rifle and cannon fire was heard at camp Gilmont near Gilmer, was all part of a living history lesson by members of the sons of confederate veterans.

"We've been trying to teach the public today about a small part of that and teach maybe 900 to 1000 school children over the last couple of days," says re-enactment division commander Ray James.

The re-enactment depicts Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown attempted to seize an armory.

"He was probably the original terrorist in the united states," says actor Ray Waters , who portrays John Brown.

Before brown's plan to free slaves across the south could succeed, he ran into union regulars, led by Robert E. Lee.

"Its an honor to do things like this, its fun, and its good to be able to portray this time in our history, maybe they can learn something from what we did here today," says actor John Holley who portrays Lee.

Actors portraying presidents, generals and ordinary people, relayed their thoughts of the times to the public.

"We need to understand what happened and understand the things that shaped people opinion in 1860, the union government was granted limited powers under the constitution," James says.

And re-enactors say history puts some things today in perspective.

"History is history, and if we don't teach it, if we don't tell it, it will die, it'll disappear," Waters says.

The group raised more than $10-thousand dollars in order to create the learning experience. Around a thousand east Texas students from more than 27 different public and private schools attended over the 4 days of the event.

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