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The enthusiasm is real

Published March 9, 2007

[Times photo (2006): Will Vragovic]
Colby Stickney, left, of Melbourne practices marching songs in the Confederate camp in Crystal River during last year's Civil War re-enactment.

CRYSTAL RIVER - There will be cannon blasts, musket volleys and cavalry charges this weekend, as the opposing forces of the Blue and the Gray face each other across a large battlefield and commence to blast away at each other during the Battle of Crystal River.

The best thing about this mock battle is that no one gets hurt, and spectators are allowed to watch from the sidelines as the cannons roar and the muskets fire.

The battles will be at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They are preceded by live cannon fire and cavalry demonstrations.

And just before the mock battle begins, the soldiers will get a musical sendoff with a concert by a period-style string band.

The Battle of Crystal River will have about 500 re-enactors, accompanied by 30 cannons and an equal number of mounted cavalry. During the battles, the cannons will fire into the advancing lines as pyrotechnics simulate the explosions.

Other activities include a camp area, where Civil War-era tradespeople such as blacksmiths and tailors will sell items. Other demonstrations will be in the medical tent, where a re-enactment surgical team will pretend to stitch up the wounded from the day's skirmishes.

Many local residents will take part in the re-enactment.

Re-enactment schedule 


7 to 8 a.m.: Unscripted skirmish

9 to 9:30 a.m.: Colors and opening ceremony

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Camps open to the public

10:30 to 11 a.m.: Medical demonstration at the Union camp

11 a.m. to noon: Ladies' tea in the barn

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Trial and hanging at the Black Horse saloon; live cannon at the north end of the battlefield

12:30 to 1 p.m.: Cavalry demonstration at the battlefield

1 p.m.: Scholarship award presentation at the battlefield

1:15 to 2 p.m.: 97th Pennsylvania String Band in concert on the battlefield stage

1:30 to 1:45 p.m.: Musket inspection in formation

2 to 3 p.m.: Battle

3:15 to 3:45 p.m.: Blacksmith demonstration in the sutler area

4 to 6:30 p.m.: Live-fire musket competition at the north end of the battlefield

8 to 10 p.m.: Civil War-era dance in the barn, featuring the 97th Pennsylvania String Band (re-enactors and guests only)


9 a.m.: Colors

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Camps open

10 to 11 a.m.: Church service in the barn

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: Medical demonstration at Union camp

11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Artillery demonstration at Confederate camp

Noon to 12:45 p.m.: Trial and hanging at Black Horse saloon

12:15 to 12:45 p.m.: Mortar competition at the south end of the battlefield

1 to 1:15 p.m.: Musket inspection in formation by the safety committee

12:45 to 1:30 p.m.: Concert by the 97th Pennsylvania String Band at the battlefield stage

1:30 to 1:45 p.m.: 10th anniversary commemorative recognition

1:45 to 2 p.m.: Grand review of the troops and live-fire awards

2 to 3 p.m.: Battle

3:15 to 3:30 p.m.: Blacksmith demonstration in sutler area

4 p.m.: Camps closed

[Last modified March 8, 2007, 21:42:09]

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