Civil War Day set for Saturday in Reamstown

By on July 27, 2016

Witness Civil War skirmishes and hear stories about the war that almost divided the country during Civil War Day on Saturday, July 30, at Reamstown Memorial Park.

The park, located behind the Reamstown Community Center, 23 E. Church St., opens at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony set for 9:30 a.m. The day’s events end at 4 p.m.

A parade drill demonstration at 11 a.m. and a battle reenactment, or skirmish, at 2 p.m. will be performed by the 79th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; the 53rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company C; the 1st Pennsylvania Reserves; and the 1st Virginia Irish Brigade. The groups will also demonstrate camp life throughout the day.

The following talks by members of the 1st Defenders Civil War Round Table in Reading will be held inside the Reamstown Community Center:

10 a.m: The Union Cavalry by Dave Fox.

A former history teacher at Reading High School and Vietnam Veteran, Fox developed a special focus on the Cavalry’s role in the war when his neighbor, a descendant of Civil War hero and Cavalry leader General David Gregg gave him the General’s Civil War textbooks. A statue was erected in his honor in Reading. Fox says a Cavalry leader required excellent horsemanship and the southern Cavalry was much more superior when the war broke out.

12:30 p.m: Burning of Chambersburg by Bob Shuman.

A native of Chambersburg, Shuman will use the town, which at that time was a main transportation and business hub, as an example of the burnings that were similar to what occurred in the south. The only city burned during the Civil War north of the Mason-Dixon Line, Chambersburg was shelled and burned July 30, 1864 by two Confederate Cavalry brigades because the city refused to pay a demanded ransom. Shuman is a former history teacher at James Buchanan High School in Mercersburg and dean of students at the Berks Campus of the Pennsylvania State University.

3 p.m: Andersonville Prison by Craig Breneiser.

Breneiser and his wife, Lisa, both have family connections to Andersonville. Breneiser’s great-great grandfather enlisted in 1864 as a private in the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was wounded and captured at the Battle of Haw’s Shop in June 1864 and sent to Andersonville, where he was released toward the end of the war. His wife’s great-great-granduncle, enlisted in 1861 as a private in the 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. He was captured at Sulphur Springs, Va., in 1863 and became one of the first “guests” of the new Confederate prison at Andersonville. Unfortunately he died in captivity and was buried in what is now the national cemetery at Andersonville.

Food for purchase will be provided by the Reamstown Memorial Park Association and the Denver Lions Club.

Civil War Day is sponsored by the Reamstown Historical Society and Museum. Visit for more information about the organization.

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