Civil War is remembered in Perryville
Published 5:43 pm Monday, October 7, 2019
The 157th anniversary of the Battle of Perryville took place at several locations on Saturday.
The Kentucky Parks Department canceled all of the reenactors’ living history campsites and other events at the Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site for fear of an accidental fire being ignited by a spark. But the bloody battle was remembered during the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, John C. Breckinridge Camp #100 at the park on Saturday, with the laying of the wreath ceremony by the Kentucky Civil War Preservation organization, and a speech by Jason Boshers, Army of the Tennessee Commander.
The Friends of Perryville hosted Civil War reenactors at the private home of Alan Hoeweler, who opened the doors to visitors. “Soldiers” pitched tents on the front lawn, and ladies in hooped skirts paced on the front porch, which was decorated with patriotic bunting. Visitors were invited to tour the house and talk with soldiers about life during the Civil War.
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Re-enactor, Phillip “Scarlet” Powell, of Burgin, said the Civil War took place “in my backyard.” As he was teaching Ben Scott, 7, of Indianapolis, how to collect water in canteens for the other soldiers, Powell said, “Bein’ in the army is hard work, ain’t it?”
Scott’s grandfather said the boy’s fifth-great-grandfather “died in a cornfield here.”
Back in town, Main Street Perryville held its annual event with food vendors, artists, and children’s activities.
For a special show, several Civil War reenactors riding horses met in the dry bed of the Chaplin River. They faced off and took turns charging toward each other while waving their swords in the air. When they met, a slight “clinking” sound was heard as the blades touched.
After several rounds of this practice, the horses and riders stopped so that a spokesperson could talk to the audience. He said what they were doing may not seem like a real battle reenactment — and it wasn’t supposed to. They were actually doing drills that the Civil War soldiers would have practiced with their own horses to get them ready for battle.