ST. MARYS - A large crowd braved the rain and cold Sunday in St. Marys to watch a historical skit and battle re-enactment in memory of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The battle was the final activity of Blue & Gray Days, a weekend-long event featuring a parade, live demos, skirmish and battle re-enactments and a ladies tea in St. Marys.
Nearly 200 people attended the battle, which was acted out by several area re-enactment groups, including the Kanawha Artillery and Carlin's Battery D. Union and Confederate soldiers fired cannon replicas and conducted firing drills next to the St. Marys Marina, which served as the battlefield.
Photo by Natalee Seely
A line of Union soldiers open fire on the battlefield during a Civil War re-enactment Sunday next to the St. Marys Marina.
Despite the rainy weekend, event organizers said Blue & Gray Days was a huge success.
"Considering the weather, we are very pleased with the turnout. We had an amazing Civil War skit and skirmish on Second Street this weekend in the pouring rain," said Jessi Rupert, director of the Pleasants County Chamber of Commerce.
"The community is really embracing this event. It seems like everyone who comes here has a Civil War story to tell, about a relative or ancestor," she said.
A Glimpse into Our Past
Blue & Gray Days in St. Marys wrapped up Sunday with a historical skit and battle re-enactment near the St. Marys Marina.
The weekend-long event was in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Blue & Gray Days featured live history demos, a parade, skits, skirmish and battle re-enactments and a ladies tea.
Area schools attended the event Friday for live history demonstrations. Saturday's activities included a parade, historical skit and a skirmish on Second Street in downtown St. Marys.
"I think the re-enactors are really going to have fun with the battle scene today," said Rupert on Sunday afternoon.
Before the battle, re-enactment groups performed a skit which included dancing and a confrontation between Northern and Southern troops.
Verna Owens, a member of the Kanawha Artillery, said this weekend has been a dream for her.
"We've always wanted to do a re-enactment here in Pleasants County," she said.
Owens spoke at the Ladies Tea held Saturday. Around 40 women clad in period attire attended the tea, which featured tarts, pumpkin breads and ham salad.
"People learn a lot about the men in battle, but not a whole lot about the women and how they lived and what they went through during the time of the Civil War," said Owens. "Tea times were when the ladies talked and caught up on their gossip; it was a major method of communication for women."
While little Civil War history took place in Pleasants County, Owens said many local families were affected by the war.
"There were a lot of Civil War soldiers from this area, and there was a lot of fear throughout the community," she said. "There is so much to learn about that time in history, and I'm really glad to see so many people here."