PARKERSBURG - Despite gray skies and occasional raindrops, about 50 people Monday afternoon attended a Veterans Day event at Fort Boreman Historical Park by the Carlin's Battery D Civil War re-enactors.
As visitors watched, battery commander Jim Miracle explained the steps taken by Civil War artillery soldiers as they loaded - and fired - the battery's replica cannon. The event has been held for the past several years on Veterans Day.
Parkersburg resident Craig Metz was at Monday's open house with his daughter. Metz said it was their first visit to Fort Boreman Park and they wanted to see the cannon fired.
Photo by Wayne Towner
Carlin’s Battery D Civil War re-enactors fire their cannon Monday afternoon at Fort Boreman Historic Park in Parkersburg. The battery’s members held an open house as part of the local Veterans Day activities in Parkersburg.
He was given the chance to pull the firing cord for one of the shots and said it was an interesting experience.
"It's nice up here, it's really surprising," Metz said of the view from the park.
Joe Thorpe of Vienna also visited Fort Boreman Park on Monday to see the cannon, based on his own interest in history. He thought the open house was informative for all ages.
In Marietta, Veterans Appreciation Day will be 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 14 at Campus Martius Museum, 601 Second St., with admission free to veterans.
William Reynolds, Friends of the Museums historian, will give a narration on the new Civil War Exhibit "Touched By Conflict" beginning at 2 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be available throughout the day.
Regular museum admission applies for non-veterans. For more information contact Campus Martius Museum at (740) 373-3750 or www.campusmartiusmuseum.org.
"I'm glad to see they are promoting this part of history, of West Virginia and Parkersburg," he said.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Thorpe thought the open house fit well with the Veterans Day holiday. Prior to going to Fort Boreman Park, he also attended the annual Veterans Day ceremony at City Park and was pleased with the large turnout he saw there.
"That was one of the biggest crowds I've ever seen," he said.
During Monday's program, the battery's 200-year-old log cabin was open to the public. Miracle talked about the uses of cannons during the Civil War and about the history of Fort Boreman, which was built during the war.
Fort Boreman was named for West Virginia's first governor, Arthur I. Boreman of Parkersburg. Union troops with the 11th West Virginia Infantry manned the fort during the Civil War.
The hill is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The Wood County Commission formed the Civil War living history and re-enactors group Carlin's Battery in February 2008. The original unit started in Wheeling and was ultimately discharged from Fort Boreman.
Battery D was organized in August 1862 with John Carlin as captain.
Miracle said the past weekend was a busy one for the battery. The re-enactors attended a program Saturday at Neal Cemetery in Vienna and also went to the first Veterans Day Picnic on Sunday at Veterans Park near the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.
On Monday, Carlin's Battery D participated in the Parkersburg Veterans Day parade and ceremony at City Park. Following a "test drive" a couple of weeks ago in St. Marys, Miracle said Monday's parade along Washington Avenue was the first time the battery had its cannon and ammunition limber pulled by actual horses, as they would have during the Civil War.
"A lot of people talked about how nice it was to see the cannon and the horses, it's a really nice sight to see," he said.
"We usually pull it behind a truck, but when you've got two big draft horses pulling that thing, it's a sight," Miracle said.
Carlin's Battery D has one more event planned before the end of the year, its third annual Christmas at the Cabin program at Fort Boreman Park. The holiday program will be 6 p.m. Dec. 17 and will feature carol singing, cider, and other activities. Miracle said there will not be any cannon-firing during the holiday program.