The West Virginia Independence Hall Museum will sponsor a Free Family Fun Civil War Saturday on June 15, 2002, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day-long activities, which are free and open to the public, will commemorate Wheeling’s important Civil War heritage and serve as a prelude to West Virginia Day events on June 20.
The Civil War encampment with Union and Confederate re-enactors will feature firing competitions, artillery demonstrations, a soldier’s court-martial, a Confederate Army surgeon demonstration, a ladies’ tea, marching drills and a children’s boot camp. Re-enactors from the 15th Ohio Volunteers, Co. E, the 9th Pennsylvania Reserves and the 19th Ohio Independent Battery will portray Union troops while the 27th Virginia Infantry, Co. G, the Shriver Greys, will represent the most famous Confederate troops from Wheeling. The encampment will be held on the lawn between the museum and the Kirk’s Photo-Art Store on Market Street.
The children’s boot camp begins at 11 a.m. and kids will learn about weapons, uniforms and equipment used by soldiers on both sides during the war. In addition, they can don uniforms and learn a basic marching drill.
For the grand finale of Civil War Saturday, the re-enactors will stage a mock battle that will be held in College Plaza in front of the B&O Building, immediately across 16th Street from the Museum.
Rounding out the day’s events, visitors can view the exhibition West Virginia: Born of the Civil War in the WVIH Museum. Dramatic displays, interactive maps and period objects help tell the complex tale of the formation of West Virginia. In addition, a special arrangement of Civil War artifacts from the West Virginia State Museum in the Cultural Center in Charleston, will be on display.
West Virginia Independence Hall Museum, originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of major holidays and is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling. It is operated and programmed by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation.
For more information about Free Family Fun Civil War Saturday, call Gerry Reilly, director of the West Virginia Independence Hall Museum at (304) 238-1300.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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