Step Back in Time

With the Civil War Reenactment at the Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park coming up this Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th, we asked James Bostick, the Captain of Bryans Battery, the non-profit group organizing the event, to tell us about this educational and fun family event.

“At about 10 am on Friday, November 6th, 1863 blue jacketed soldiers advanced up the Northern slope of Droop Mountain in Southern Pocahontas County and the sharp crack of Springfield muskets broke the quiet morning and echoed off the nearby mountains” said Bostick. “The soldiers, part of Union General William W. Averell’s army, were firing at grey clad soldiers atop the mountain. Confederate General John Echols Confederate army of about 1100 men had just arrived atop the mountain an hour earlier, joining 600 Confederate soldiers who had been sparing with Averell’s soldiers for about a week. Averell quickly pulled his men back and instead bombarded the Confederates on the mountain. The sounds of the cannons reverberated off the mountains.

It was the opening action of the Battle of Droop Mountain. About 150 years later, on Saturday, October 13th and Sunday, October 14th, the sounds of muskets and cannons will once again echo off those same mountains as modern-day Civil War Reenactors, some wearing blue and some grey, will once again gather at the scene of that battle atop Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. These living historians, some from places as far away as Pennsylvania and South Carolina, will honor those original soldiers and share their knowledge of that long-ago war with anyone who would to step back in history to see the battle reenacted.

I am James Bostick, the Captain of Bryans Battery, a Civil War artillery reenactment battery. We are also a non-profit corporation based right here in Hillsboro and are the organizers of this reenactment. I would like to invite you to come and bring your family to Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park on Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend. The Civil war encampments will be open to the public at 10 am each day, and, yes, those soldiers do sleep in those camps.

The reenactors will be happy to answer your questions about the camps, the Civil War, the battle and about how the common soldiers of that war lived and fought. There will also be female reenactors wearing Civil War era dresses to tell you about how the ladies dressed and survived at home while their men went off to war.

At about 2:30 pm on Saturday the muskets will bark and the cannons boom as we present, for your entertainment, a re-creation of the skirmish at Mill Point where the two sides clashed on November 1st, 1863. This will last for about an hour, but the day’s action doesn’t stop there.

On Saturday evening from 7 to 9:30 pm the band Sugar Run will perform at a military ball and you are invited to come, watch and join the soldiers in dance. At 10 pm the cannons will do a night fire demonstration. If you have never seen a cannon fired at night you are in for a treat as fire shoots out 15 or 20 feet from the muzzles.

On Sunday the main event, the Battle of Droop Mountain will occur at 1:30 pm. So, come, bring your kids, and enjoy an educational and fun weekend at Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park this Saturday and Sunday, October 13th and 14th.

I am Captain James Bostick, and on behalf of Bryans Battery, we encourage you to come and join us. We look forward to seeing you.

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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