Saturday August 17, 2013

ST. ALBANS (AP) -- Civil war re-enactors are setting up camp in St. Albans for the third annual St. Albans Civil War Heritage Weekend, featuring artillery demonstrations and fiddle music.

Companies from both the Union and Confederacy will set up encampments in the city’s Taylor Park Saturday and Sunday.

Re-enactors in historic military dress will perform maneuvers, cavalry demonstrations and artillery firings, according to the St. Albans Messenger newspaper.

Organizers hope to make this year’s event bigger and better, said organizer Steve Smith, a member of Champlain Valley Historical Reenactors.

With more re-enactors expected, the "soldiers" will present larger march demonstrations, including a reenactment of Pickett’s Charge, he said.

"In explaining all this stuff, we kind of use Pickett’s Charge as an illustration of what can happen," said Smith, who serves as a narrator. "The visual aspect really sank in."

The weekend includes cooking demonstrations and cadet corps activities for kids. Period artifacts will be on display and a ladies auxiliary group is expected to be dressed in historic garb, Smith said. Ceremonies will be held at nearby Greenwood Cemetery where many veterans were buried.

The event is intended for the community to gear up for next year when St. Albans commemorates the 150 anniversary of the St. Albans raid of 1864, said to be the northernmost action during the Civil War. A group of 22 Confederate soldiers entered from Vermont from Canada and on Oct. 19, 1864 robbed banks in the area before fleeing back to Canada with some of the money.