Friday, April 22, 2016

First Class Military Presentations at Civil War Encampment

Soldiers demonstrate firing by rank as a part of the daily infantry presentations.
When the Ohio Valley Civil War Association visits Shawnee Prairie Preserve April 30th and May 1st, they will bring some of the best military living history presentations in the country. Daily demonstrations at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm will include the 35th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Co. G, 66th Illinois Co. G also known as Birge's Western Sharpshooters, and 1st Ohio Light Artillery Bat. C.

The infantry demonstration will feature an in depth look at many different types and styles of uniforms and shoes, a comparison between the Springfield and Enfield rifles including the mechanics of black powder firearms, and a peek into the daily life of the Union soldier. Visitors will observe soldiers perform basic drill maneuvers including a live black powder firing demonstration.

During the sharpshooter presentation, visitors will learn about target rifles and the mechanization process that made the Henry and Sharps repeating rifles possible, see various shooting positions, and understand the amazing skill it took to be a sharpshooter in the Union Army. The presentation will also include an extremely telling speed demonstration comparing a repeating rifle to a standard issue musket.

Lastly artillery men will demonstrate each man’s specific job in the cannon firing process, show the tools and implements used, and describe the different types of projectiles used during the war. The presentation will culminate by firing the smooth bore cannon.

Between demonstrations observe daily life for a Union soldier, discuss the war effort with civilians, or marvel at visiting ladies’ latest fashions. The organization also includes Co. A 1st Battalion 19th US Infantry, US Army Signal Corps, Civil War Civilians, and the 75th OVI Headquarters. The OVCWA has taught at Manassas, Kennesaw Mountain, Stones River, and Gettysburg National Battlefields. In July of 2012 they taught at Shawnee Prairie and in April of 2015 at the Gettysburg Tecumseh Trail hub, and Darke County Parks is proud to welcome them back to Shawnee Prairie again.

This free, family friendly event has something to interest everyone. From the military veteran to the seamstress, the cook to the doctor, and everything in between, come see how all these pursuits unfolded over 150 years ago. For any questions or more information about this exciting and unique event, please call the nature center at (937) 548-0165, or send an email to

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