Thursday, April 20, 2017

Captivating Civilian Impressions at Civil War Heritage Weekend

OVCWA ladies demonstrate a wide variety of clothing styles common during the War Between the States.
The Ohio Valley Civil War Association not only brings top notch military presentations, but also incorporates the fascinating civilian side as well. Visit them on Saturday April 29th and Sunday April 30th at Shawnee Prairie Preserve on State Route 502 west of Greenville and step back in time. While many able bodied young men enlisted to fight on both sides of the War Between the States, women were left to keep life running at home, in the shops, and on the farms. Sometimes this even brought them into camp as a nurse, camp follower, or visitor bringing comforts of home. Civilian men also had roles to play in the war effort, like the displaced farmer turned cook for the army or preacher providing comfort to the anxious or grieving families.

The civilians of the OVCWA are dedicated men and women who take on first-person personas of real people during the American Civil War. They educate, entertain, and enlighten visitors on a wide variety of topics and issues our ancestors faced. The members portray a full gamut of Civil War civilians: from prostitutes to nuns, farmers to business men, laundresses to telegraphers. The Civil War Civilians are devoted to educating the public about the many roles civilians, especially women, filled during the Civil War. Come discuss the war effort, marvel at visiting ladies’ latest fashions, and find out what it took to keep our country running with the work force away fighting. Special for this event, Mrs. Adelicia Acklen of Nashville will regale visitors with stories from her life on a southern plantation, and the captain will demonstrate his beautiful calligraphy skills from his life before the army. Visit Shawnee Prairie on April 30th or May 1st to see it all.

Make sure to make time between talking to civilians to observe daily life for a Union soldier, hear the cannon blast, watch men drill, and smell a soldier’s supper simmering. 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 OVCWA has taught at Manassas, Kennesaw Mountain, Stones River, and Gettysburg National Battlefields.

They have partnered with Darke County Parks in July of 2012, April of 2015 and 2016, and Darke County Parks is proud to welcome them back to Shawnee Prairie again. This free, family friendly event has something to interest everyone. For any questions or more information about this exciting and unique event, please call the Nature Center at (937) 548-0165, or email to

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