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A New Tradition Of Old Times
by Maricia Mlynek

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Public Is Drawn

To Fun Festival,

Sycamore Battle

North Wins First Day;

South Battles Back

To Cheers Of Crowd

Belle Boyd Mesmerizes

Heritage Village Group

The second annual Fun Festival was hosted by Calhoun County Park last weekend. The festival featured food, activities, and the first reenactment of “The Battle of Sycamore.”

On Friday, re-enactment camps began to line the hillsides. In the afternoon, fourth graders from Arnoldsburg and Pleasant Hill schools walked into the past through demonstrations hosted by the re-enactors.

It included presentations from blacksmith Grant Clark, medic Jim Miracle, artillery battery Chad Spohn and Rick Seebaugh, cavalrymen Marvin Miracle and Laura Seebaugh, and chaplain Tim Black.

Tours of the encampment were also given. Pleasant Hill principal Bob Bonar said that the field trip was wonderful and the students enjoyed themselves very much.

Camps were open to the public on Friday evening for the viewing of a special twilight artillery firing by Kanawha Artillery, C.S.A., and Capt. John Carlin’s Battery D, 1st W.Va. Light Artillery. The night sky was filled with fire as the sound of the cannons echoed through the valleys and hilltops.

Night Fire-photo by Cathrine Curry

Saturday began with a long-drive golf contest and a flag ceremony at Heritage Village. By afternoon, families began to arrive for corn hole tournaments, children’s games, raffles, and goat petting sponsored by Nickel Dime Farm and members of the Appalachian Goat Association.

At Heritage Village, History Alive! program character Maria Isabella “Belle” Boyd, confederate spy,  performed for a large audience. She was portrayed by Patty Cooper of Parkersburg. Her performance was one of the many highlights of the weekend.

Wagon rides provided transportation around the park and to the battle scene.

At 2 p.m., the first annual Battle of Sycamore began. The battle was hosted by Calhoun County’s own 19th Regiment of Virginia Cavalry, Company A, “The Moccasin Rangers.”

On Saturday, the goal of the re-enactment was to be historically accurate.

As the battle raged, Rangers slowly made their way through the high grass from the cover of the woods. Shots were fired, but the Federal forces stayed strong.

Having run low on ammunition, the C.S.A. withdrew into the high grass. A C.S.A. prisoner, as well as a Union deserter, were put down in a ruthless end by Federal forces.

The battle was given “polite” applause and cheers from the large crowd.

Sunday’s battle was planned to be more theatrical. It began with cannon fire from both sides.

Union forces were firing from the cover of the McDonald house and were making strides toward the C.S.A. line. After the fall of the Confederate cannon, it looked as if the Rangers were close to defeat, but a rally began to ensue.

The seemingly Southern-sympathizing crowd roared as Confederate forces made their way to the McDonald house and successfully pushed the Union back. After a scuffle in front of the house, the Rangers took up position at the Union’s fallen front.

Sunday’s battle ended with many soldiers down, but this day was a victory for the Johnny Rebs. The “Bars and Stars” waved in triumph.

Re-enactors included Brian Arthur, Brock Arthur, Jim Allman, Jed Bates, Marie Bates, Ben Bell, Ben Bell, Jr., Aaron Black, Colton Black, Tim Black, Greg Buskirk, Keith Butcher, Dennis Carder, Ken Conwell, Fred Cornell, Aaron Cottrell, Eric Criss, Tyler Criss, Sarah Dornon, Elijah Duffield,

John Haddox, Allen Harmon, Donnie Jones, James C. Kerns, Alex Leonard, Randall Lynch, Nub Marks, Samuel McKenney, Steve McKenney, Jim Miracle, Marvin Miracle, Michael Myers, David H. Owens,

Junior Parker, Steven Rogers, Andrew Rowand, Michael Sabatino, John Schneider, Jason Studemwalt, Kevin Thomas, Barbara Voiers, Eric Voiers, Fred Waybright, Terry Whited, and Dave Williams.

Also on Sunday were two period church services in an outdoor arboretum.

The weekend came to an end with final firing of muskets.

A young boy, who toured Heritage Village both days, said he enjoyed the weekend. His words made this teacher and history lover smile. “I love history,” said the young man. “Next year, I will wear a blue coat for the Union. I won’t just watch, I will be a part.”

That is what it is all about. Teach the young to be proud of their heritage. They will jump at the chance to preserve where we have been and make way the path to where we need to go.

“Next year,” said Captain Dennis Carder, “we will have the second annual Battle of Sycamore, and it will be bigger and better.”

We look forward to a new Calhoun County tradition.

Festival event winners:

Rifle drawing, Shawn Parsons, Grantsville; 50/50 drawing, Steve Long, Cincinnati, Ohio, who donated his winnings back to Calhoun County Park.

3D archery, 1st, Kevin Cunningham, Mt. Zion; 2nd, Mark Geiger, Pine Creek; 3rd, Brian Reynolds, Little Hawk.

Corn hole tournament, 1st, Gerald Sampson and Randall Dawson; 2nd, Jeff Goodrich and Justin Price.

Golf long drive, adult male, 1st, Richard Welch; 2nd, Mark Geiger; 3rd, Keith Smith; adult female, 1st, Rebekah Taylor, 2nd, Ronna (?); student, 1st, Zachary (?).

For More Pictures of the Fun Festival CLICK HERE

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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