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The Moccasins March Again
by Maricia Mlynek

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The Moccasin Rangers were the controlling force in Calhoun during the beginning years of the Civil War. They were a fearsome group with different bands and leaders. The Rangers’ reputation made the county a dangerous place for any Union solider.

This summer, the Rangers made their presence known in the county again. In June, men in the gray uniform congregated at Wayne Underwood Field during the Wood Festival to play tribute to an historic time for our country and state.

The smell of wood smoke and gun powder filled the air over the former football field. In the evening, “old timey” music drifted down the Little Kanawha as the soldiers sang and ate soup made on the fire.

The Rangers have also been active at Calhoun County Park. They have volunteered hours at Heritage Village, and the Stemple log cabin is now fitted with a front porch due to their efforts.

On Monday, the Rangers were at work again in the park. This time, the group was constructing a 16x16 building that will represent the Adonijah McDonald house during the original Battle of Sycamore.

Left to right, Terry White, Donnie Jones and Aaron Cottrell begin laying out the foundation of the “Adonijah McDonald House,” a centerpiece of the Battle of Sycamore reenactment at Calhoun County Park, Sept. 19-20, during the Fun Festival.

John Schneider, Aaron Cottrell and Nub Marks erect walls of a house that will be used in the reenactment at Calhoun County Park.

Dennis Carder (left) and Terry Whited review plans for the reenactment. Cannon fire will be included in the event.

Donations for the building were made by Randy Lynch, lumber; David Cain, lumber; Whited Construction, labor; and Moccasin Rangers, nails and other supplies.

Participating in the project were Dennis Carder, Terry Whited, Aaron Cottrell, Donnie Jones, John Schneider, Danny Marks, Jimmy Starkey and Randy Lynch. Corn that was served for lunch was grown and prepared by Jim Bell.

The group of Rangers and other re-enactors from the region who will appear from Sept. 18-20 at Calhoun County Park are from the 19th, 17th and 10th Virginia Calvary, 5th and 2nd Virginia Infantry, two units of Kanawha Light Artillery, and one unit of Carlins Battery.

These units will introduce a new pastime for Calhoun. Through their efforts, the very first Civil War reenactment will take place in Calhoun County. The 11th (West) Virginia and the Moccasin Rangers will meet again as the groups will re-enact the Sycamore Skirmish on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The weekend should be an exciting time of history. Troops under the Rebel flags and the Yankee banners will perform amid the park’s hills to remind us of those who wore the uniform long ago. There will be encampments to browse, vendors and military drills to view, and entertainment for the entire family.

The reenactment is part of the Calhoun County Park’s Fun Festival. The scheduled of events is as follows:

Friday, Sept. 18

Afternoon is reserved for educational field trips.

  6 p.m., Special twilight artillery firing. 

Saturday, Sept. 19

10:30 a.m., Long drive contest; No entry fee. Bring clubs.

Noon, Heritage Village, Belle Boyd performs.

12:30 to 2 p.m., Basketball skills for students; dribbling, shooting and combinations.

  1 p.m., Troops prepare for battle. North/South face off.

  2 p.m., Battle of Sycamore begins.

  4 p.m., Corn-hole tournaments with trophies; two sets.

  4 to 7 p.m., Bluegrass musicians from W.Va. Bluegrass Alliance.

  6 p.m., Re-enactors’ dinner, Herbert C. Smith building.

Sunday, Sept. 20

8 a.m., Biscuits and gravy breakfast at Herbert C. Smith building.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Northern and Southern encampments open to civilian tours.

11 a.m., Period church service in a Civil War tent.

  1 p.m., Troops prepare.

  2 p.m., The Battle of Sycamore begins.

  3:30 to 6 p.m., Bluegrass jam session; amateur musicians welcome.

  4 p.m., Rifle raffle; winner drawn for Smith & Wesson 30.06 with scope/hard case.  Tickets available until drawing time.

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:

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