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This past weekend, Calhoun County Park was overflowing with people interested in Civil War history. The 19th Virginia Cavalry, Co. A, Moccasin Rangers did a great job of coordinating the weekend, with the help of Calhoun Historical Society and the Calhoun County Park board.


Friday afternoon was aimed at educating fourth grade students about life during this time in history. The re-enactors lived the part, answering questions as though the audience had stepped back in time. The answers were given on a child’s level and kept them spellbound. I saw former students and Boy Scouts leading the discussions in a comfortable manner that could not have been expected during their own school days. Several school children returned that evening for the cannon fire and camp visits. Smaller children were rolling down the freshly mowed hill and then running up again--not once, but many times.


Later in the evening, I was invited to attend the singing at the encampment. The feeling of camaraderie extended all along the top of the hill. The conduct of the forces was exemplary. I did not feel anything but friendship and respect between the opposing armies.


A ceremony was held on Saturday morning at Heritage Village to retire the old flag and raise the new one. I was again impressed with the planning of the officers to include men of both armies and to make sure it was an inspiration for the audience, to help us feel that whether Blue or Gray, now we are part of the United States of America. A gun salute was presented and a cannon salute from the neighboring hill was coordinated with split second timing. The poem, “The Blue and the Gray,” was dedicated to all who fought to save our country.


Worship services were held on Sunday morning at a brush arbor. Again, research had been done to make the services authentic, but still serve the needs of today’s worshipers. Music was led by a family group during each service. One pastor said, “Worry will exist, but we can cast our cares on the Lord. The disciples had storms in their lives, but as long as they kept their eyes on the Lord, they would come through. God is your help in times of trouble, but if you worry, you are on your own.”


The other pastor said, “The world is full of trouble, but it is still in God’s hands. We are fortunate to have church families that will care and pray for us. We talk to God, so let Him have time to talk to you. I will let me down, friends will let me down, but God will not let me down. Don’t stay away from church because of hypocrites. There are hypocrites at sporting events, but you still go. We are not religious, just saved.”


No specific names are mentioned here, because the feeling of cooperation among many was such an important part of the weekend. If it can be accomplished between opposing armies, can we also carry this over to families, churches, communities, state, nation and world?


We are a band of brothers, and native to the soil,

Fighting for democracy, we’ve earned by honest toil.

And when our rights were threatened, the cry rose near and far,

Hurray, for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a single star!

                                 --Marching song of the Confederate forces


Yes, we’ll rally round the flag, boys, we’ll rally once again,

Shouting the battle cry of freedom,

We will rally from the hillside, we’ll gather from the plain,

Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

                                           --Marching song of the Union forces


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