The smell of gunpowder and the roar of canons will waft over Jefferson City next weekend as 700 Civil War re-enactors will converge on the city.
Simulated Civil War battles, featuring re-enactors from around the nation, 20 field pieces, cavalry and period settlers, will be staged May 4-6, on Binder Park, located at the west edge of Jefferson City. (Take Apache Flats exit westbound from West U.S. 50. See Google map.)
In the period leading to the Civil War, as well as during and after the war, Jefferson City and Cole County residents suffered heavy casualties.
Some members of Mid-Missouri families fought on one side and some on the other, further increasing the grief over battles. During the war, there were instances of friends encountering each other on the battlefield and secretly helping each other. More often than not, though, the results of such divided war sympathies ended in tragic battle casualties.
But, as bad as it was, it could have been much worse in Jefferson City.
The capital city was spared from a key battle when Confederate Gen. Sterling Price, who served previously as governor of Missouri, decided to sidestep Jefferson City in his Missouri raid.
But Civil War re-enactors will give Jefferson Citians a sample on Sunday, May 6, at Binder Park of what could have happened if Price had decided to attack the city in 1864.
The re-enactments and surrounding events will give Jefferson Citians a chance to learn more about the history of the city, as well as enjoy a family outing.
All of the weekend's events are free and open to the public.
Concession stands, which will provide food and Civil War memorabilia, will be set up in the park. Reenactors also will demonstrate activities of the time, including shoeing horses and making apple butter.
During quiet times, visitors will have opportunities to visit with re-enactors about conditions during the Civil War.
The Missouri National Guard Museum will have an exhibit on display at the park.
The May 4- 6 event is co-sponsored by Collins Battery "B" Civil War Unit, Cole County Historical Society and the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department.
Friday, May 4
9 a.m.-2 p.m. School Day Demonstrations
All Day Registration for reenactors - front gate
Saturday, May 5
8 a.m. All vehicles out of camp
8 a.m. Officers call - Collins Battery B camp
9 a.m. Registration closed
9 a.m. Camps open to public
9 a.m. Cavalry, Infantry, and Artillery Drills
10:30 a.m. Ladies Social - Invitation only - Collins Battery B camp
10:30 a.m. President Abraham Lincoln and Governor Hamilton Gamble discuss events of the War Between the States occurring in Missouri, moderated by George Caleb Bingham - Main Stage
11:15 a.m. Period Music - Matt Morris and Sunnyside - Main Stage
12 noon Local Grade School Student Essay Winner - Main Stage
12:30 p.m. Civil War Battle
1:15 p.m. Take your photo with President Lincoln - Main Stage
1:30 p.m. Civil War Medicine
2:30 p.m. Period Music - Gum Springs Serenaders - Main Stage
3:30 p.m. "Civil Conversations" - Local Citizens (Governor Hamilton Gamble, Prison Warden Phillip Miller, George Caleb Bingham, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Bartholomew Wallendorf and Police Chief William Rhodes) brief President Lincoln regarding the situation in Jefferson City in 1862 - Main Stage
4 p.m. Officers Wine & Cigar Reception - Collins Battery B camp - Invitation only
4 p.m. Period Music - Rick Stokes - Main Stage
4:30 p.m. Mark Schreiber (as Phillip Miller, Missouri State Prison Warden in 1861) - Main Stage
5:15 p.m. Union Troops Served Dinner - outside front gate (Please bring Blanket or chairs for dinner - seating is limited)
5:15 p.m. Local Grade School Student Essay Winner - Main Stage
5:30 p.m. Roger Baker (as George Webster Maddox), presented by the Cole County Historic Society- Main Stage
5:45 p.m. Confederate Troops served Dinner - outside front gate (Please bring Blanket or chairs for dinner - seating is limited)
6:15 p.m. President Abraham Lincoln - Main Stage
7:30 p.m. Period Ball with dance caller - Gum Springs Serenaders
9 p.m. Night Firing demonstrations of the cannons
9:30 p.m. Period Ball Resumes
Sunday, May 6
8 a.m. Officers Call - Collins Battery B camp
9 a.m. Camps open to the public
10 a.m. Period Church Service - Main Stage
11 a.m. Period Music - Gum Springs Serenaders - Main Stage
12:30 p.m. Civil War Battle
3 p.m. Break camp
Schedule subject to change prior to event