Fort Ward’s Biggest Civil War Event of the Year Explores the Early War
On Saturday, August 13, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site will host its Civil War Camp Day, a day-long living history event highlighted by Union and Confederate drills and camp life. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., costumed interpreters will take part in drilling and camp demonstrations, with a particular focus on uniforms and equipment from the early war. The emphasis on this early period coincides with the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War.
This is Fort Ward’s largest Civil War event of the year, and several units are scheduled to take part, including the 5th New York “Duryee” Zouaves, the 1st U.S. Artillery, Co. D, and the 5th Virginia Infantry. Artillery interpreters, located in the restored Northwest Bastion, will discuss their duties and equipment. Among the civilian impressions are a U.S. Military Railroad worker and a Yankee schoolmarm who will display popular toys, games and other items that were popular pastimes for children in the mid-19th century.
Visitors can also tour the preserved Union fort, learn about an officer’s duties and living quarters at the reconstructed Officers’ Hut, and view the new Museum exhibition, “The Marshall House Incident.” The deaths of Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and secessionist James Jackson at the Marshall House Hotel on King Street during the Federal occupation of Alexandria on May 24, 1861, stirred patriotic fervor in the North and South.
The Civil War Camp Day event is great family fun. Admission is $5 per adult and $10 for families with children. Free parking will be available along West Braddock Road.
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site is located at 4301 West Braddock Road in Alexandria. It was the fifth largest installation within the extensive network of forts known as the Defenses of Washington, which was built to protect the Federal capital during the Civil War.
For more information, visit www.fortward.org or call 703.746.4848.