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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Civil War Days set for this weekend
Festivities include military demonstrations, barn dance
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File Photo by Jeff Reid: Troops, like the ones above, will be among the reenactors for Franklin County Civil War Days at LakeWatch Plantation Sept. 5-7.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Take a step back in time as you explore history, discover camp life and relive Civil War battles from the front lines at LakeWatch Plantation Sept. 5-7.

The fourth annual Civil War Days will feature military demonstrations with notable reenactors, living history presentations, a fashion show and tea, and a variety of vendors, including artisans, authors and food. The Ladies of the Lake singers will also perform.

Camp will open daily at 9 a.m. Event admission is $5 for patrons ages 12 and older, $2 for patrons ages 5-11, and free for patrons ages 4 and under.

Friday's events are reserved for students to learn about the Civil War through living history and military demonstrations. Participation is coordinated with public and private school officials and homeschool facilitators.

The event continues through the weekend with an array of other demonstrations and interactive activities.

Festivities will also include a dinner and barn dance at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6 and Sunday, Sept. 7. Dinner and barn dance tickets are $15 each or $25 per couple.

In partnership with Civil War Days, Booker T. Washington National Monument will offer Civil War Home Front tours every hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning at the park visitor center.

Explore some local history of the Civil War era by visiting BTW park prior to or after attending Civil War Days at nearby LakeWatch Plantation. Learn about Washington's childhood in slavery and life on the home front during the Civil War.

New this year at Civil War Days will be cricket matches, led by historian Tom Melville. Attendees of all ages will have a chance to learn about the team sport Americans played during the Civil War and also play along in the old English game, which was brought to the United States during the Colonial era. By the 1860s, the game was being played throughout the country -- including by Union and Confederate soldiers.

While there were no Civil War battles fought on local soil, Franklin County was home to two leaders of the era -- Confederate Gen. Jubal A. Early, whose homeplace is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and scholar Booker T. Washington, who was born a slave on a plantation that is now a national monument.

Also of historical significance is the Washington Iron Works -- a frontier iron works and furnace that saw resurgence in 1865 to produce cannon shot for the Confederacy. It represents one of the most intact and maintained furnaces from the Virginia frontier and also is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

"We are looking forward to another successful Franklin County Civil War Days event as we join with the community to commemorate the 1860 period -- such a defining moment in our nation's history," said Philip Sheridan, chairperson of the Franklin County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.

Civil War Days is coordinated by the Franklin County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee in conjunction with Franklin County Tourism. The event is among local efforts in support of the statewide commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Virginia's participation in the American Civil War.

Related events and programs throughout the state are a part of this comprehensive initiative, which began in 2009 under the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission and continues through 2015.

For more information about the Civil War Home Front tours at BTW, contact Timothy Sims at (540) 721-2094.

For more information about Civil War Days or to purchase dinner and barn dance tickets, call (540) 483-3030 or visit

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