WEEKEND: Re-enactors to provide a taste of Civil War history at Fort Townsend

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PORT TOWNSEND — Civil War re-enactors will set up a living history encampment at Fort Townsend State Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Re-enactors portraying members of Company M, 1st Artillery, Fort Steilacoom, and Company D, 9th Infantry, 3rd Artillery, Battery D, San Juan Island, will set up camp on the parade ground from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and from 9:30 a.m. to noon Sunday.

The park is located in Port Townsend off state Highway 20 on Old Fort Townsend Road.

The event is free and open to the public, but a state parks’ Discover Pass or one-day pass is required to park at the event.

Visitors may ask soldiers questions about military life in the 1860s, including “the San Juan pig,” which touched off a boundary skirmish in 1859 between the United States and the British Empire.

Fort Townsend was one of the northernmost military posts in Washington Territory during the Civil War, which began 150 years ago this year.

Other viewpoints

Also offering conversations about military life will be the post trader, laundress, camp musician, field hospital nurse and howitzer firing team.

Visitors also can try out working a two-man crosscut saw.

To take some of the boredom out of military life, soldiers danced. Re-creating that fun, visitors are invited to join in period reels, jigs, waltzes and line dances guided by a “gentlewoman” who knows all the steps.

The dance will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Friends Barn.

The encampment is co-sponsored by Friends of Fort Townsend and Washington State Parks.

For more information, phone 360-385-2998.

Last modified: September 12. 2013 5:12PM
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