POMEROY — Battle scrimmages, wagon tours over the battle grounds with first or third person narrations, living history demonstrations and memorial services were among the topics discussed at Saturday’s meeting at the Meigs Musseum of the planning committee for the 150th observance of the Battle of Buffington Island, July 19-21.
Karen Hassell of the Ohio Historical Society who is the lead planner for the event, outlined the scope and the schedule of the event. Edd Sharp, a Confederate reenactor, was present to discuss what role the reenactors will be taking insofar as scrimmages to take place. He indicated that more Confederate reenactors than originally expected will probably be there and noted that there was some indication more Union reenactors will also be at the site to provide action for spectators.
The emphasis of the commemorative program, according to Hassell, is to provide a “meaningful weekend at the historic site and tell the story of what happened there and how it impacted the surrounding community.” She proposed a driving tour over a section of the Heritage Trail as another option for events. As for the wagon tours, they will be held on Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday with six tours on canopy covered wagons loaned by the Meigs County Agriculture Board and pulled by tractors provided by George Morrison, Sr. over the battle sites.
Hassell reported that a professor at the University Rio Grande had been in touch with OHS regarding a Morgan’s Raid play performed by students and the possibility of presenting it as a part of the observance. A discussion as to when and where the play could be presented was held with a decision on the feasibility as well as location to be checked into.
It was reported that two acres of land has been leased from Bruce McKelvey, Portland Community Center, for use during the event by the reenactors for their living history demonstrations as well as other purposes relating to the commemorative event, but not for parking.
While awaiting final confirmation, Hassell said the expectation is that the cannons on the State House Lawn will be brought in for the event along with a Civil War battle flag and other objects from the Ohio Historical Society for display at the Portland Community Center. As for the family games and activities, she noted a need for a “drill sergeant.”
Plans call for the living history activities to be organized by US commander Kyle Yoho and CS Commander J. R. Sharp for the Saturday program.
As for vendors, the Bashan Fire Department’s ice cream cart will be there on Saturday, and several other vendors, yet to be confirmed will there on both Saturday and Sunday. Some food is also expected to be served at the Community Center.
As earlier announced the Chester Shade Historical Association will be observing Chester-Shade days on July 20 and will host a Civil War tea and an evening Civil War ball.
Saturday’s tentative schedule calls for the dedication of the Heritage Trail signs at 11 a.m. with a representative from the governor’s office, legislators, and county commissioners participating along with others yet to be confirmed. That will be followed by the memorial service coordinated by representatives of Cabot-Blessing 126 Camp Jim Oiler and Benjamen Fearing Camp 2 Dan Hinton and the Auxiliary of the Daughters of the Confederacy.
On Sunday a church service will be held at 10 a.m. followed by battle demonstrations, continuation of the living history, and family activities.
More activities are expected to be confirmed at the next meeting to be held on May 11 at the Meigs County Historical Society’s Museum, Hassell noted.