ROCKSPRINGS — The 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry hosted reenactors during the bicentennial weekend in Meigs County and held a battle reenactment at the fairgrounds Sunday afternoon.
Around 100 men, women, and children aged 8 to 80 from Ohio to Mississippi re-enacted the life of Civil War soldiers last weekend.
Sunday afternoon’s battle depicted a confrontation from 1863 between John Hunt Morgan and Union forces while Morgan and the his Confederate soldiers were on their way to Buffington Island.
“During that time here, Morgan did engage with home guard and Union forces all the way through,” said Joe Barnhart, the 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry’s 1st Sergeant. “We’re going to have union perusing him and we’re going to have some home guard engaging.”
Saturday’s skirmish in Pomeroy demonstrated some of the Confederate soldiers being taken prisoner at the courthouse, which happened in 1863.
“We were not re-enacting any battle that ever happened. What we were doing is because of the fact that it’s our bicentennial for the county and the fact that we are the only county in the state of Ohio that had any Civil War battle take place,” Barnhart said. “We wanted to do something to commemorate that, but also understood that if we would have done it out here at the fairgrounds, or Buffington Island, then people wouldn’t have driven from the big parade in town and all the festivities in town all the way to watch it.”
Barnhart said the events were educational to demonstrate what soldiers went through in their day-to-day lives. He also said the reenactors camp and life were accurate to the Civil War in 1863. The small, and partially open, tents were very similar to living conditions of soldiers and the cavalry.
“We do it because we want to share that history and hopefully spark an interest in other people, that they might be interested in this hobby or they at least get interested in history,” Barnhart said. “We don’t want the memories of all those people who have come before us to go away. We don’t want to lose that. It’s too easy to just forget all the sacrifices everybody made.”
The 7th Ohio had an educational day planned for students on Friday, but the events were canceled due to inclement weather. The reenactors were planning to have five or six stations set up for students to learn about blacksmithing, infantry tactics, basic soldiering cooking, Meigs County history, as well as seeing the settlers and camps.
Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.