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August 29, 2013

Muster in the Park this weekend in Diamond

MEADVILLE — There’s just one thing you need to know about living history: There’s no fast-forward button.

Starting Saturday morning, Muster in the Park will feature 95 to 120 Civil War reenactors taking up residence in downtown Meadville’s historic Diamond Park. For two days, they’ll be doing the things and talking about the ideas that were being done and talked about 150 years ago — in real time.

With period music in the background, uniformed “boys in blue,” women and children dressed in period attire will conduct their daily lives. Whether they’re cooking over open fires, engaging in military drills, displaying the latest in modern weaponry — including Richard Gatling’s brand-new gun at the time — demonstrating the medical techniques required to tend to a whole new realm of wounds, playing period games or modeling the latest in 1860s fashion, the public is invited to attend.

The event is free and open to the public of all ages; food will be available for purchase.

The organizer of the event, the 150th Pennsylvania Bucktails, is a Civil War Reenacting Unit presenting school talks and demonstrations within Crawford County as well as participating in living history programs and reenactments in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and Virginia.

The story of the Bucktails itself will be told throughout the event; however, in addition to distinguishing the group by its gallant stand at McPherson’s Ridge during the battle of Gettysburg, Company K of the Bucktails was also known as “Lincoln’s Guards.”

On Aug. 28, 1862, many members of the three companies that made up the 150th Bucktails mustered in at the Diamond.

Soldiers, however, won’t be the only focus of the weekend’s festivities. The various roles of women during the period will be portrayed, including a display by Meadville’s Center for Family Services, a group that originally formed in 1863 under the banner of the Home Relief Society.

Within Diamond Park, the gazebo, a large tent and the area surrounding the American Flag and Soldiers Monument, which faces south down South Main Street, will be the sites of an ever-changing series of half-hour presentations beginning at quarter-to and quarter-past each hour. (10:15 to 10:45; 10:45 to 11:15, etc.)

Sunday, an hour-long Civil War Church Service will begin at 10 a.m.; the public is invited to bring chairs.

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