Civil War Days commemorates 150th anniversary in Cambridge

Aug-3-A-Civil-War-Days-Cav41-SC-copyThe historical village of Cambridge will once again be the scene for Civil War Days with various educational and entertaining activities Aug. 23 and 24. Free and open to the public on Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 3:30pm, this weekend’s festivities will be the last of this series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the War of the Rebellion.
As in the two previous years, the Cambridge Historical Society (CHS) program has been selected by the governor’s Sesquicentennial Commission as one of Vermont’s “Top 10” Civil War events in 2014. CHS has scheduled a wide range of displays, speakers, and period music, along with demonstrations by the infantry, artillery, and cavalry throughout the day and other activities, with a new fiber show on spinning wool. Each day concludes with a reenactment of battle tactics used in the war. Muskets and cannon will be fired, so expect loud noises during the event.
This year a special exhibit, “In Their Own Words; Our Cambridge Soldiers,” will honor the Cambridge soldiers who served in the Civil War. The exhibit consists of interesting excerpts from documents written by the soldiers themselves describing their experiences during the war, along with photographs and a full listing of the soldiers attributed to Cambridge. Copies of letters from the soldiers and other documents written by soldiers will be displayed.
The Civil War Days program this year includes a one act play, “Any Chance for Glory,” about Vermonters at Gettysburg. Cambridge resident Keefe Healy portrays Capt. John Lonergan in a moving first person account that describes his role in the famous battle. The CHS also welcomes guest speaker Lt Col (Retired) Robert McLachlan, Captain and President of The Grays and Blues of Montréal.  McLachlan will present “Canadians and the U.S. Civil War,” offering insights into the 50,000 Canadians that were involved in the U.S. Civil War.
The authentic Civil War encampment by Union and Confederate soldiers will demonstrate army life.  It will even depict the important role of the sutler, whose general store traveled with the military. At a photo booth supplied with clothing of the era, adults and children for a fee can dress as a soldier or civilian for a memorable souvenir. Vendors will offer appropriate goods for sale, including lots of food available during the day. The Cambridge Christian Fellowship is hosting a barbeque chicken dinner on Saturday evening ($10 tickets must be purchased in advance; contact Lynn Sawyer at 644-2030 or email lsawyer33@stoweaccess.com).
Cambridge is located 35 miles east of Burlington on VT Route 15. For further information and the event schedule, visit www.cambridgehistoricalsociety.org.