American Civil War Weekend at the Old Hall

By on September 4, 2010

Except these opposing parties are the northern Yankees and the deep south Confederates, who will be setting up camp at the Old Hall for the annual American Civil War Weekend.

The romance and drama of this most evocative of periods will be brought to life by re-enactors from the American Civil War Society (UK), the largest such society in the UK.  Over 150 members of the group, of all ages, will recreate an authentic camp of regimented tents, demonstrating military and domestic life in the American Civil War.

Visitors will experience the sights, sounds and smells of a military camp – from camp cooking over open fires to the acrid black powder fired from Civil War weapons.  They will be able to learn how to make bullets and how people trained, drilled and coped with living in such close quarters, away from home.

But don’t expect it to be all amicable.  Prepare to experience an exciting skirmish and drill display with cannon and full battle equipment.  Some of the female members have even been known to dress up and join the ranks for the battle!

Mick Ricketts, Old Hall Steward commented “these are, after all, two armies on campaign, so a major part of the weekend is this exciting, colourful and noisy spectacle.  Just one thing to choose: are you flying the Yankee or Confederate flag?”

The North West has its own close association with the American Civil War.  It is just over 145 years since Lancashire cotton workers refused to handle southern cotton which had been gathered by slave labour, despite the knowledge that this would cause great hardship to its workers.   Abraham Lincoln thanked the cotton workers in an 1863 address “I hail this interchange of sentiments … whatever else may happen, whatever misfortune may befall your country or my own, the peace and friendship which now exists between the two nations will be, as it shall be my desire to make them, perpetual.”

Lincoln Square in Manchester was so named to acknowledge this close relationship and a statue of the President was erected there in 1919. 

Join us for a glimpse of life in this romantic period – who knows, there might even be a Rhett Butler or a Scarlett O’Hara amongst the re-enactors (one can always hope…).

American Civil War Weekend takes place at the Old Hall, Tatton Park Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th September.  12pm – 5pm (last entry 4pm).  Adult £4.50, Child £2.50, Family £11.50 (2 adults, up to 3 children).  Old Hall open for tours. Park entry £5 per car.

For further information about the American Civil War Society (UK) please visit http://www.acws.co.uk/

About Vicky Wilby

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