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Fairfield Civil War event a ‘success’

Richard D. L. Fulton

(5/21) Hundreds of spectators attended Fairfield Borough’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, the country’s bloody second war of independence.

The 150th Anniversary commemoration was planned by the Fairfield Sesquicentennial Committee (FSC).

The two-day event was held May 5th and 6th, and it featured a variety of Civil War-related activities and lectures, as well as house tours, re-enactor encampments and battles.

More than 150 Confederate and Union cavalry and artillery re-enactors participated in recreating the Battle of Gettysburg-related fight that occurred just outside the borough in 1863.

Several hundred history and Civil War enthusiasts and families attended the two-day event, despite the Fairfield event competing with numerous other events in the region.

Jack L. Inskip, chairman of the FSC, said, “The event went well. It was pretty well-organized.” He said there were “very few problems.”

The FSC members agreed at its May 17th post-event meeting that activities might have been established further apart from each other than it might have seemed during the planning stages, and that activities at future events would be more consolidated.

On May 5th and 6th, the event was open to the public at 8:30 a.m. On both days, attendees were provided with a chance to “Meet the Generals,” visit the Civil War encampment, hear lectures on the war, or tour local historic homes. Meals from the time period were also made available, along with wine tastings.

The majority of non-combat activities were held at the Fairfield Borough Hall and the Fairfield Inn. Battles were held on Saturday and Sunday, featuring cavalry and artillery engagements.

Next year represents the actual 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fairfield. The battle took place after Confederate General Robert E. Lee ordered several Virginia cavalry units to secure passage of the Hagerstown Road, leading to their arrival in Fairfield on a collision course with the 6th U.S. Cavalry.

The U.S. Cavalry was in the process of reconnoitering to verify reports that Confederate wagon trains had been reported in-motion in the area.

The battle produced a decisive Confederate victory just outside the village, with Union forces suffering 232 casualties, more than 50 percent of their forces. Confederate casualties consisted of eight killed, 21 wounded, and five missing (http://www.historynet.com).

The FSC began planning for the 2013 150th anniversary event at their May 17, as well as for an upcoming Civil War marker dedication proposed for October of this year.

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