By Kevin Redding
Seven score and 18 years ago, in 1861, a battle between the Union soldiers of the North and Confederate soldiers of the South began, setting off one of the most tragic, bloody and integral events in American history.
Under an overcast sky Saturday, May 4, the Farmingville Historical Society brought members of the local community back to that time period with its Civil War Encampment on the grounds of the 1823 Terry House and 1850 Bald Hill School House on Horseblock Road in Farmingville. Visitors to the site were transformed to the 1860s to experience what life was like for soldiers during the Civil War, re-enacted in authentic garb by members of the 67th New York Company, the 9th Virginia Infantry, Company C, and 30th Virginia Infantry, Company B.
The soldiers showed how meals were prepared over an open fire, ran military drills, fired muskets from the era and demonstrated a skirmish on the battlefield, a.k.a. Farmingville Hills County Park.
Guests were also treated to Civil War-era candy and other period-accurate sweets and the one-room schoolhouse was open for business. Schoolteacher Sandra Marshak, of Patchogue, led discussions on what it was like to attend school in the 1800s.
Jim Carrick, an Oakdale resident and member of the 9th Virginia Infantry who demonstrated how soldiers cleaned and loaded their muskets, said of the event, “It’s important to me to make sure that people will remember what this history was and what it was all about. It’s about keeping history alive and the younger generation are our future historians.”
For more information on the Farmingville Historical Society and its programs, visit www.farmingvillehistoricalsociety.org.
All photos by Kevin Redding