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Take your pick of historical re-enactments of 2 wars

Mary Pickels
| Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Re-enactors prepare for a Civil War encampment and re-enactment at Historic Hanna's Town on Aug. 19-20.
Re-enactors prepare for a Civil War encampment and re-enactment at Historic Hanna's Town on Aug. 19-20.
Compass Inn Museum hosts 18th Century Proctor's militia re-enactment Aug. 19-20.
Compass Inn Museum
Compass Inn Museum hosts 18th Century Proctor's militia re-enactment Aug. 19-20.


Two area historical sites plan re-enactments the weekend of Aug. 19-20, with one at Historic Hanna's Town and another scheduled at Compass Inn Museum.

A reconstructed Revolutionary War-era village in Hempfield, Hanna's Town was the site of the first English courts west of the Allegheny Mountains and served as the first seat of government for Westmoreland County.

Hanna's Town, 809 Forbes Trail Road, will hold a Civil War encampment and re-enactment from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 19 and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20.

The Westmoreland County Historical Society will host members of the Pennsylvania Reserve Battalion (9th, 10th and 11th) "Buck Tails," 19th Ohio Artillery and affiliated Confederate units.

Visitors can step back in time and visit the encampments to see what daily life was like for Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.

Aug. 19 will begin with a dress parade and includes a "little soldiers" (ages 6 and up) drill and mock battle.

Both day's events will include an artillery demonstration, book discussion by Marge Burke, author of "Letters to Mary," PowerPoint program by Dr. John Rathgeb on "Surgical and Medical Practices of the Civil War," troops muster, battle re-enactment, book discussion by Jim Douglas, author of "The Bloody Eleventh: A Regimental History" and "Born to Serve: The Major A.G. Harper Story."

Aug. 20 will begin with a 9 a.m. worship service at the pavilion, which is open to the public and includes a battalion drill.

Additional activities each day include a display of Civil War weapons, a surgeon's tent and demonstration illustrating period medical practices, a laundry demonstration and discussion about hygiene and sanitation of the period and "embedded" artists creating drawings of camp life and battlefield re-enactment scenes.

Admission is $5; $4 for active Scouts and leaders in uniform. Children age 5 and younger are free.

Details: 724-532-1935 or

The Ligonier Valley Historical Society's Compass Inn Museum tells the story of transportation and every day life in the early 1800s. A restored stagecoach inn on the original Philadelphia-Pittsburgh Turnpike, it features tours of the seven-room inn and three reconstructed outbuildings — a cookhouse, blacksmith shop and barn — all furnished with period pieces.

Located at 1382 Route 30 East in Laughlintown, the museum will host Proctor's Militia re-enactment from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 19 and 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 20.

"Throughout the weekend, along with the daily living skills demonstrations, there will be musket and cannon firing drills, mid-afternoon each day," says Malori Stevenson, society program coordinator.

Proctor's Militia, originally a Revolutionary War militia mustered out of Westmoreland County, became the Pennsylvania 1st Battallion, protecting the county's eastern border and the western frontier. In the mid-1700s, John Proctor was Westmoreland County's sheriff. After the Revolutionary War, he was promoted to colonel and commanded the 1st Battalion.

In addition to the encampment, the weekend will feature blacksmithing and cooking demonstrations.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $6 for children ages 6-17; free for active military and children younger than 5.

Details: 724-238-4983 or

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5401, or via Twitter @MaryPickels.

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