Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fort McAllister's 150th was a 'great way' to end the year's events

Members of Confederate gun section  (Courtesy Armory Guards)

Last weekend’s winter muster and battle re-enactment at Fort McAllister State Park in Georgia had an unexpected bonus.

“The most amazing aspect was that there was a meteor shower Saturday night, and we all stood on the parade ground in the fort and watched,” said Herb Coats, a member of the Armory Guards living historian group based in metro Atlanta.

An estimated 1,200 visitors witnessed sesquicentennial events at the site, timed to the day a Union force on the March to the Sea captured the earthen fortifications and opened a vital sea supply line for the army as it lay siege to Savannah.

Armory Guards U.S. contingent before attack along river wall

The Armory Guards portrayed both Confederate and Union soldiers. While Jordan Roberts commanded the former’s Clinch Rifles section, Coats and others re-enacted as members of Company A, 70th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

“We started the skirmish portion of the fort at the exact time it happened in 1864 -- 11 am,” Coats told the Picket. “Also, we made the advance along the river trench line, which hasn't been done since 1864.”

A post on the Armory Guard’s Facebook page said, “It was a successful event for the park, and for the participants. All in all, a great way to end the 2014 season of events.

Clinch Rifles under fire inside fort (Courtesy Armory Guards)

Park manager Jason Carter said there were nearly 300 re-enactors at the event.

“I just wanted to take a minute and thank everyone that attended the event. It went off almost perfectly, other than the Union pulling off the victory again!” he said in a statement. “I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and maybe got a small glimpse into the past and the history you have right here in your backyard.”

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