Thursday, August 25, 2011

Zoar event coming soon!

The largest non-national anniversary reenactment in this half of the country is less than a month away. September 17-18, 2011 in historic Zoar, Ohio.

This is a max-effort Birney's DIVISION event so please register so we can see what our numbers are going to look like.

Visit the website at or click HERE to visit the Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Share the Civil War

Was there social media in the Civil War? Nope, but we’d love to have a strong Facebook and Twitter presence to show people online just how fun the Hale Farm weekend is! “Check in” and let your friends and fellow reenactors know what you’re up to this weekend.

From your iPhone, Android phone, or Blackberry:
Start up your facebook app
Choose “places”
Search for “Hale Farm & Village”
Check in

Once you’ve checked in, post your best pictures and stories on our Facebook wall.

To tweet about the weekend, use the Twitter hashtag #HaleCW and mention @HaleFarm.

Our Facebook pages are:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Second Call! Hale Farm

August 12-14, 2011
Hale Farm and Village, Bath, Ohio

The annual big event for Birney's Division 2d Battalion is THIS WEEKEND!

Last year we had over 800 reenactors and for the first time in the event history, cavalry operations where added to the scenarios. The Federal Army will again be camped in the town green with civilian camps throughout the village. Col Bob Minton from The Army of the Ohio will be the overall Union Commander, and Col Nick Medich in charge of the Confederate forces.

The weather looks like it is going to be excellent. Especially in light of how HOT it has been. Here are a couple of things to remember...

  • Early War/Bull Run impression is encouraged.
  • There will not be a reenactor dinner Saturday evening. Instead there will be a big breakfast Sunday morning.
  • A tactical will be conducted Sunday morning prior to the breakfast.
  • Unless you have been authorized for an earlier arrival, set up will be no earlier than 10 am Friday morning.
At this time, I would like to call out to all Birney's Division units and those who wish to fall in with us. I need some basic numbers or an update if you have already written in:

1. Name of unit

2. Number of military personnel

3. Number of civilian personnel

4. Will you have an officer or NCO in charge

Please send this information to as soon as possible. Below are a few links that will be of some service to all attending.

Hale Farm and Village Reenactment Page (INCLUDING registration forms) Walk-on registration is $15.00 per person:

Hale Farm and Village Civil War 150 Page on Facebook:

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Civil War Reenacting is Hot!

What would make a person put on a wool uniform in the middle of summer and run around recreating the Civil War? I have heard that question a lot in my almost 20 years of reenacting. It’s a question I ask myself sometimes on a hot Saturday afternoon in the middle of a field with a few hundred of my closest friends.

The sweat is pouring, my feet are tired and sore and the nine-pound musket feels like 90 pounds. And then the crowd applauds and the smiling faces remind me that a little inconvenience on my part is worth bringing history alive. Inspiring a young person to dive into a little bit of history -- because now it's not so boring -- is worth sleeping on the hard ground and eating soldier food.

One of the extra benefits in reenacting the Civil War in Ohio is the chance to see so many great towns and areas. My favorite? Hard to say as there are so many. Favorite memories might be easier. Like the weekend I slept in Ulysses Grant’s backyard. Or the time I slept in the Statehouse Rotunda. Or just sitting around the campfire at night telling stories and sharing memories.

If I did make a list of favorite reenacting places in Ohio, it would definitely include these two – Hale Farm in Bath and Zoar Village in Tuscarawas County. Both are filled with historic buildings and stage some of the best reenactments in the country.

Hale Farm is a great place to visit any time, but when it is filled with reenactors, it feels just like an 1860’s town. I especially like the stone buildings as they provide a cool spot on a hot summer day.

Zoar Village simply oozes with old-world charm. From the quaint small homes to the bakery (best bread I ever ate!) to the amazing gardens, you’ll find us reenactors walking through the town like tourists.

Of course, we’re there to portray soldiers and help visitors see into what life was like in the Union Army. And, that’s where the hot uniforms come in. Back then, wool was the most common fabric for clothing, winter and summer. Is it hot? Well, yes. It is hot, but we don’t mind as we know that air conditioning and other modern amenities await us at the end of the weekend. For the 325,000 Ohioans who served during the war, it was four years before they made their way home.

So, come August 13-14 (Hale Farm) and September 17-18 (Zoar Village), you’ll find me and hundreds of reenactors living the life of a Civil War soldier and loving every minute of it.

by Mark Holbrook, Ohio Historical Society