BATH, Ohio— Imagine an open field flanked by woods suddenly full of clashing soldiers, cavalry horses, and clouds of smoke. The Third Battle of Winchester, which took place in the Shenandoah Valley in September of 1864, will be re-created for visitors at the 26th annual Hale Farm & Village Civil War Reenactment. The event will take place Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10, with the battle beginning at 2:00 pm each day.
“Each summer we welcome thousands of spectators and reenactors to Hale Farm & Village for the Civil War Reenactment event,” said Jason Klein, site manager at Hale Farm. “We like to take a deep look at how we can keep the event exciting and engaging for our visitors, staff, and the reenactors who take part in it each year. So each year the battle and the staging of it evolves. This is a unique feature in reenactments and we know that our visitors –and the reenactors themselves—appreciate that it is more work, but it’s a new insight to a piece of history. So that makes for a better experience. The Battle of Winchester took place in the Shenandoah Valley, parts of which look almost exactly like the backdrop here at Hale Farm & Village in the Cuyahoga Valley.” A YouTube video conveys the excitement of the battle which was held last year.
Suttlers Row, lined with merchandise and vendors from the Civil War era, will be back this year. Visitors can choose from a variety of different items; Civil War-themed books, vintage photos, clothing, and more. On both sides of the site, encampments for the Confederate and Union armies will be constructed, allowing visitors to interact with reenactors in character of the era. Visitors can ask about how the war is going or what they are going to have for dinner and the reenactors will answer from the period of the Third Battle of Winchester in 1864.
“The interaction with the reenactors on-site is an up close and personal educational opportunity. And, although there is a large crowd, this is a huge space. There are plenty of opportunities for a personal chat with a reenactor—and they welcome that. They love history and they want to share what life was like during the Civil War” said Klein. “Last year we had over 700 reenactors from all over the country depicting aspects of life during the Civil War from various perspectives. You won’t see a reenactor with a cell phone or any modern clothing in either of the encampments, which makes the experience genuine and realistic for everyone in attendance.”
Advance tickets for the Civil War Reenactment are available online. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3-12, and free for WRHS members and children under the age of 2. For a glimpse into the Hale Farm Civil War Reenactment, watch this YouTube video. There is ample parking at the site and there is a drop off lane to bring people to the front door for guests with limited mobility. The site can accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. Many paths that lead away from the Gatehouse are gravel, so please anticipate this type of terrain. The Gatehouse has handicap accessible rest rooms and visitors can see the battle from an accessible area outside the Gatehouse.