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22nd Annual Civil War Re-Enactment at Neshaminy State Park: Apr. 30-May 1, 2011

The Campaign of Fall 1861 – Bolivar Heights and Ball’s Bluff

The 22nd annual Civil War Re-enactment will be held on Saturday-Sunday, April 30 – May 1, 2011 at Neshaminy State Park, located on 3401 State Road in Bensalem, PA, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, rain or shine. Admission is free.
This event is the largest Civil War re-enactment on the East Coast outside of Gettysburg and this year the re-enactment takes on added significance because it is 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. The theme for this year’s re-enactment is “The Campaign of Fall 1861 – Bolivar Heights and Ball’s Bluff”. Over 1,000 re-enactors will converge on the park for this event featuring:
· Authentic battle re-enactments
· Camp life scenarios
· Military and civilian life demonstrations
· Performances by the Camptown Shakers, a band specializing in Civil War era music

The Fall Campaign of 1861 consisted of a series of battles on the Upper Potomac in what was then Northern Virginia, two of which were, Bolivar Heights and The Battle of Ball’s Bluff. The action at Bolivar Heights was a skirmish that took place near Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) on October 16, 1861. In that skirmish, Confederate forces, lead by Colonel Turner Ashby, fired upon Union troops, lead by Colonel John W. Geary, that were stationed on the north side of the Potomac. Union reinforcements arrived and the Confederates were driven back. The Battle of Ball’s Bluff took place in Leesburg, Virginia, on October 21, 1861. At this battle, Confederate Brigadier General Nathan “Shanks” Evans stopped an attempt by Union troops, lead by politician General Edward Baker to cross the Potomac River and capture Leesburg. These two battle actions will be staged during this year’s re-enactment.
While admission is free, a voluntary collection will be taken each day of the re-enactment and all proceeds will go toward Civil War preservation efforts. Proceeds from last year’s collection went to preserve the battlefield at the Slaughter Farm, Fredericksburg, Va. The Neshaminy Civil War Re-enactment has raised close to $35,000 during its 22 year history, for various Civil War causes.
This event is a joint project sponsored by Neshaminy State Park, the Bensalem Historical Society, the 28th Pennsylvania Historical Association, the Army of Northern Virginia Reenacting Organization, the Delaware Valley Civil War Roundtable, The G.A.R. Museum and Library, and Waste Management, Inc.
For more information, go to, visit the Facebook page at Civil War Reenactment or contact Ken Gavin, Event Chairman, at 610-809-6540 or